He's a nine-time world champion, a Royal-Rumble winner, won five Wrestlemania main events and he even has time to be a lead-role actor! However, John Cena just cant seem to silence his many critics, particularly those within the Internet Wrestling Community. I put it to you today that Cena has achieved something recently that will make most in the IWC euphoric, he has created space for the anti-hero, Randy Orton!
A year ago Orton was the vile RKO-ing, chairman-punting, woman-attacking super villain that the top faces on Raw would do everything in the power to stop. Suddenly something shocking happened, everyone started cheering the villain (partly due to their disdain towards Sheamus). Over the Wrestlemania period we saw the creation of an anti-hero superstar the likes of which we hadn't seen since Austin. Now a slow saunter to the ring and an intense stare at the audience is enough to send them wild.
In Orton we have a very unique kind of face, he does not smile, he attacks like-able celebrities, he does not even acknowledge the crowd the way a good baby-face should, in a nutshell Orton has attitude.
So what? We have had beer-chugging, middle-finger pointing or jabroni-beating, pie-eating faces of brands before and these guys certainly weren't always the greatest role models, what's your point? Also, what's this got to do with Cena, he hasn't wrestled Orton since the face turn?
The likes of Stone Cold and The Rock flourished in the Attitude Era. Stone Cold himself admitted, when talking about his Guest Host appearance, that the character didn't really work in this era of PG. We are witnessing an era now where the company needs the face of the brand to be a role model to the youngsters, maybe even someone to tell kids to "eat their vitamins and say their prays", in other words they need to be an out an out family-friendly baby-face.
Love him or hate him John Cena does a brilliant job of what he is asked to do, be the man described above who satisfies the families. I believe it is only with this role already filled that the WWE accepts Randy Orton as a top face in his current Viper gimmick in all its unadulterated glory. Its incredible how little the character has been changed to become face.
Take John Cena out of the equation and I bet my bottom dollar we would have a very watered-down Viper who still RKOs people, but only if they disrespect the "wonderful WWE Universe", this is a Randy Orton that I imagine a lot in the IWC would turn their back on. John Cena has said on Twitter that he will not return to the rapper gimmick, and many see that as no imminent heel turn, bad news? No!
The longer we have baby-face John Cena, the longer we get to have anti-hero Orton! Love this new Viper? Of course thank Randy Orton, but in my opinion you also have to thank Cena.
I look forward to your comments and opinion. Thanks for reading.