As I sat in the TD Banknorth Garden on Sunday night for Survivor Series my mind was racing as the crowd awaited the return of John Cena. Was he going to return as the rapping Cena of old, a heel, or the plain, old John Cena.
The answer was the latter to my dismay. Now before you start bashing me for being a Cena-hater let me tell you this: John Cena was my hero only two short years ago and was single-handedly the only reason why I watched WWE, to see him whip some guys ass.
Well I was 14 then and I'm 17 now and dare I say, I have outgrown him.
Why is this? Why is it that the once sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden that gave him a standing ovation for Wrestlemania XX is now showering him with boos? The answer: he has no gimmick. He is simply himself, which in wrestling does not work.
The only reason why people prefer wrestling over UFC is because of the characters. I even bet that deep down inside, Brock Lesnar still wishes he could come to the ring and cut a funny promo about some guy and then proceed to throw a kid with no legs (Zach Gowen reference) around the octagon.
The company that Cena represents is called WWE: World Wrestling Entertainment (the key word is ENTERTAINMENT). You tell me how Cena is still entertaining. When he first came on the scene...he was. But it has been a few years and nothing has changed. They took away the best thing he had going for him which was the rap gimmick.
The rapping covered up the fact that he wasn't the greatest wrestler, but hey he was still entertaining. He sold merchandise (remember Ruck Fules?) and was hilarious even when he was a heel.
Now, he is just himself. Which, quite frankly I do not believe. Cena is a very funny guy and if you don't believe me watch old episodes of 5 Questions with the Champ. He was hysterical on that show and it totally flowed with his REAL personality. Making jokes about the Brooklyn Brawler sucking and drinking until his friend puked on his leg was great.
But when he does his normal promos, they seem forced and boring, like he is in a High School play that he doesn't want to be in. He doesn't even make jokes anymore, all he does is say how great the fans are and that he never quits. Well thats great when you say it once, but not every week.
I actually missed him for a while, but after Raw this week and he was still the same old Cena (with the exception of the brutal Y2J ass-kicking), I suddenly wanted Jericho to haul off and kick him in the nutsack just for me. I love characters in wrestling.
Chris Jericho has always been one of my favorites and in fact even now he is mildly hilarious in his little suits and flipped-up hair. Cena, with the exception of his T-shirts and matching arm bands, has not changed at all since 2006.
My proposal: turn him heel in shocking fashion. It has worked well in the past and I guarantee that it will have great results. I hate to bring it up, but the Hulk Hogan-nWO storyline ended an old era and began a new one simply by turning Hogan heel.
Hogan, much like Cena had been the face of pro wrestling for years, and with the heel-turn came a phenomenon known as the nWo and an even bigger one known as the Attitude Era.
And for those of you who say that WWE won't do it because he sells merchandise, I beg to differ. In fact do you know who sells almost as much merchandise as Triple H (another "face" of the company)? Randy Orton...a heel!
So here we are on the verge of a "new era" in Stephanie McMahon's words and what a better way to do it than to shock the fans and give them something to talk about.