John Cena has been the face of the WWE, much to the dismay of seemingly every male fan over 30, essentially since he won his first title from JBL.
For a while after he won, Cena was still over with the fans. Eventually, though, fans started to grow tired of the same stale John Cena gimmick.
To be honest, there is merit in that thinking. In this day and age in pro wrestling, you have to constantly be changing and evolving your character.
Otherwise, like they have with Cena, fans will start to become bored with your staleness.
Still, I do think that Cena gets hated on by a large contingent of fans for what is perceived by some as his lack of wrestling ability. And again, there's some merit to that.
Cena is not the most polished wrestler to ever step foot into the ring, but he's no slouch.
My main problem is when people get upset because "he always does the same moves over and over in every match." And that's what pretty much what everyone who hates Cena thinks.
I think we're missing something here, though.
A slight twist on an old cliche. The WWE has a specific style in the way they promote themselves.
WWE has long since tried to distance itself from its former days of being referred to as professional wrestling. They are considered "sports entertainment."
It's weird because what they do is considered "wrestling," but I guess "wrestling" is considered to be part of the blanket of sports entertainment.
Whether you agree with it or not, that was the direction the company took during the beginnings of the Attitude Era; which, ironically enough, was the most popular time in the company's history.
The emphasis was on storytelling rather than wrestling. Obviously, there were still great wrestlers, but those skills always took a backseat to whatever the current storyline or segment was.
Now, in the PG Era, the WWE has evolved its style again. While the emphasis is still on storytelling, there are now restrictions as to what can be done whereas the Attitude Era pretty much gave superstars free rein to do almost anything as long as it got their story or character over with the fans.
The superstars aren't allotted that same freedom nowadays. Because they are PG, there are restrictions as to what you can say and even what you can do in the ring.
John Cena, like many others, is a product of the environment. He needed to find a way to portray his character within the confines of the company style, and he did.
If you really want to see all of those moves, watch a promotion like ROH, where the emphasis is on actual wrestling.
Everyone focuses on Cena's "five moves of doom" and neglects that he actually has performed other moves in his career.
It's shocking, I know, but all true. That video is a bit misleading because there are a handful of moves featured that are just variations of one move.
Still, it is a good representation of Cena's varied moveset. Again, not every move is polished or excellently executed (foreshadowing).
You want to knock on Cena for that? Go right ahead. Want to get on his case because he never uses most of those moves anymore? You can do that too.
It's all valid, but don't hate on Cena by saying he only does the same thing.
That's not a reflection on his moveset so much as it is a reflection of his character and how the company wishes to use him.
Believe it or not, though the wrestlers are the ones who map out matches in the ring, they are not given complete control.
There are various moves the company does not allow. The company heads may also want Cena to stick to basic moves to prevent him from exerting himself too much.
Hard to believe that a guy like Cena, a true hard worker, would agree to taking it easy or that the company really limits that much, but it's still a possibility.
It may upset some people to hear, but John Cena is not so different from your favorite and most beloved superstars.
Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, Hulk Hogan, Randy Orton, CM Punk...and countless others
What do all those guys have in common? They have a particular set of moves that, ultimately, lead up to their finisher.
Don't believe me?
Bret Hart: Inverted atomic drop, Backbreaker, Russian leg sweep, Elbow drop from second rope, Sharpshooter.
HBK: Flying forearm, Kip-up, Inverted atomic drop/Clothesline, Scoop slam, Elbow drop, SCM
Hulk Hogan: "Hulk Up," three punches, big boot, Leg Drop.
Those are three of the best wrestlers to ever compete in the WWE, and they have their own versions of the "moves of doom."
Yes, all of these guys do other moves during their matches, but so does Cena. Or so did Cena, like I mentioned in the previous slide, you see less and less of it now.
Everyone of those guys have a build up. It's part of the natural flow of wrestling matches. There's so many possible move combinations that it'd be damn near impossible to keep it fresh every night.
Eventually, you're going to find something that works for you, and you're going to keep doing it until it stops working.