The Viper vs. Superman: Can Cena Compete With Orton's Growing Popularity?
WWE Universe, the winds of change are upon us. No, I’m not referring to Nexus and their threats against John Cena. From where I stand, Cena has a much bigger threat to worry about. WWE has found their new anti-hero babyface, and the fans are responding with enthusiastic cheers and overwhelming support. “The Viper” is on his way to becoming the top guy in the company, and John Cena has every right to be a nervous wreck. We’re witnessing the dawn of a new era, similar to what occurred immediately following WrestleMania 13. Randy Orton reminds many fans of a certain “rattlesnake” that took WWE by the horns, flipped it on its head, broke boundaries, crossed lines, and ushered in a new generation of performers. I can’t help but feel déjà vu as I watch the current state of WWE programming.
John Cena has basically been unstoppable for the last 5 years. The only things that have come between Cena and the WWE title are injuries and cheaters… oh, and a wooden table at TLC 2009, courtesy of a "giant jar of mayonnaise" known as Sheamus. This is all changing right before our eyes. The Viper is coiled and ready to strike, and once he establishes himself as THE dominant face of the company, Cena will have no choice but to reluctantly pass the torch and make significant changes to his character, which many fans feel has become stale, corny, and predictable.
Most fans claim Cena will never turn heel. “He’s too over with kids, which WWE-PG is aggressively targeting”… “He sells too much merchandise”… “He’s a company guy”… I agree that Cena has basically been a modern day Hulk Hogan for the last 5 years, but this is all coming to an end. The kids that became die-hard Cena supporters in 2005-2006 are getting older, and they're beginning to grow tired of the Super-Cena saving the day and overcoming the odds. Cena’s spot is in jeopardy, and it’s not long before he’s playing second fiddle to Orton, who has a relatively fresh character and a growing fanbase. RKO will be headlining pay-per-views and main-eventing on Raw each week, and Cena (unless he moves to Smackdown) will be stuck in limbo. John Cena won’t be the top draw, the top merchandise seller, or the "the man" anymore. That won’t be an easy pill to swallow, and I simply don’t see Cena allowing that to happen.
So, that begs the question… What is the best (and only) way for Cena to keep his momentum going strong and to secure the WWE title around his waist? How is this possible when WWE is aggressively positioning Randy Orton as the new face of the company?
Easy Answer: Cena somehow loses to Wade Barrett at HIAC, joins Nexus, and finally becomes the heel we’ve been longing for. This can lead into an angle where Cena reluctantly participates in the beatdowns as they terrorize the Raw roster, and focus on Randy Orton in particular as we head towards Survivor Series. This will eventually lead to Orton vs Barrett for the WWE title, where Cena will "accidentally" cause Orton to lose the belt. In the end, Cena will reveal that he intentionally screwed Orton and this will cause the fans to fully turn on him. Then Cena will reveal his plot to take control of Nexus and Barrett will feel threatened, and they'll begin fighting for control which leads to Cena challenging Barrett for the belt at Royal Rumble.
The rest of Nexus will act like they don't know who to support, then in another surprise twist Nexus turns on Barrett, and Cena becomes a heel champion for the first time in his career and the undisputed leader of "Ce-Nexus"... imagine the HEAT this would generate!! Orton will go on to win his second Royal Rumble and obviously choose to wrestle Cena for the WWE title. This will all lead to Cena vs Orton at WrestleMania 27, but it will be a much different Orton and Cena when compared to their lengthy feud in 2009.
The Truth: I doubt any of this will happen. I have a gut feeling that WWE is pulling the plug on Nexus (much too soon), just like they did with Legacy, S.E.S., and basically every other stable that has been formed over the last few years. I believe the entire purpose of Nexus was to quickly elevate Barrett to the main event so he could begin feuding with Cena, Orton, Sheamus, etc. Justin Gabriel also has a shot at becoming something more than a glorified jobber, but unfortunately I can't say the same for Tarver, Slater, and Otunga. I hope I'm wrong and WWE throws a major curveball at Hell in a Cell this Sunday, but I'm reluctant to get my hopes up.
So, fellow WWE fans, how do you see this situation playing out?
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