WWE: CM Punk, John Cena and the Resilient Nature of WWE Superstars

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

The Greek philosopher Socrates once said that whatever doesn’t kill you, usually succeeds in a second attempt.

Wait.  No, that was actually Mr. Krabs who said that.  Man, I gotta stop watching SpongeBob SquarePants with my 4-year-old.

Resiliency in professional wrestling is extremely important.  Despite whether the talent is male or female, younger or older, if that worker is not resilient enough to withstand the physical grind of the ring, then he or she will not make it very long.

And believe me, the ring hurts.  The first time I took a back bump it felt like I had been dropped off a building.  I laid there for a few seconds and suddenly began to question not only my sanity, but whether I would be able to walk again.

Of course the more you do it, the more you get used to it.  Simply put, if you want it bad enough, then you endure the pain and push past it.  Being a professional wrestler has everything to do with your personal level of commitment.  

For the Superstars in WWE, that commitment is put to the test over 300 days per year.  Hard hitting matches, high-impact spots, putting everything you have into your character, and leaving it all in the ring night in and night out.

All in the name of entertainment.

While that word may still be a bit ugly for some fans, the fact is at this point we should be used to it. We have heard it for so long now that it has become part of our everyday language as it relates to the business of professional wrestling.

Sports Entertainment.  Yeah.  Still a little hard for me to deal with.

But I do what I can to set my old-school attitude aside, and just attempt to enjoy the product, appreciating the hard work that the WWE talent puts in every time they’re in the ring.

This includes the current WWE Champion, CM Punk.

Punk has been hard at it from the moment that he dropped the infamous pipe bomb last year.  He wrestles a very physical style, combining the traditional with some rough-house elements into his repertoire.  And he wrestles all the time, becoming the true workhorse of not only Monday Night Raw, but of the entire WWE.

He takes a beating, doing what he loves to do, and he keeps coming back for more.  That is the true definition of a professional wrestler, and Punk is the best example of that idea that the company currently has.

Of course, while Punk is arguably the best worker in WWE, every Superstar knows how important it is to put on the best match possible and the constant element of danger that is always involved.  Again, it’s not an easy business.  

But while your body is on the line with every match you’re in, it’s not only the physical aspect of the industry that takes real resiliency to withstand.  Often, it is the mental pressure that goes along with it.

And perhaps no one understands pressure better than John Cena.

Has there been a more hated man in the history of the company?  Highly controversial and heavily debated, John has been the object of untold amounts of criticism since the moment that WWE decided he would be the top guy.

“Top guy.”  Two words automatically linked to John Cena, much like sports entertainment and WWE. It’s just a perfect description.

John Cena sits on the throne of Vince McMahon’s billion-dollar company, enduring one verbal attack after another from his legion of critics, and he does it all with a smile on his face.  Why?

Because he’s getting paid.  Wouldn’t you be smiling too?

But aside from that, John is obviously enjoying his role in WWE because he is as tough and resilient as they come.  He takes the physical punishment that only a pro wrestling ring can provide, weathers the storm of fans’ criticism, and never second-guesses himself.

He knows who he is and what he brings to the table.  And he knows that no matter how much some fans truly do not like him, they will still tune in to see him perform.

He is WWE.  And just like the company, John Cena has stood the test of time.  Tough.  Resilient. Always ready to entertain.  That’s what he is, and what he does.  It’s just second nature to him.

WWE Superstars are often thought of as being larger than life.  But, the truth is they are real people who feel real pain, both physical and mental.  They epitomize what the word resiliency is all about because they just keep getting up and doing it again.  

They wrestle and they entertain.  We watch and we appreciate.  Nothing tough about that at all.