Batista Vs Cena Really a Classic In The Making?
WWE has promised that SummerSlam this Sunday night will be “the biggest blockbuster of the summer this year”. Arguably the most [over-]hyped match is the John Cena vs Batista match, and indeed, on WWE Raw, Cena’s and Batista’s rivalry has been the main event, ahead of even the World Heavyweight Championship rivalry. But is this match, touted a classic, a history making match, really that?
Taking a look at these two athletes careers, it is quite clear that they have risen to the top very quickly and are both perhaps the Crème de la Crème when it comes to entertainment and charisma. However, this match, in the opinion of many, will fall short of a classic because of the fact that these two wrestlers (or at least one of them), and the current WWE scriptwriters, are unable to create the heat needed to make this match go down as a classic.
The main obstacle I see is John Cena. Cena is an extremely limited wrestler. I know all wrestlers have signature moves, but with Cena it is 5 or 6 “wrestling moves” that he repeats every night – and that’s it. Cena has beaten the phenomenally huge Great Khali twice in a row, once by submission and then by pinfall. Khali isn’t a great wrestler, but it is too unrealistic (even for WWE) for Khali to be beaten by submission by someone a foot shorter than him. Before this he beat Umaga with a roll-up pin at New Years Revolution. The point that I’m making is that John Cena is being portrayed by the WWE as basically invincible – sure he loses the odd match, but WWE even refused to let him lose his WWE title by being beaten – he had to be stripped of it. The result of this is that Cena is overly popular with, as Batista put it, people under the age of 15. However everyone else who is a wrestling fan is sick of Cena’s truly unbelievable, boring and predictable displays, coupled with his limited wrestling ability. The main way this is shown is the fact that Cena, WWE’s primary face, is booed as he enters arenas, and the only cheers heard are high pitched ones, inevitably those of women and kids.
However, in all honesty, apart from Cena’s limited wrestling skills, the blame for WWE’s hero getting booed by sick and tired fans goes to the WWE scriptwriters, who were no doubt the brains behind the idea of Cena assuming this invincible persona. You may remember Cena had a “Doctor of Thuganomics” gimmick, where he could be a face or a heel. This was a great gimmick, one that Cena was more comfortable with, one that was less predictable and one where Cena was reasonably human rather than invincible. This was a Cena who would be completely cheered or booed depending on if he was a face or heel, and a Cena that was capable of creating a much better build up to what could have been a modern day classic.
Batista, unlike Cena, is a much more tolerable character and also has wrestling ability to back up his freakish strength. The problem – Batista is no god on the mic. So we’re left with a battle between two faces, where one of them has all the charisma in the world, but nevertheless gets booed and has a boring gimmick, and another who is a powerhouse, a great wrestler in the ring, universally popular, but without great mic ability. In this way the build up to the main event of the blockbuster of the year is substandard and therefore despite WWE’s over-hyping, in reality the match isn’t as great as it’s described as. No real wrestling fan is on the edge of their seats waiting for this match on Sunday when they have seen true classic rivalries and matches, like Stone Cold vs HHH, The Rock and Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania, Kane and Undertaker, Bret Hart and Michaels and the list goes on. Or maybe I’m wrong and people over the age of 15 ARE looking forward to this match and it will turn out to be a classic. We’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out.
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