John Cena: What Happened to His Old Wrestling Moves?
Today, John Cena receives a lot of criticism for his wrestling style.
But there was a time when it was difficult to deny his wrestling ability.
Cena used to incorporate more wrestling moves in his matches in a way that wasn't so predictable.
These days, the usual Cena match involves the opponent delivering most of the offense early on. Cena then picks up momentum by delivering his combo of several flying shoulder blocks, the spinout "powerbomb," five-knuckle shuffle and finally the Attitude Adjustment.
When that fails, Cena goes for the STF submission hold.
In this series, I'll highlight some of Cena's wrestling moves that he rarely incorporates into his matches anymore, but if he did, it would provide more diversity for the so-called "Cena-haters."
It's a simple move, but I'll never get tired of it.
The clothesline is a staple of pro-wrestling. Countless superstars have used it. Bradshaw even transformed it into a brutal finisher.
John Cena had some impressive power behind his clothesline when he chose to use it.
And it usually came out of nowhere.
Not only did this move have impact, but it also had a really cool name.
In this clip, John Cena performs the "throwback" onto a chair.
It's a strong enough move to stun an opponent and get a good pop from the crowd.
It can also be performed from almost anywhere inside and outside of the ring.
Leg Drop Bulldog
Leg Drop Bulldog
Cena is not really known for high-flying maneuvers.
And that's why it's always entertaining to see a big guy get on the top rope.
The leg drop bulldog had good impact and should be used more often.
Not just at Pay-Per-Views.
John Cena performed the spinebuster early in his WWE career.
Although he changed his finisher, there was no reason to get rid of the move altogether. He should have kept it.
The spinebuster is a powerful move that can be used as a dependable reversal against various attacks and oncoming opponents.
The chips are down.
You need a momentum shift.
What better way to momentarily take the wind out of your opponent than a belly-to-belly suplex?
A relatively easy move to perform with some power behind it, Cena should incorporate it more often.
John Cena didn't perform this move the best, but it's a good move nonetheless.
Emerald Flowsion has power behind it and does damage.
It boggles the mind why it isn't used more often.
Monkey Flip & Dropkick
Monkey Flip followed by a dropkick
Some fans might not even remember that Cena did this.
But a monkey flip followed by a dropkick? That's a cool little combo.
How can Cena not perform this more often?!
Cena gets to show off his athleticism and it gets a good pop from the crowd.
The one-handed bulldog is not the best move in the world.
In the WWE, Jericho did it best.
But Cena once used it frequently and then it became rare.
He actually used it, to my surprise, when he faced Jericho a couple of weeks ago on RAW.
But it's used inconsistently.
Not an entirely impressive move, but a staple in technical wrestling.
The gutwrench suplex is better than your average scoop slam and can be used as a nice reversal to various wrestling holds.
A relatively easy move to perform, Cena would also benefit from incorporating the gutwrench suplex more often in his matches.
I'll be the first to admit that this is barely a fisherman suplex. Cena hardly grabs the opponent's leg, so it looks more like a standard suplex.
Nonetheless, it's another move that we rarely see from Cena anymore and, as such, limits his move-set.
Throughout a match, a suplex does a decent job of wearing down an opponent, making a win more believable.
John Sciulli/Getty Images
On average, only the most technical of wrestlers have more than 10 to 15 moves that they use on a consistent basis.
The "10 Moves of Doom", for all its negative connotation, can be applied to most of WWE's top superstars in history.
The trick is to have a good diversity of wrestling moves that can be incorporated in different ways throughout the match.
The greatest wrestlers throughout WWE history aspired to never have the same exact match twice. Even if it was with the same opponent.
John Cena has had great matches. And he had a good move-set.
Somewhere along the road, however, he was limited to a five-move combo that deteriorated the pace and unpredictability of his matches significantly.
And that's where the challenge lies. Cena doesn't have to be the most technical wrestler. He doesn't have to be the strongest. He doesn't have to be the best.
His matches just need to have more variety.
The moves are there to use.