OK Bleacher Fans, I know I am going to catch heat for this, but hey, part of being willing to express your opinion is to open yourself to criticism.
Of all the Superstars I have ever watched—and I have been a fan since the twilight of Bruno Sammartino's career—few have inspired a more mixed reaction than John Cena. And not only is the reaction split, but the reaction on either side is vehement in its acclaim or venom.
There is something about John Cena that sparks that kind of reaction. Some people who boo Cena speak to the "Five Moves of Doom." Though, in all honesty, there are not too many out there even amongst the most popular Superstars who have that impressive of a repertoire.
Honestly, the only wrestlers that truly impress me in terms of their mat skills are Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Chris Jericho and The Undertaker who is, in my opinion, one of the must underrated mat technicians despite his popularity.
Some speak to "Super Cena." I suppose this can indeed get annoying, and I myself have argued for a losing streak for a while to give the character some depth.
But then, how many superstars have ever gotten over by having their rear end handed to them clean on a consistent basis? Popular wrestlers tend to get popular by kicking butt and taking names.
Worked for Hulk Hogan pretty well.
Still, others point to how he dresses. Ok. Outside of the dog tags that I do like, I got nothing on this one. Not my cup of tea either.
Others, I suppose, just don't like a Boy Scout. And Cena is such a Boy Scout, that I am waiting for him to come out wearing a merit badge. The days of saying your prayers and eating your vitamins was a long time ago.
Since then, there have been two wars in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. 9/11. It is a different, less simple world and besides, the WWE found a renaissance during the Monday Night Wars that nearly did it in, by sporting foam middle fingers with "Austin 3:16" and exchanging crotch chops and war cries of "Suck it!"
In this world, those simplistic right vs. wrong moral plays are passe, especially with all the shades of grey out there. I mean, who likes a goody two-shoes nowadays? Or ever? There is a reason why in those cross-over comics between Batman and Superman, Batman is always kicking Superman's butt.
Superman is probably a total buzz kill at a party.
There could be jealousy. But then, many Superstars live the good life and are at least as mediocrely talented in the ring as John Cena is accused of being.
I suppose I can see the value in any, if not all, of the arguments against Cena. I never claimed he was a great ring technician. If I want a great pure wrestling match, I can find one with CM Punk or Chris Jericho. I think he looks ridiculous, though I strongly support the military, his salute and the dog tags I do like.
As to Super Cena, I certainly would like a more "human" Cena and have always hated squash matches. But then again, I have always loved comics and don't mind if my Champion is a Superman-wannabe in (God help us) camouflage shorts.
But all of the above is not the reason why I personally cheer for John Cena.
In addition to the fact that I find him entertaining, I think I cheer for John Cena because he is his own person. He has a strong personality and expresses himself. I can relate to this because of my own strong personality.
Many love me, a few don't really like me. I am OK with that. So is John Cena.
In a world where so many people and politicians bow to prevailing winds, he is himself and loves those that love him and respects someone else's right to hate him.
Perhaps that is why ultimately, people really can't stand him. Rather than bowing to what others want him to do or justifying someone else's hate for him by cursing them out, he simply smiles his goofy grin and says, "Whatever man, this is me."
Of course, I am not a Mark despite how this article sounds. WWE creative has done a great job in creating the Boy Scout so beloved by moms and little kids. I would love to believe that Cena's convictions are more than character deep, and while evidence points to the affirmative, one never knows.
Maybe it is all fake, but wrestling is like makeup, movies or a magic show. It is all an illusion. So just sit back, enjoy the show and don't ask too many questions.
So yeah, corny as it sounds, the fact that he stands up for who he is and the fact that he is a big Boy Scout are the reasons why I cheer for John Cena.
You may doubt whether or not these are legitimate reasons to love John Cena, but they are no less legitimate than some of the reasons why people hate him.
I welcome your thoughts.