Fans look at John Cena from two extremes, they love him or they hate him. Can anyone disagree with either side?
I'll be honest, I'm no longer a wrestling fan. For me it started around 1992 or 1993. I was three or four years old, depending on the year it started. Anyway, as a kid I grew up loving the WWF and even WCW at one point (Glacier kicked ass), and that love never faltered until around the time John Cena showed up to answer Kurt Angle's request for "ruthless aggression." I turned off the TV and stayed away from the WWE. Well, the WWE Divas were still popular in my book.
Around 2008 or so, after Mr. Kennedy injured Cena, I got back into it, Kennedy being my new favorite wrestler. I watched religiously until a few months ago, and then the passion died. That doesn't have much to do with Cena, I know, but it gives some insight as to where I'm coming from.
Cena serves as the WWE's ambassador to kids, and unfortunately that's the reason we have this predicament. Don't get me wrong, I understand the kind of person Cena is. He's a hard worker and has a true passion for the sport. He works day in and day out to improve himself in the ring and on the mic. He's a great ambassador to the community and seems like a genuinely nice guy. So what's the problem?
Well for me, it starts with his outside careers as a rapper and actor. Now obviously, all wrestlers are actors and the transition comes naturally. Something about watching Cena on a big screen though (you can fault The Rock for starting the trend) really turned me off of this guy. Hearing his album with his cousin "Tha Trademarc" didn't help my opinion of him either.
I mean, sometimes the guy can rap. If you get the chance, check out his freestyle in India, great flow. But trying to come off as a tough-sounding rapper doesn't work for some guys. When you hear Bow Wow rap, you laugh and rightfully so, because he's not suited to it either. Like Cena, he's a bubblegum rapper, tailored for kids, and stepping outside of that makes him look like a fool.
In the ring, Vince and the WWE brass had the right idea. He has the look and marketability to be a poster boy for the WWE. It's the writers who are to blame. When someone gets pushed too hard, people start to hate him. This is precisely the case with Cena.
At one point, everyone loved the guy, but he grew stale, and no one did anything to fix it. He still comes out with his pro-American, hard work, "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect" attitude after all this time. It worked to a point, but then just got annoying, and no one did anything to fix it.
Cena gets in the ring, throws a few flying shoulder blocks, a facebuster or two, poses for about 83 percent of the match, clotheslines guys and stands over them looking at the crowd for three or four minutes at a time (before everyone tells the opponent that they can't see him), and so on and so forth.
His STFU (or STF, whatever its called now), is literally one of the least believable submission holds ever, and often comes at times where the opponent is lying on his stomach motionless anyways. Why not just pin the guy? It'll save the time you used up posing before waving your hand in front of your face like an idiot. His F-U or Attitude Adjustment or whatever it's called doesn't look anymore damaging than a common body slam, but clearly being thrown to the side hurts more than right in front of someone.
The point of all this is they try to oversell Cena way too much and don't understand that his time's up. As Triple H says, Cena's fans are usually in bed by the time the show starts, and that seems like the reason this guy is suffering. It's hard to turn a kid-friendly superstar around, because you lose a lot of interest generated by the kids watching and getting their parents to buy merchandise. But it comes at the cost of killing a huge asset to the company. It could be why the WWE isn't doing so well anymore.
This isn't the '80s anymore. It was fine watching The Ultimate Warrior do 16 or 17 military presses per match, but now fans can tune into TNA (as bad as it is), or watch the UFC.
I hope, for the good of the horrendously bad WWE, someone figures this out and turns Cena heel.
As a side note, if the rumors are true and Cena really is trying to get into MMA, I will personally set my jiu-jitsu gi on fire, burn my belt and give up MMA for good. Thanks for reading.