John Cena is the face of the WWE. John Cena is a charity’s dream.
John Cena is too predictable.
I know that is an argument that has been made relentlessly. But if enough people start making enough noise about it, something may be done to enhance his character.
And that something could start with a new finishing move.
It’s the same old thing in the ring for Cena. He bounces off the ropes and throws two shoulder blocks. The opponent wildly throws a haymaker punch, only to have Cena duck, pick up the opponent and drop him.
While the opponent lies flat on the mat, Cena does his “you-can’t-see-me” bit, followed by the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Then it’s on to the Attitude Adjustment and the pin.
To spice things up, he might hit the STF for a submission. Either way, it mostly ends in victory for the WWE Superman.
Finishers are a wrestler’s signature move. When he (or she) goes for it, the crowd cheers or jeers wildly.
Years ago, it was fine for a wrestler to find a finisher and stick with it. Johnny Weaver had the Sleeper. Buddy Rogers, Ric Flair and Jack Brisco had the Figure-4 leglock. Lex Luger had the Torture Rack. The list goes on and on.
Today’s wrestlers often are not completely married to their finishers. Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and Wade Barrett all have changed their finishers, and they have not been in the WWE as long as Cena.
But Cena has relied on the AA and STF moves for most of his career. He’s done them so much that they almost have become routine.
It’s not that Cena himself sucks. His routine sucks.
That needs to change and change now.
The WWE Creative Team could go a long way toward revamping Cena’s image with something as simple as a different finisher. Get rid of the AA or STF as a closer, and move them up to mid-program where a two-count usually happens.
Develop something along the lines of a Brain Buster suplex or a Power Bomb that has a fiercer edge to it. Or they could create a finisher totally unique for Cena.
Cena even could wave his hand in front of his face to signal the move coming. That always draws a huge pop. Whenever Jake Roberts twirled his finger to signal the DDT, the crowd went crazy.
Here is another idea: Let him keep the AA or STF as closers, but make them much more unpredictable. Don’t have them follow up the shoulder blocks and the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Get Cena to hit them at unexpected times, such as after a rope whip, a corner charge or some other opportune but surprising point in the match.
A change in the finisher could be the first step toward a more improved version of the WWE Superman. Even Superman needs a few tweaks now and then.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.