Hi, there in Bleacher-land!
As you can no doubt guess, I was—well, disappointed at the outcome of the John Cena-The Rock match. Actually, there were quite a few things that I feel WWE got wrong at WrestleMania 28, but that is for another article.
This article is my cathartic therapy over John Cena's loss.
Now, I have never been one for sour grapes, friends, and none will be served here.
It was a great match and fans of both wrestlers can feel that their superstar held up their end of the match. For once, I agree with Michael Cole—neither one really lost, it was the team who got the ball last that got the win.
Despite what some might think, I never really advocated for Cena to win all the time.
In fact, for those of you who have read some of my articles past, you'll know that I had wanted John Cena to cleanly drop the strap to CM Punk at Summerslam last August.
A loss makes a character more interesting and believable. Besides, Punk should have gotten the push he so richly deserved and ultimately got.
On a more personal level, I have learned that you can learn more about a person's character by seeing how they react to loss as much as, if not more, than how they react to victory.
With that bit of self disclosure out of the way, I have very mixed feelings about the much-needed clean loss happening at WrestleMania 28 to the Rock.
Taking nothing away from The Rock, a genuine argument can be made that Cena has been a more loyal soldier to the promotion than Rock. I don't doubt Rock's love for the game and for the WWE—it is in his blood and ancestry, and no one can blame the Rock for pursuing opportunities as they presented themselves.
But, during times when being a WWE wrestler or even a wrestler period was not an easy thing to be, there Cena was.
When the WWE needed a whupping boy, there he was.
When the WWE needed a face, there he was.
When the WWE needed someone to lend to Gillette and Subway to shill their products, there he was.
Perhaps I looked more into this than was there, but, in many ways, I saw this as a match between two eras and the superstars that made them. The WWE is still caught between the era of Attitude that saved it and the era of PG that has sustained it since those chaotic years of the Monday Night Wars.
Call me naive, but for loyalty to the brand, this match should have gone to John Cena—not because he is a better wrestler or has better catchphrases, but because Cena has never better a summer soldier or sunshine patriot when it comes to performing for the spectacle and company he loves.
With all that having been said, I suppose the flipside of all that is that the match was a darn good one and Cena put on a bravura performance and if he lost, he sure lost while being game and the Rock knew that he had been in a fight.
In the long run, this will not damage to his character or career that it might otherwise have. Plus, if there was one wrestler who deserved to have won it was the Rock.
If you have to lose while looking impressive doing it, few are better than to do it with the Rock. For the fans, I suppose, Cena's loss was a cathartic experience in much the same way as writing this article is a catharsis for me. It was a way for those who still yearn for the Attitude Era and a face that they can relate to, shine one more time. A happy denouement, if you will.
Still, I would have wished for Cena to win.
I am looking forward to seeing how WWE is going to handle Cena after his loss and obvious dejection in its aftermath.
Perhaps this will be a time for Cena to fade into the shadows a while to recoup and reflect, and then have him come back anew sometime in the future.
Perhaps they will decide to have a rematch. I hope this is not the case.
This is a chapter that should be as advertised as "Once in a Lifetime," even if I had hoped for an outcome somewhat different from what actually happened.
Perhaps a heel turn is in the future? Perhaps a change from shorts to tights?
I jest, but whatever happens, I hope that they expand on but not fundamentally change Cena as a man. They tinkered, I think for the better, with his wrestling moves during the match and that is fine.
More aggressive? That would be nice.
But whatever it is, if they try to make Cena something different that what he fundamentally is, that would be a big mistake.
I am a Cena fan. I am not a Cena fan for his wrestling skills. I am not a fan of his for his mic skills. I am not a fan of his for his ring attire.
While I may like or dislike Cena on any or all of the above and while I do find Cena entertaining, I am a Cena fan because of the values he espouses and, more importantly, because he is his own person and refuses to bend who he is just so he can be loved by all.
I respect that. I wish more people in the real world were so strong in their convictions. I know it is all make-believe.
But in this world of cowards, I will take my heroes where I can find him. So long as John Cena remains true to himself, even if he loses a thousand matches, I will still be a fan.
Let's go, Cena.