John Cena gets criticized more than any wrestler walking the face of the earth.
Everything he does gets put under the microscope and dissected, piece by piece.
For the most part, the average wrestling fan can see that Cena is a great guy who’s just doing his job. Though he may not be the best wrestler in history, he’s generally good at what he does.
That being said, there is a minority—albeit a very vocal one—of Internet wrestling fans who bash Cena any time he main events a pay-per-view or beats someone who we think he should have lost to.
I think I fall somewhere in between. I’m a critic of Cena, but I also recognize all the good things he’s done for the WWE and pro wrestling as a whole.
Still, when it comes to the Internet, I’m actually in the minority. While I’m not the world’s biggest Cena fan, the Cena bashers largely outnumber me.
I’ve read comments on my articles or tweets that other wrestling fans have sent me that praise Cena, while getting just as many that rip him a new one.
However, every now and then, I see it: Someone who swore they’d always be anti-Cena, by some means or another, ends up becoming a fan or at least a marginal supporter of the guy.
Does that mean that the Cena haters are coming around?
I say yes and no.
Yes, because the random glimmers of hope in the WWE’s booking make us actually like him. I also say no because those often don’t last very long.
If there’s one thing that’s damn near impossible to do, it’s consistently please wrestling fans, and that’s never been more true than when it’s applied to Cena.
We think we are pleased when Cena loses a match relatively clean or when he isn’t involved in the WWE title picture, but is that really the case?
Take his current situation, for instance. Even though Cena hasn’t been anywhere near the WWE title scene this year, we’re still criticizing him because he’s in the main event angle on Raw.
It’s like he can’t win us over no matter what he does.
Even when he’s out of the title scene, we complain because he’s in the biggest angle on Raw. Yet, when he isn’t in the biggest angle on Raw, we claim that whatever else it is that he’s doing sucks anyway.
And you know what? That sucks. It sucks for Cena, for the WWE and for us.
We’re far too picky at times, and we complain about Cena non-stop. I do it, too, and will continue to do it, mostly out of habit.
It’s important for us all to remember that Cena the character and Cena the person aren’t necessarily one in the same.
While what we see on TV may be an extension of Cena’s real-life personality, he is not Vince McMahon. He is not the booker. He is not the creative team.
I think that some people realize that, but many don’t.
Women and kids generally love Cena (sorry, but it’s true), but there are two sections of people who hate him.
First, the fans who are too ignorant to realize that he’s just doing his job and hate him because they think his ego is what’s making him win so much. Second, those fans that don’t mind the guy outside the ring, but get frustrated with the way he’s booked.
To be honest, I don’t think anything—outside of a minor miracle—can make someone in the former group come around and actually like Cena.
Those fans generally have little to no understanding of what the wrestling business is all about and hate Cena simply because he consistently main events and because it’s the cool thing to do.
They don’t realize, or perhaps don’t want to realize, that Cena’s doing what the boss is telling him to do. He just so happens to be at the top of the WWE because of it.
It is these fans that will never be able to—and pardon the cliché—rise above hate.
I may not go around wearing my green Cena hat and t-shirt and preaching “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect.” However, I’m damn sure not going to rip Cena as a person because Cena the character is the face of the WWE.
And I know that the smart Cena hater won’t, either.