WWE: 5 Reasons Why I Dare to Claim John Cena Is Better Than Hulk Hogan Ever Was
I know I am going to get lambasted for this. I will be strung up, tarred and feathered and driven out of town on a donkey for what I am about to say.
Before you go trying to find out where I live so you can throw rotten tomatoes at me, let me explain my reasoning.
I have been thinking about this for awhile, and I finally decided to put down the reasons I feel Cena is better than Hogan has ever been.
Before I list my reasons, we should figure out what makes a good pro wrestler. There are numerous factors that go into whether someone is successful.
Image may be the most important factor, aesthetically. Back in the early days of wrestling, you didn't need a flashy gimmick to gain attention; that has all changed.
In today's hyper-competitive locker room, you have to make fans remember you. The best way to do that is through a flashy persona.
Along with image comes charisma. To be the top guy in WWE or TNA, you have to be able to charm the audience and work a mic no matter if you are a heel or face.
Charisma goes beyond mic skills too as the way you carry yourself before, during and after a match also affects how fans responds to you.
Technical ability is the most important factor when it comes to having a long run at the top. You won't last long if you can't do a hammerlock or sell a punch properly.
Being able to wrestle against other legitimate athletes is the most important part of making it look realistic and entertaining.
Another big factor is dedication. Wrestling is not like working at the 7-11, you have to be committed to the lifestyle and be willing to go long periods of time without a break.
Being able to go week after week, month after month, year after year on the road can take its toll on anybody—especially a person who has a family at home.
There have been many stories of wrestlers who were on top of the world only to blow through their fortune and be left wrestling in gymnasiums at 60 years old making $100 a night.
Lastly, you have to be loyal. Being supportive of your fellow wrestlers as well as the company you represent will make your time in the industry much more enjoyable and fruitful.
With all that said, I will now present my argument as to why John Cena is better than Hulk Hogan ever was.
Hogan and Cena at the 2005 Kids Choice Awards
Wrestlers have to separate themselves from their competition; the best way to do that is by having a flashy gimmick that will be memorable and enjoyable.
Many superstars have taken different routes to accomplish the same goal. One of the best examples of this is Goldust.
When he was with WCW early on, he was pretty much a cookie cutter wrestler, barely standing out other than his relation to Dusty Rhodes.
When he came to WWE, he decided to do something no one had ever seen before. He dressed himself in a gold and black bodysuit, covered his face and hair in black and gold paint and came to the ring wearing a wig and long coat.
His tendency to play on people's homophobia made him an incredibly controversial character—both in the ring and in the locker room.
Eventually WWE fans accepted Goldust, and now he is one of those guys who shows up and makes everyone laugh.
John Cena and Hulk Hogan have both cultivated a great image for themselves; however, they have extremely different approaches.
Hulk Hogan has had essentially two images in the last 30 years. The first and most recognizable is the yellow-and-red warrior.
This is generally how Hogan is dressed when he is a baby face. Those yellow trunks and boots and red knee pads are symbol to so many wrestling fans who have loved Hogan over the years.
After a long period of using the exact same gimmick, Hogan turned heel and joined the NWO, where he adopted the new gimmick of black-and-white attire with a black beard behind his blond goatee.
For a short time Hogan donned a mask and red, white and blue tights, but this was essentially just a joke that was an extension of his red and yellow personality.
He has tweaked these images here and there but basically there are two hogan gimmicks. Cena may not have had as long of a run with a single gimmick as Hogan, but he has changed his image more times to fit in with what is current and what he likes.
When he first appeared in WWE, he was a baby face who would often wear trunks and boots matching the colors of the home team for whatever city he was in at the time.
He soon changed his image to that of a rapper. He came to the ring wearing a huge chain, bucket hat and throwback jersey while degrading his opponent through hip hop lyrics.
This is the image that eventually brought him to the forefront of WWE and made him champion. He soon advanced the image to being more of a militant wardrobe to go along with his movie The Marine.
Once he ditched the camo, he went to what we know now. He is not much of a fictional character but rather an exaggerated version of John Cena himself.
He wears bright colorful clothes, wrist and arm bands and has matching hats to go with all his shirts.
This image may be wearing on some of the more mature wrestling fans, but there is no denying that Cena is still popular world-wide.
While some may say that Hogan having long runs with a single gimmick makes him the better man in this category, I have to disagree.
Cena has shown over the decade that he can adapt and evolve to keep his image fresh.
Cena also has plenty of time to keep developing new images over the rest of his career; Hogan does not have that luxury.
We also have to remember that when Hogan was popular, there were less big names for him to stand out against as well as less exposure week after week on TV and PPV.
I think Cena's versatility has proven he is better at cultivating a new image than Hogan.
When it comes to charisma, few people will stand up to Hogan in many people's minds. He took being over the top charismatic to a whole new level in the 80s.
His gravelly voice, intense stare and enthusiasm made for some of the most entertaining interviews and promos of the 80s and 90s.
However, when you really look at Hogan over the years, you will notice that his style has never really changed when it comes to talking on the mic.
Every other word is "Brother," and after three decades of hearing the same tired shtick, I am starting to think that we all thought Hogan was great because no one better had come along.
Hogan may have had a few failed ideas before finding his niche gimmick, but when he finds something he likes, he sticks with it for decades.
Take a look at Cena's career. He did not start out as the most charismatic character in WWE; he had to work his way there through different gimmicks and trial and error.
John Cena has evolved over the years into someone who can deliver just about any kind of promo WWE desires him to do.
Whether he is being funny, serious or just plain angry Cena has always been able to be convincing and entertaining on the mic.
People have been complaining about how Cena has been doing the same thing for a few years now and it is getting old, but no one was complaining when Hogan went 20 years without changing the dozen words in his vocabulary.
There is no doubt that Hogan can still stand up to anybody on the mic if he really wants to, but when it comes to being versatile Cena has the advantage.
Whether he is rapping insults, giving a motivational speech akin to Sgt. Slaughter in his G.I Joe days or just calling someone out, Cena has always been able to make you believe what he was saying was how he really felt.
Cena also seems more approachable on a personal level than Hogan. If I saw Cena in a store or restaurant, I would not be shy about going up to him; however, Hogan seems a bit more unapproachable than Cena.
Maybe I am wrong about that one; maybe Cena is a tool in real life and Hogan is the best Samaritan in the world, but this is how I perceive things.
As far as charisma goes, Cena and Hogan both have enough to go around, but Hogan has never really evolved his character and Cena has time and time again which makes Cena the clear winner in this category.
This is one I feel I will gain agreeance on. There is little doubt that Cena is better than Hogan in the ring when it comes to technical ability.
Hogan may be able to Hulk up and fire up a crowd by shaking his fists and pointing his fingers, but can you really show me a match where he used tons of different moves and holds?
Hogan has had many great wrestlers over the years helping him to look good.
The fact is, Hogan was always a rather one-dimensional wrestler when it comes to his moveset. He utilizes the same moves every match and has for years.
Cena has his regular moveset as well, but when you look back over their matches, Cena has been able to show some technical prowess, whereas Hogan is generally using a dozen moves or less.
Does anyone remember when Cena and Shawn Michaels went for over 60 minutes on the Raw before their showdown at WrestleMania?
That match was amazing, and not just because Shawn Michaels did a good job. Cena was carrying his equal share of the match, and the two had one of the best Raw matches I have ever seen.
They were not in an iron man match, but they went for 60 minutes because other plans from Raw had fallen through and they stepped up to carry the ball for Vince.
It was a good thing they did too because that match was applauded by numerous superstars and legends on Twitter.
Hogan can have an exciting match with someone who is as exciting as he is, but when it comes down to it I do not know if I would have ever been able to sit through a sixty minute Hogan match.
People can attack Cena for not being the most technically gifted wrestler all they want, but those same people should also be attacking Hogan because he is nowhere near Cena in technical skills.
Look at who Hogan used to wrestle: Randy Savage, Ric Flair, The Sheik and Sgt Slaughter. All these guys were technically gifted and could help carry Hogan through a longer match.
Cena does not need someone to carry him as he has proven time and time again that he is a top tier performer.
Can you remember the last time Cena botched a move? I know I can't. For all the crap Cena gets for having a small moveset, he can still pull out a trick or two from time to time.
Take a look at two clips, one from Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior, and the other Cena vs Michaels. Tell me which one you think shows more technical ability.
Dedication and Loyalty
Past, Present and Future of the business in one ring
Dedication and loyalty go together on the last slide, even though they are two different things, because of the similar qualities one must posses to be called dedicated or loyal.
Dedication and loyalty are different, though. Dedication is your passion to do something whether it is work, family or just a life goal.
Loyalty is being there for the people who need you most at their most trying times and also supporting those you love when you can.
These are a couple of areas where both men are somewhat similar, but again, Cena has shown some qualities Hogan has not.
When Hogan was at the early stages of his career, he was offered the role which would help propel him to being a household name.
The part of Thunderlips in Rocky III was tailor-made for Hogan, and the appearance alongside Sylvester Stallone helped to gain some notoriety.
What some people do not know is that Hogan quit WWF at the time to go do this movie. He felt it was in his best interests, and he was right in the end because he came back to the WWF and became the biggest thing they had.
Let us not also forget Hogan's departure from the business in the mid 90s only to be talked back into the ring by Ted Turner and WCW with a hefty contract.
Cena has never once expressed interest in leaving WWE anytime soon and I would not be surprised to see him last another ten years in the E.
Cena has shown that you can do it all while still being dedicated to your company. He has released an album, starred in multiple movies—including some appearances outside of WWE studios—and has even started getting into television.
Hogan is no doubt a man who has a lot of passion for the business, but the business is not the only thing you have to be dedicated to.
You have to be dedicated to the company you work for, the wrestlers you travel with and the fans who love you.
What separates Cena from Hogan is that Hogan has been well known for burying guys to get ahead, while John Cena is being pushed by the company for the most part and doesn't have to step on anyone to get ahead.
Cena also puts people over more often than Hogan ever did. Think about Hogan between 1985 and 1995. Who did he put over in that time other than Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and Ric Flair? No one.
Cena has helped support some of the other young guys in WWE who may not have had the chance to stand out like Cena has.
He has been a huge supporter of Zack Ryder, and he has also complimented several other talents for making efforts to gain attention.
He is also willing to let others like Edge, CM Punk and The Miz carry the torch. Hogan always seemed to be the top guy, even if he didn't have the title.
If I had a job open and these two guys were vying for the position I would go with Cena over Hogan because with Cena I know he will not jump ship at the first good offer, while I cannot say the same for Hogan.
Maybe Hogan has changed over the years; he is doing a lot to help TNA without making himself the star of the show. However, when it comes to overall career, Hogan is not as reliable as Cena.
Dedication and loyalty categories again go to Cena.
Anyone who managed to read this entire slideshow to the end has my thanks. This was something I put a lot of time and effort into.
I understand that these are all matters of opinion and not everyone will agree with me, so please feel free to leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below.