There are a lot of people hoping I fail. But I like that. I need to be hated. - Howard Stern.
Howard Stern is one of the most polarizing people in the media. He has legions of fans that pay money to listen to him every day. They think he is funny, they think he is an idiot. The range of people that DON'T know who Howard Stern is, is few and far between.
The point is, he makes money. More money than any radio personality ever has, and probably ever will. He is a once in a lifetime talent.
To a different degree, John Cena is to wrestling what Howard Stern is to radio.
Here me out.
When RAW starts, more often than not, Cena is the first one on the show. He is either the champion, or he is fighting for it. Why? Simple.
The kids want to see Cena first, because he represents what is good in the world. He comes down to the ring, "Never Give Up", and all that. The WWE has to put their token bad guy against him—pick one, they are interchangeable.
Cena says a few funny lines (at least he doesn't rap anymore, right?), embarrasses the "Bad Guy", schedules a match for later in the show. Cena's music hits—(Did you ever notice, it is almost always Cena's music that plays?)
The adults hate this. For starters they don't think Cena should even be the champion, or fighting for it. You think he gets treated unfairly, and has more than he deserves.
Cena says a few stupid lines, the "Bad Guy" cowers away. You think this bad guy, HOPEFULLY, will beat Cena.
At the end of the show, normally when Cena wrestles (You seriously think Cena isn't going to be in the Main Event?) the kids want to see Cena beat the bad guy. Cena gets beat up, comes from behind, gets the victory—GOOD WINS!!!!
The adults think this is ridiculous. Are you kidding me? He doesn't even take a beating, shows his four move skill set, punches a guy with the five-knuckle shuffle (almost as bad as the Atomic Leg Drop of Hulk Hogan, isn't it?), and wins? This is stupid, this guy doesn't deserve to be here.
Now, the three most important times for RAW, are the starting 15 minutes, the 10 O'Clock, and the end of the show, which runs over so the WWE can win the starting hour for all three hours, 9pm, 10pm and 11pm. This is what sets the ratings, which in turn sets the rates for commercials.
In two of those three most important times, the WWE chooses to put Cena on TV. Why? Because you watch.
Regardless of how good Cena is in the ring. Doesn't matter. People pay to see him. They buy his stupid shirts, hats, arm bands—I'm surprised that the WWE hasn't come out with John Cena shoes yet. (WWE—if you use the shoes, I expect a royalty check!)
The dads with kids pay because their kids love him, the same way people loved Hulk Hogan back before he SHOULD have retired.
The IWC, and adults that miss the good ole days of WWF, hate him because he represents the end of the era of wrestling that we all loved. Back when a steel cage meant that there was a guarantee that we would see blood. That a chair shot to the head ended the match. That Stone Cold was going to drink beer, and give SOMEONE the finger.
The fact is, John Cena makes Vince McMahon more money that any wrestler ever has. More than Hogan. More than Austin, Rock, Undertaker. More than Mick Foley, Brett Hart and Shawn Michaels.
Now, what the "haters" of Cena seem to be wanting is a Cena face turn. On the outside, they say it is because they think it will improve his character. In reality, they want it because then the kids wouldn't like him, and he would be pushed to the mid-card.
Not going to happen.
Back in the attitude era, McMahon had Stone Cold Steve Austin turn heel, and the fans hated it. So did Austin. Austin has said since that if he had anything he could do over again, he would not do the heel turn.
Not a CHANCE is Vince going to take that kind of risk again. No way would you kill the second golden goose.
So, every Monday night, we are going to tune in to RAW. Half the crowd will be chanting "Cena, Cena, Cena", while the other half is chanting "Cena SUCKS, Cena SUCKS".
The kids watching at home are going to be cheering for Cena. The adults at home will be cheering against him.
But we are all watching. We are all paying our money. We are all making Cena the biggest thing that has ever happened in wrestling.
Love him or hate him, Cena IS the future of the WWE, and wrestling. Just, thank God he doesn't rap anymore.