WWE Office Politics 101: How John Cena Became an Average Joe

Michael JohnsonContributor IJuly 6, 2011

You don’t cross the boss!

If John Cena didn’t already know that, he certainly found out last Monday. In coming to the aid of C.M. Punk, John Cena learned that honesty is almost never the best policy in the workplace. As many of us have learned and some of us the hard way, it is almost never a good idea to air dirty laundry about the boss, and definitely not air that dirty laundry in the boss’ face.

Even though Mr. McMahon threatened to fire Cena if he doesn’t defeat the recently reinstated C.M. Punk at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Cena would have already been fired at almost any company in the world for what he did this past Monday.

If John Cena the burger flipper had cut a scathing promo on the shift manager, during the lunch rush, he would have been as good as gone. John Cena the WWE champion, however, is still gainfully employed. Most of us wouldn’t dare criticize our boss publicly, even if we believe that our boss is an idiot and surrounds himself with glad-handing, nonsensical, douche-bag yes-men.     

In every workplace environment, unless you are exceptionally talented, there are two types of workers, and most people choose very early in their careers which type of worker they will be. The first type of worker is the non-ass kisser. If you fall into this group, then you are a hard worker who feels he is underappreciated. You are very efficient in your job, maybe one of the best in the company, but you don’t seem to get the recognition you feel you deserve. You are punctual, you meet deadlines, and you are well-liked by your peers.

But there is something wrong, isn’t there? You have been with the company for over five years, yet you have the same position for the same pay that you had five years ago when you just started working for the company. You look around and you see that less skilled and less deserving employees are being promoted ahead of you, and it pisses you off. But why is this happening to you?

Was there a company mixer that you declined to attend? During your yearly evaluation, did you get markings below your previous expectations? Did you strive to do better or did you tell your boss that you do a great job and that he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about? Have you told your boss what a great asset to the company he is? Do you stop by the boss’ office every once in a while to tell him that you think he is just super? If you answered “no” to all of the previous questions, then you are not an ass kisser. You are probably not being promoted any time soon either.   

If you want to be promoted, then you will probably need to kiss ass at some point. You don’t literally have to kiss the boss’ ass, but it wouldn’t kill you to tell your boss what a great job he is doing or to tell him the company is finally being steered in the right direction, thanks to his leadership. If you are going to get yourself a cup of coffee, then make sure Boss has his cup filled as well. Does your boss listen to jazz in his office? Then the next time you are in Starbucks, buy him a jazz compilation CD of musicians you’ve never heard of.

And don’t make the mistake of thinking the ass-kissing is limited to the man in charge. If his wife or kids stop by the office, you pucker up for them as well. Tell them they are a lovely family, over and over again until your tongue falls out of your mouth. You do whatever you need to do to get promoted.  

Hey, don’t think I am hating on the company yes-men out there. You are just doing your best to get ahead.

You know how Olympic sprinters are all fast as heck but they are competing against others who are equally as fast? The exceptionally talented sprinters, like Usain Bolt, can just outrun everyone. But have you noticed how most sprinters do that little face-first lunge as they cross the line? Think of the workers as the sprinters, the promotion as the award for winning the race, and the boss’ ass as the finish line. If you look at it that way, is there any shame in puckering up to get ahead?    

 What does this have to do with WWE?

In defending C.M. Punk, we learned a couple of things about John Cena and the backstage political environment. First, C.M. Punk’s assertion that John Cena kisses ass like Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “I didn’t come back for this” Johnson, must have bothered Cena or else he wouldn’t have went out of his way to defend the No. 1 contender. After years of being booed in arenas across the nation and being largely unfazed, being called a company man is SuperCena’s kryptonite.

The second thing we learned is that John Cena really thought he was special. He thought he was different. John Cena thought that his standing in WWE was so firm that he could openly challenge Vince McMahon in public with no repercussion. John Cena learned the hard way that he has more in common with C.M. Punk than he realized. John Cena is a spoke on the wheel and that wheel will keep turning with or without him.

C.M. Punk must have been laughing his head off, wherever he was this past Monday. Punk rattled John Cena so thoroughly 10 days ago that Cena was willing to vacate his title and now put his job on the line to prove Punk wrong. All John Cena did was validate Punk’s main point: Vince McMahon only wants to hear what he wants to hear and nothing more. Vince is like the boss we all have had before and probably have now. He is one of them.

John Cena, like C.M. Punk, is in hot water with his boss. He is now one of us.