Pro Wrestling Perspectives: Looking at the Differing Opinions of John Cena

Hamster EnigmaAnalyst IIIMarch 26, 2012

Pro Wrestling Perspectives: Looking at the Differing Opinions of John Cena

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    John Cena, a name that stirs controversy whenever it is mentioned, could possibly be the most controversial superstar in WWE history.

    Whenever his name is mentioned, the haters and the fans alike voice their thoughts on the topic.

    In fact, the controversy rubs off onto anything that mentions the superstar's name.

    I speak from experience because, a while ago, I wrote on what I thought was the reason for the hatred of the man. I labeled it "The Superman Stereotype" due to the many labels from the haters, acknowledging him as a superhuman of sorts.

    To some, the feedback was positive. To others, it was negative.

    My thoughts were so controversial, due to them being about John Cena, that they were even considered to some as a biased viewpoint that belittled any insightful comments.

    This apparent "biased" viewpoint caused my article to receive many comments. Some positive, others negative. But all in all, I took out the most important thing from my readers. Opinions.

    Opinions on the differing viewpoints about the man known only as John Cena.

    So much differing opinions in fact, that I failed to respond to them. And for that, I apologize.

    So I'm doing the next best thing. I'm going to see both of the viewpoints for John Cena in an unbiased manner.

    "The Superman Stereotype" has become "Pro Wrestling Perspectives", where opinions matter.

    So once you're done reading this, feel free to comment. I'll make sure to actually respond this time around.

A History Lesson in the Books; My Career in One Look

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    Now, before anything can be fully determined as an opinion towards John Cena, his history has to obviously be looked at first.

    Debuting in July 27, 2002, Cena had plenty of Ruthless Aggression. He debuted against Kurt Angle, answering his call for any worthy opponent in the back. 

    He looked to make his presence known. A "Future Star in the Making," if you will.

    This approach though, could only lead him so far.

    So on Halloween night of 2002, John Cena changed everything about him which soon led to the addition of his now patented FU.

    He was a rapper, a thug, a man of the streets. Transforming into "the Doctor of Thuganomics" led to the rise of his beats.

    He freestyled or rapped on anything and everything, this was in pursuit of what he wanted back then. 

    The WWE championship was in his sights. The problem was, he couldn't come out the champion on any given night.

    During the year of 2003, his pursuit changed to what can only be defined as "Basic Thuganomics".

    He couldn't win the big one, nothing new was to see. But a year later though, and his way of life became "You Can't See Me."

    At the Royal Rumble, he promised a victory. Little did he know though, he would end up leaving the match with an injury.

    But he came back, in a rampage where no one could touch him. 

    At WrestleMania 20, he won his first ever championship in Madison Square Garden by defeating the Big Show for the United States championship after giving him an FU.

    He was then in the midcard until the year of the "rising stars," 2005.

    He didn't win the Rumble but made it to the finals. But as a rising star, he made sure to make it to WrestleMania. 

    And that he did.

    At WrestleMania 21, John Cena became WWE champion for the first time ever by defeating JBL. 

    The Chain Gang had arrived.

    And for his first order of business, showing that he was here to stay, John Cena replaced the WWE championship with his own custom design that would last to this very day.

    The Champ was here.........and Raw would be his new home soon.

    He was drafted to Monday Night Raw in June 6, 2005.

    From there on out, he would climb to become the company's top face.

    All throughout the year, he'd be champion and he wouldn't lose it until a certain 'Ultimate Opportunist' cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase.

    But through dedication, he regained it and kept it all throughout 2005 to 2006.

    In 2006, Edge defeated him, ending his reign in the process.

    But Cena regained his belt, and went on to defend it for the next few months. He defeated every challenger in his way. He couldn't be stopped by any one opponent. 

    A unit was the only one capable of his demise. 

    At ECW One Night Stand 2006, RVD and his people were that unit. They dethroned the champ and John Cena didn't win, so there was no riot.

    But, like always, John Cena found his way back to the WWE championship.

    He regained it soon and defended it by battling many more worthy adversaries. He'd be champion or contending until October 2007, where he suffered a torn pectoral muscle, thus forcing him to forfeit his championship in the process.

    A timetable for his return was unknown. All that was known was that he wouldn't return soon.

    So when number 30 at the 2008 Royal Rumble came out, he was the last suspected entrant to enter.


    And John Cena returns! 

    Like the champion he is, he fought back to regain his rightfully owned WWE championship. His journey was a success, as he either fought for or defended his championship from 2008 to 2010.

    Or should I say part of 2008 to 2010.

    Because you see, in Summerslam 2008, John Cena was injured once again in his match against John Cena.

    This injury prevented him from wrestling once again for a few months but in November, John Cena managed to return at Survivor Series. He came back to become champion once again.

    As promised, the champ was here and he managed to be in the tile picture all throughout 2010.

    In 2010, after he defeated his many challengers one-by-one, he was faced with a new threat.

    A threat in a group of rookies.

    We Are One, we are one, we will stand together.

    And that's the only way they were able to foil John Cena. It worked for awhile but Cena managed to conquer the odds.

    His only worthy opponents from then on were The Rock and CM Punk.

    This is what 2011 contained for Cena. Sporadic appearances in the title picture where he was rivaled with CM Punk and a feud of words for now with the Rock.

    2012 is here though and that war of words will now be transformed into a full-on battle in the Rock's hometown at WrestleMania 28.

    The main agreement between the fans is that most of the crowd, if not all of it, will be Anti-Cena.

    How deserving is this statement's reasoning?

The Love, The Hate; It Helps Me Motivate

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    People say they hate Cena. They are known as the John Cena haters.

    People say they love Cena. They are known as the Cenation.

    Whether you love him or hate him, though, your voice is not being left unheard.

    Let's Go Cena! Cena Sucks!

    Those two opposing chants are just what I mean.

    Look at the embedded video I have posted for this slide. Did John let the opinions affect him?

    No. In fact, he embraced them.

    The love, the hate, helps him motivate.

    Cheer for him, he'll continue fighting. He'll fight for you and not let you down.

    Boo him, he'll continue fighting. He'll continue fighting and not let you down. 

    You consider him the master of the "Five Moves of Doom"? He'll put on a show for you then. He'll be beat up, but revive once again.

    It's all in the formula.

    But why the hate? Why the love?

    To him, it doesn't matter as long he gets a reaction.

    A boo or a cheer, he gets a reaction. And in the world of sports entertainment, that's all you'd ever ask for.

Talking to the Haters; Will They Like Me Later?

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    That's not to say he doesn't try to get the haters to appreciate him.

    Boo him, he'll take notice.

    But wouldn't you?

    Think of it this way, if you were doing what you love and all of a sudden you get hated on as the "good guy," what'll that do to your character? It'll break you apart.

    Cena, on the other hand, is able to control himself.

    He's rock solid.

    And according to some people, that's why they hate him.

    He ignores the hate.

    But wouldn't you?

    When people talk trash to you, what do you do? Respond or ignore it?

    Let's look at the "stereotypes" for a bit (even if they don't apply to you). 

    Most women respond, when insulted, by hair-pulling, name-calling, and by overall trying to bring down the "lesser" woman in a fight for superiority.

    Most men do the same. They insult through vulgarity and fight to prove their machismo, this is extended to another level as well when the men are drunk after a few beers.

    But why fight and not ignore to not get involved in any messy situation?

    It's called PRIDE.

    Pride to show that they're not weak.

    And since Cena doesn't fight or respond to his haters, he must be weak right?

    Look at his accomplishments then and dare to call him weak in his face.

    His response, just smile and wave.

    Does he take pride in himself then?

    Yes, he does.

    Often times, with good advice, one's taught to ignore the situation in order to not make it worse. Does it work? It does, sometimes though it takes a while to realize the effects.

    I'm sure this is what Cena thinks as well.

    He's the company man. If he snaps, the company's image is tarnished to say the least. He can't risk it.

    So what does he do?

    Ignore the hate. But he's not a boring person, so he might as well play along with the hate every once in a while.

    Doesn't make things worse, right?

    And who knows, there's always a possibility that the haters may like him later.

My Fans, My People; All I Need Are the Men to Make This Stable

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    Those haters, to say though, are usually men.

    Women and children love him, men don't.

    Women's reasoning for loving him, he's hot and entertaining.

    Children's, he's a good idol and the champ.

    Men though, see more than just his looks and portrayal.

    They look at how he compares to them. Not literally, but figuratively.

    How does Cena compare to everything I've come to know so far?

    A good example of this, is the embedded video above. ECW meets WWE. RVD vs. Cena.

    The ECW fans chanted for RVD and against Cena. Why?

    It's simple logic, actually.

    Chants are a spur of the moment thing, it's easy to get caught up in them even if you don't want to. This is even more true when it's insults being directed toward someone, men love doing that. It's human nature for some reason.

    Haven't you ever wondered why it takes more guts to go against the crowd than with it?

    Look at Cena's Rumble return, people hated him but cheered for his return. Why? Because he was gone for so long. Now they have the person they love to hate back.

    But this is not exactly what I mean by comparing Cena to themselves.

    Ask anyone who is not a wrestling fan, do they love or hate Cena?

    "I don't care" is their response. They don't watch, why should they have an opinion on him?

    The wrestling fans, though, are the ones who hate him.

    And it's the male adults, too.

    Look back at ECW One Night Stand. It was the males who booed. Males who hated.

    John Cena was not what they had kindled their wrestling passion with. It was RVD, moreso EC f'in W!


    You could repeat it all you want, it symbolizes the same thing. EXTREME!

    Human nature calls for men since the dawn of time to be vicious, carnivorous even. 

    ECW represented this viciousness for the men.

    But it's only valid reasoning for One Night Stand and a few other events too.

    What about Money in the Bank at Chicago?

    The answer to that is CM Punk and who he was at that time.

    Punk had freshly rebelled, similar to Austin, and had done what so many men have wanted to do. Fight the power!

    Cena, though, was representing the company honestly. He was the victim of backlash.

    Men's human nature conquered once again and the result was an arena full of boos.

    But why didn't women and children boo? Simple, really. Children still have their innocence at their youth and women don't have it in them to survive with a vicious instinct.

    They may find him bland, though, and that's because he's repetitive, so to speak. But women don't boo him at all.

    Ever wonder why the fanbase is lacking men and why they want heel Cena to return?

Is This for Real; Am I Never Turning Heel?

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    A heel turn for Cena, would make "me" love him again or at least find him bearable.

    Why is that, though?

    It's because a heel has to go against the crowd. Heels have to make the crowd hate them. To do so, they have to show viciousness.

    Sense a pattern here?

    A heel has to play dirty.

    Heel Cena would have to insult his rivals, show anger, and not ignore the hate but embrace it.

    It's almost as if a heel Cena would be the complete opposite of what he intends to be right now.

    From hero to villain, it'll be a huge change and it may even impact the way we view Cena forever.

It's Your Choice; Do You Follow My Voice?

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    But for now, you've got two choices.

    Cheer him, boo him.

    You can either join the Cenation or the Anti-Cena group.

    Which one is it?

    Do you follow Cena or are willing to hang on to hope for a "change"?

I'm a Man for the Kiddies; You've Got to Be Kidding

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    Maybe Cena's just for the kids, so you go against him.

    But what else would you expect from the company face that represents a company in the PG era?

    PG, means the television product should be suitable for all audiences.

    Is the WWE not suitable for anyone right now?

    Sure it may be too corny and this affects Cena's character, but what can he do about it?

    There's already someone to fill in the rest of the much-needed personalities to entertain everyone.

    Cena is the main guy, and he's molded for the main audience.

    Imagine it this way, CM Punk and John Cena trade spots. Cena's the one who does the pipebombs and Punk's the soldier for the children who's a fruity pebble.

    Would you feel the same way as you do about the two guys right now?

    I doubt it, and for what it's worth, Cena is actually doing a pretty good job for what he's intended to do.

    Cena's the man for the kids, you've got to learn to deal with it.

The Champ Is Here; If Not, Then I'll Always Be Near

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    But that's not the only thing you've got to learn to deal with.

    You've got to deal with "the Champ".

    The champ is here or will always be near.

    He's always in the title picture.

    But is it his fault that he's always in title contention?


    For you see, he's an established contender already as well as an established champion.

    Is anyone else?

    Look at all of the stars that can carry the brand, is anyone any more proven than Cena?

    Some are but most aren't.

    So for now, you've to deal with it. Cena in the title hunt is for the best of the company. It's a business after all, and until more than a few can step up, John Cena as a champion or contender will have to be put up with.

From Ordinary Man to Superman; As a Champion, I Do All That I Can

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    But you say that's not why you hate Cena as a holder for the championship?

    It's because he usually holds the championship all the time? And if he doesn't, he'll get it eventually?

    It's like he magnetically attracts the championship?

    But like I said in the previous slide, it's all for the best.

    As a champion who rarely loses, who's credible as one, wouldn't you cheer for someone to take the belt off him?

    Wouldn't you appreciate them for doing so? And wouldn't that appreciation turn into cheers?

    Then those cheers can catapult the new champion into a star. Look at Edge or CM Punk, for example.

    After beating John Cena, they became credible at the top.

    And if that's not enough reason to keep Cena as the champion, there's the merchandise aspect.

    As a champion, he's at the forefront of everything. This means he's seen, all the time. Being seen all the time means merchandise sales, specifically to the kiddies who want the latest John Cena merchandise or his Spinner belt.

    But still, does this give valid reason to why he has to win all the time?

I Always Win; There's No Way You'll Ever Make Me Lose My Grin

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    It indeed does not.

    Cena does not have to win all the time, he can lose, too.

    But why does he keep winning?

    It's the business aspect once again.

    A win streak means a lot once it's broken.

    Undertaker's WrestleMania streak is a good example. Once someone, if anyone, breaks it they'll be forever known to have accomplished something only a few came close to doing but never fully did.

    Same for Cena. He wins and wins all the time, someone will finally beat him and it'll be fresh change of scenery.

    And who knows, one day it may lead to a heel turn for him.

    But for now, the only reasonable explanation is for marketability.

I Only Have Five Moves of Doom; Can I Add More or Is There No More Room?

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    I could possibly tolerate John Cena winning if he were to be more diverse than his five moves of doom.

    But I thought for an ending sequence that needs to capture the fan's attention and let them know that they're going to see the match end was a good thing?

    No? It's not?

    Then why does every single superstar to have ever stepped foot in a WWE ring do it?

    Cena has the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, FU, Top Rope Leg Drop, Protoplex (I still call it that), Running Shoulder Block(s), and STF or any variation of those moves along those lines.

    Rock has the Rock Bottom, Samoan Drop, People's Elbow, Spinebuster, Sharpshooter, etc..

    Hogan had the Leg Drop, Body Slam, Punches, Hulkin' Up, Big Boots, and any move that led to him winning.

    And the list goes on.

    Everyone does it, it's just that Cena makes it obvious after doing it for so long right after getting beaten up for most of the match.

    And speaking of matches........

Did You Just Say That I Can't Move in the Ring; That Wrestling Isn't My Thing?

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    Cena can't wrestle.

    Well of course he can, silly.

    Have you seen his matches with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 23 and Monday Night Raw?

    Or how about Cena/Punk at Money in the Bank?

    Cena/JBL at Judgement Day 05?

    Cena/Booker on their Best of 5 Series?




    And there's still much more.

    He can wrestle.

    It's just that he doesn't showcase it.

    He's not being carried in any of those matches, it takes two to tango, you know.

    But to those who say he can't, there's still a point for you. He's decent, not great. There's far better performers than him. Obviously, he won't amaze anyone, but he still knows how to tell a story.

    He can tell a story, in fact he's mastered the one where the hero falls to the victim and at the point of despair he bounces back to taste the sweetness of winning.

    He can tell a story, not many can do that. He can wrestle to some extent as well, not many know how to perfect carrying, suplexing and holding.

    But what matters most, though, is that when the bright lights are larger than ever and the hype is one that can't be explained, he's able to put on a show.

    Not many can do that.

Endorsements with an Act; Were They All Part of My Contract?

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    Do you know what else not many can do?


    John Cena is the company's face, we've established that already, but he's also most of their merchandise.

    For how long was Cena selling his products at No. 1?

    Now not many complain about this, but I think it's fair to bring it up.

    Cena is on the merchandise all the time for one reason only. 

    He's the face of the company now and it's all for the business.

I'm the Cover Boy; Was It Just a Ploy?

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    And as the company man. He has to do all that he can.

    I live and die for this business. It's my life.

    So does this mean he does whatever it takes for the company to succeed?

    I assume so, because from what I've seen, John Cena never misses an event unless he has to.

    He never denies the fans of an appearance.

    He involves himself in feuds where both guys can often benefit, although they don't usually end up with John Cena losing.

    He does charity work and helps grant a wish to those who made a wish.

    He acts, although average at best, so he can help the WWE expand to the Hollywood industry.

    He sells and promotes merchandise to raise the company's stock.

    He goes through the fruity pebbles cereal and chooses every color to make a new shirt so his fans can buy them and spend money that goes into the business of the WWE.

    He's the perfect business man. You can't deny that.

    And when the market seems to change, he adapts to whatever is in high demand, for the business.

From Chain Gang to Cenation; You Have Gained and Lost My Attention

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    But for the people?

    He seems to have lost some of you along the way.

    Let's go back to the Doctor of Thugonomics.

    He rapped and rhymed, until what seemed to become his time.

    The haters at this time, seemed to have been his fans once upon a time.

    When he rapped, you clung to every word. It's almost as if you'd love to have him back. Want proof? Look at his recent rap, people loved it because Old Cena had come back!

    But between then and now, something had changed to alter your vow. Your vow to be a fan of his. The members of the Chain Gang had left as the Cenation became his.

    There were boos from the men, we've gone through this before, and cheers from the kids who just loved him even more.

    I'm sorry you couldn't keep up, or maybe you literally outgrew him.

    But a change had to happen, and John Cena's future raps became dead.

    "I have to do what's best for the company" literally became him.

    "A company man like no other!" I'm sorry to say but I think he won't go back or change, leaving you to wonder "Is my head in the right place?"

    For you see, all the haters love to hate him and his fans hate to hear the lack of love, but I'm sure that until he leaves, we'll keep hearing "Let's go Cena! Cena Sucks!"

Hustle, Loyalty, Respect; Are They All Part of My Retrospect?

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    Remember his motto of Hustle, Loyalty and Respect?

    Well, the words couldn't be any more true.

    Cena respects your opinion as a fan, no matter what he thinks about it. He doesn't talk smack or even insult you about it.

    He's a loyal company man; read my previous slides for proof.

    And hustle he does in his matches to win. He thinks quick on his feet and improvs to help put the company before him. 

    Whether it seems like it or not, John Cena is the perfect company man. Is that the problem for why you feel the way you do about him?

Should I Really Lie; Just to Say Goodbye?

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    I've got 99 problems but a job ain't one.

    But once he retires, apart from being Hall of Fame bound, he'll be forever missed.

    Even from the haters, they'll like him later.

    Remember when John Cena was "fired" and returned? I don't mean it like that but him actually being gone from the company.

    What if he were to not wrestle any longer? You'd sorely miss him, admit it.

    What if he were to say goodbye?

Do You Really Care; That I'm Always There?

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    You would care that he's no longer there.

    Not because you'd have someone to hate. Not because you'd have someone to love. Not because you'd have a hero on your screen.

    But because you'd be missing an icon.

    The championship scene would seem lacking, not in people, but in the "champ."

    The company would not feel the same any longer.

    Its face would be replaced.

    You could cheer all you like at first, but soon you'll realize that the company may crumble without its support.

    The support is Cena. He's the bearer of the business and without him, the company could be doomed if no worthy replacement is found.

    So appreciate him for who he is, not for what he's become.

    The journey to the top is not easy. Many have tried but failed.

    Cena withstood the challenges and understood the circumstances. 

    But if he were gone tomorrow, would you miss him? Would you see the change? Would you realize what the man supported? 

    Would you realize who he was? 

A Dream, a Passion; Can You Feel My Compassion?

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    John Cena does everything he does and is how he is for a reason.

    As a little boy, he grew up admiring the stars of the past. He admired the icons from Hogan to Austin.

    But he had no idea about what he was going to become.

    The most controversial star in WWE history.

    It all started simple enough. 

    A boy with a dream to become great. He did everything in his power to get there. 

    It seemed like it was not going to happen but an opportunity called the WWE called him.

    His first obstacle, getting through OVW.

    Once "the Prototype" made it, he showed ruthless aggression in his debut.

    The fans appreciate him but didn't love him so he started rapping.

    He rapped his way to a United States championship and then to his destiny's wish, the WWE championship.

    A boyhood dream had come true.

    He then started evolving into the company's face and today, he can be considered an icon alongside The Rock.

    But through that journey, there was emotion and passion everywhere. His love for the business showed.

    He did not give up. Instead, he showed hustle, loyalty and respect and it got him to the top. 

    He became successful. 

    A success story like no other.

    But through all his success, it's just a bigger part of his story.

    And you're a part of it.

Was It Your Memories; That Made You Hate Me Hysterically?

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    Rise Above Hate.

    The haters make up one part, the fans another.

    But that's not the main supporting cast.

    That honor belongs to those who've followed him since day one.

    From rookie to "legend," those who witnessed his path being carved in front of them. 

    Those who saw a dream become reality in front of their eyes.

    Those who saw the evolution of John Cena. 

    Whose actions became their memories.

    Whose passion became their love and hate towards wrestling.

    Whose matches became moments of rightful opinions.

    Whose words became their saying.

    And whose journey has come to be known as the story of a superman, John Cena.

Who Do You Want to Be; Can You By Any Chance See Me?

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    A man like no other.

    He garners boos and cheers at a rate that can only be dreamed of.

    And after reviewing some of the different perspectives in this article, which side are you on?

    John Cena's fans or one of his haters?

    Will you be cheering "Let's Go Cena!" or "Cena Sucks!"?

    As he walks out to the ring, as the lights shine oh-so bright, as his theme song hits, as he steps foot and taunts to show his arrival, as he looks at the crowd of faces, as he hears the many voices, who do you want to be?

    Let's Go Cena, Cena Sucks?

Thoughts in a Retrospective; A Collective Gathering of Every Perspective

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    And one more for the show.

    Once that music hits, you'll be able to know that John Cena is walking out that door.

    A journey which can only be dreamed of, accomplished by the champ.

    Controversy, he causes, and with it comes many perspectives.

    Hustle, loyalty, respect is what he still represents.

    Five moves of doom is part of what he does, the other part is wrestle.

    He does it all, he's a marketable guy.

    Ignores all the hate, and celebrates with every fan until he has to say goodbye.

    His face is on everything you buy. He's the champ, the company man, Vince's "guy."

    But before you form an opinion on him, look at it all.

    Think about everything he's done and what it means to each us, as a fan whose been there through his rise and fall. 

    His fall from our graces, as he's become the company's face.

    His change from Chain Gang Soldier to leader of the Cenation.

    Love him or hate him, he's got our attention.

    Would you ask for it to be any other way?

Let's End with a John Cena Tribute; Now Would You Like to Contribute?

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    Now that you've completed reading all the past slides, I'd like to ask your opinion of what you thought.

    If you liked this read, please press 'props,' as it took me a while more than I thought.

    And if some of it seemed a little repetitive, I apologize as I tried to be different.

    Go ahead criticize, or praise me.

    It's a John Cena article after all, one that I hope you enjoyed.