WWE: Analyzing John Cena, CM Punk and the Top Superstars of Today
Every WWE fan realizes as they watch professional wrestling, certain superstars are bigger stars than others. Whether this is due to popularity, talent or appeal to high officials, stars at the level of John Cena or Randy Orton continue to be featured and promoted by the WWE much more than Heath Slater or Tyson Kidd.
Some wrestlers are labeled as main event talent while other are "midcard-for-life". What makes a wrestler such as CM Punk stand out from the crowd? How do we as fans inherently think we know who is worthy of the main event?
The following is an analysis of WWE's current stars who have been active in the main event scene, and what makes them worthy of their spot.
Disclaimer: This slide includes only current stars that are actively competing.
A former two time world champion and a newer addition to the main event scene, Sheamus has been one of WWE's fastest rising stars. He has wrestled against HHH at the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania, and beaten John Cena for his WWE title twice—both times in the main event of the pay-per-view.
Many may not see Sheamus as a huge main eventer, but he could easily get a world title shot in the near future and not raise too many eyebrows.
What makes him stand out: At 6'6", Sheamus is imposing and surprisingly agile. His thick accent also makes him different while still not hindering his above average mic skills.
What does he lack: He does not produce a spectacle with his brawling style, and has not shown himself to be incredibly marketable as of yet.
A huge star and a developing main event wrestler, The Miz has seen the least of the main event scene of WWE's biggest stars. He has main evented WrestleMania, and he even beat John Cena that night. Only a one time WWE champion, The Miz will hold the title again sooner rather than later.
What makes him stand out: One of the best promo men in the business today, The Miz knows exactly what he is doing when he holds that microphone. Even as a heel, The Miz remains a hugely marketable superstar who has widespread appeal. The Miz has been invited to more talk shows than almost the entire WWE roster combined (not including John Cena).
What he lacks: While he continually improves and can perform with the right opponent, The Miz simply lacks some technical ability in the ring.
One of WWE's greatest active veterans, Christian has been considered a mid card wrestler for most of his life. Thanks in part to Edge, Christian was finally given a chance which turned into the best run of his life—winning two world titles.
He soon took the spotlight with his great matches with Randy Orton, and showed the effectiveness of long term feuds (though many in the B/R community may disagree).
What makes him stand out: Christian is one of the top five best wrestlers in the company today, and he can tear it up on the mic when he needs to. Christian is certainly one of the best all-round superstars in the company.
What he lacks: He does not have the size of a typical champion. At only 227 lbs., Christian does not have the strong and powerful physique that most WWE superstars need.
One of the all time great cruiserweights, and possibly the biggest professional wrestler in Mexico's history, Rey Mysterio's list of accomplishments span decades. Mysterio also has shown that size does not always matter as he is a three-time world champion.
What makes him stand out: Rey wrestles with an exciting lucha libre style that can create outstanding matches even now as he nears the end of his career. He is the "Ultimate Underdog" who grabs the crowd through his work ethic and obvious size disadvantage.
What he lacks: While his size makes him unique, Rey Mysterio lacks believability at 5'6" and only 175 lbs. Mysterio is also a weak mic worker who speaks more with his flash in the ring.
A man of many words, and the hottest star in WWE currently, CM Punk has been lighting a fire under the entire industry. His skills and honesty has created a star out of a man who already was main event caliber with four world titles in his career.
What makes him stand out: CM Punk has arguably the greatest mic skills of any current pro wrestler. Since his transition to becoming the "best in the world", CM Punk has made the, previously mundane, WWE unexpected and interesting once again. He also is one of WWE's best current wrestlers with a style that throws out many of WWE's usual wrestling conventions. He also has become incredibly marketable as of late.
What he lacks: He does not fit the WWE mold. He is small and has the weight of a cruiserweight. His style does not gel with the typical WWE mold.
His weaknesses could be what makes him endearing to the IWC, but it might hurt him in the long run in becoming WWE's new face.
The star of SmackDown, and a surprisingly young veteran, Randy Orton has been a great heel and a face that gets pops larger than possibly any other superstar—besides possibly CM Punk. Orton's list of accomplishments in the WWE are staggering as, at the age of only 31, Orton has held nine world championships already.
What makes him stand out: Randy Orton has a great and compatible wrestling ability alongside charisma that shows off well as the arrogant heel. He sells well and can market a pay-per-view without the need for John Cena at times. His RKO is one of the best WWE finishers ever created and can always get a huge fan reaction.
What he lacks: As a face, his gimmick makes him seem less charismatic. He also has a tendency to wrestle the style of a WWE super face (five moves of doom, superman comeback, etc.) rather than putting in the effort to create a great match.
The face of the WWE, a list of WWE's biggest stars would be void without John Cena. An 11-time world champion, Cena has done everything in the WWE multiple times. From winning the Royal Rumble to headlining WrestleMania many times over, anyone would dream about having a WWE career even close to Cena's.
What makes him stand out: Cena is incredibly charismatic and amazingly strong. He is WWE's most marketable commodity, regardless of what fans feel about him. He will eventually retire as one of the greatest stars in WWE history whether he is believed to be stale or not. In the right situations, Cena can produce stunning matches that tell a great story.
What he lacks: Cena holds back too much. His wrestling ability is hidden behind his long running gimmick as an almost super human wrestler. He would not be criticized nearly as much if he avoided his sequence moves and performed a more varied move set which he certainly has. Sometimes, on the mic, he comes off corny rather than funny.
What Makes a WWE Main Event Level Star?
So what makes these men stars while others wallow in the mid card?
Each man has decent wrestling skills, but The Miz, John Cena, and Randy Orton have shown that being a star does not require five star matches consistently, as Cena and Orton have almost intentionally regressed as wrestlers while in the spotlight.
Most of these men are stars on the mic. The notable exception is Rey Mysterio, while Randy Orton has also regressed on that front as he stays in the main event.
Many of these wrestlers have the superstar build, but CM Punk, Christian, and Mysterio are fairly small competitors.
Most notable is that each man carries charisma. The Miz and John Cena show it more on the mic, while Rey shows it when he wrestles. CM Punk and Christian show it in everything they do. Maybe this is the key.
Alternate Analysis of These WWE Superstars
What do you think makes these men the stars they are?
Do you feel that I missed a star, or should not have included someone on this list?
Do you feel that some of my views on these stars were off, or even completely baseless?
Is there something missing that could allow anyone to see what WWE superstars will soon be main eventers?
Please weigh in with comments or questions.
Every view point is appreciated.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!