John Cena: The Hulk Hogan of Our Generation (Yeah, I Said It)
He's been called a controversial champion, the future of the WWE, and by most wrestling fans over the age of 14, the worst wrestler of all time. While all of these maybe true, there is one thing that most will never call John Cena...The Next Hulk Hogan.
Well, I hate to bust all of the "Hulkamaniacs" bubble, but this guy following the Hogan blue print step by step, and making more and more money to the distaste of the older enthusiasts.
Now before you get all "He'll never be Hulk Hogan" on me, just look at the similarities as far as character and push wise. You would be amazed the comparisons between these two men. Lets just look at a few.
First off, they're both being billed as "American Heroes." In the '80s, early '90s, and onto now, Hogan made a living as being "American Made." Carrying the flag whenever possible, adhering and starting the USA chants, and trumpeted as the ultimate hero, going after anything and anyone that stood against American values and customs.
Flash forward to now and look at John Cena.
The WWE pushes him as a military-esque warrior, even wearing dog-tags, to play up his support for the troops. They push him as the uber-hero, coming and saving the day at anytime possible and use him as the man of the people.
Still not enough to be convinced? Then how about both men overcoming extremely impossible odds? Hogan has played the underdog role the majority of his career, yet has come out looking like a superhuman.
His match with Andre the Giant, his squash of Yokozuna, his Cage of Doom match with Randy Savage, and his constant defeating of top stars in his career, including Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, and even Shawn Michaels. Hogan has come out of each "impossible task" unscathed and on top.
John Cena has his share of this same extent. His match with Randy Orton against the Raw Roster, his no holds barred matches with Great Khali and Umaga, his TLC match with Edge, which was Edge's specialty, and his battles with the Big Show, all of which he came out the victor.
Each of them seemingly impossible for Cena to win, all of them he came out on top.
Need further confirmation? Then let's look at layouts of each's matches. If you dialogue both Hogan's and Cena's bouts, you can find a definite correlation. In both their matches, they are physically dominated by their opponents for the majority, getting in maybe three or four moves, then back to being betean.
Then each gets some sort of second wind (Hogan "Hulks Up", Cena "pumps his sneakers"), do their three moves of doom (Hogan's punches, big boot, then leg drop, Cena's Five Knuckle shuffle, Attitude Adjustment, STF), then the match ends.
Throw in the fact that both are seen more as entertainers than wrestlers, both are faces of a wrestling generation, both are loved by kids all over the world, but loathed by older wrestling enthusiasts, and both have been viewed as been pushed down our throats, you can't deny that these two men are one in the same.
My only qualm about this is that while Hogan is revered by his simplicity, Cena is hated because of it. Most of the older generation now grew up on Hogan and see him as the beacon of wrestling, but are physically ill at the site of Cena, calling him bland, boring, one-dimensional, and can't wrestle, but couldn't the same be said about Hulk Hogan?
Don't get me wrong, I respect Hogan for what he's done for the wrestling business, but to love one man for the same reasons you hate another is a bit hypocritical. I'm no fan of John Cena, and honestly not a huge fan of Hogan, but I don't hate him either.
I respect John for being able to put up with fickle fans who continue to nit-pick everything that he's done.
It shows that wrestling fans will love you one minute and completely loathe you the next. Remember when Cena first busted onto the scene? No gimmick, just an average Joe who came out and put on a excellent match with Kurt Angle in his debut. Wrestling fans sung his praises and touted him as the future of wrestling.
Now that he has achieved this, although now with a scaled down move-set and Hogan-esque gimmick, these same fans completely blast him. I mean, you got what you wanted, right? He has transformed himself into a formidable commodity in the WWE and a top merchandise seller.
But because he's not the vision a lot of fans wanted him to be, he's hated.
My advice to those who genuinely want to see a change in Cena, think of Hogan in WCW. When he first arrived, he was adored, but the gimmick soon got stale and fans wanted a change.
Hogan's merchandise sales began to plummet and WCW brass had to make a drastic change, thus the nWo was born. The same can work with Cena.
Vince doesn't want to change anything about Cena for one huge reason, merchandise sales. Cena's his cash cow and is exactly what he needs in this troubled economy. I've read other fans thoughts and everyone agrees the act has gotten stale.
Stop buying his merchandise and don't see his movies. Better yet, whenever Cena comes out, don't even acknowledge him. Don't cheer or boo, just sit back and hold your energy. Force Vince to make the change and eventually he'll have to listen.
Until then, be prepared to see Cena walk out of another seemingly impossible task at WrestleMania and have another reign at the top. And as that happens, be prepared to see more correlations between The Dr. of Thuganomics and your beloved Hulkster.
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