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WWE TLC 2011: A PPV Event Without John Cena is Breath of Fresh Air For WWE

ST. PETERSBURG - JULY 27:  Actor John Cena takes in the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on July 27, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Eric BallFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2011

Who needs John Cena?

The 2011 edition of WWE’s TLC was 100 percent Cena-free and I loved it.

Let’s face it; Cena is old news at this point in the WWE. He was one of its biggest stars for years and was able to parlay that success into millions of dollars in CD and merchandise sales. Fans ate up any and everything he did for far too long—now there is finally a backlash.

Wrestling Inc. has the details as to why he wasn’t shown on the last major PPV fight of 2011:

John Cena was backstage at the WWE TLC PPV last night. The decision to not use him was creative related, and he was not injured. The company wanted to use the time to focus on other talents and Cena's storyline with Kane will continue on RAW. As noted earlier, Kane is backstage at RAW and will appear tonight to further the current storyline.

Read between the lines and it’s pretty simple: Fans are bored of Cena.

As stars like CM Punk, Zack Ryder and Randy Orton become superstars, Cena’s time is up. His feud with Kane on RAW is incredibly weak and met with a collective yawn by most fans. The only storyline the Creative team can pull at this point would be a desperation move. If Cena turns heel, they can exact at least a year’s worth of storylines out of him.

The feud with The Rock was weak and not fleshed out enough. Make Cena turn heel and rejuvenate his dying fan base. All of his old feuds could have a new twist and it would certainly make next year’s WrestleMania 28 a lot more interesting.

Who knows what the Creative team is currently thinking, but I bet that almost everyone watching TLC wasn’t giving a second thought to Cena as they watch Punk win yet again.

I think TLC was the precursor to what is going to be a very different 2012 for Cena. Be prepared for the heel. 

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