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Parallax

Getting the Poison Out: An (attempted) honest look at John Cena.

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Alright well, we all have our opinions on John Cena. Most of the "IWC" has no use for the guy. They/we don't dislike Cena the man, just the performer. But I haven't seen too many people take a honest look at the performer without giving in to their personal dislike of him. So I'm gonna give it a shot by looking at the facts about him as a performer, and then throw in my personal opinion after every section. Here goes.

The Look - By this, I mean his actual ring attire. Not so much the t-shirts. Wrestlers have been wearing t-shirts to the ring for decades. I'm talking about the jean shorts and tennis shoes. It just looks silly. I understand that the idea is for him to be able to relate to the fans. But doesn't have to look like one in order to accomplish that.

The two biggest examples off the top of my head being Dusty Rhodes and Steve Austin. Austin was the was beer drinking, boss hating guy that just about everyone could relate too. But he still had his black trunks. Dusty wore goddamn polka dots at one point, and yet still didn't look as silly as Cena does in "jorts".

Cena just doesn't look like a wrestler compared to the rest of the roster. t's simply gotten old.

My Opinion? - He looks like a jackass in jean shorts. Standing out is one thing, but he's really the only guy on the roster that just looks kind of silly. He looks like a kid whose mother dresses him. Put some fucking tights on asshole!!! Relate to fans in a different way, but in the meantime, please at least try to look like a wrestler. Although the spot where he used to pump up his Reeboks always made me a chuckle a bit.

The Talk - His promo ability is negligable. He can talk well enough to keep the current audience, but he can't talk people into spending money on WWE, as evidenced by the decreasing house show attendance, and PPV buy rates. When he was a mid-card heel, he often killed his own pop by rapping to the ring. And all those raps ever really did was give the crowd an excuse to yell whatever cuss word rhymed with his rap. Go on You Tube and see for yourself. The crowds were often bored with his rapping until they got a chance to swear, then they went back to being bored again.

Then he became the top guy and the rapping was gone. Which is a good thing. He went from rapping to, well, just plain talking. Raising his voice here and there. That's about it. It's the only part of his performance in which he hasn't shown ANY flashes of brilliance. He can do better. Why he doesn't is a mystery. I don't know if he's allowed to say what he wants, or if every line is scripted. Either way, he's just boring on the mic.

My Opinion - His promos make me change the channel.

The Walk - This is about his in-ring ability. Most of us older fans think it's crap. But too many folks in the "IWC" don't understand that "ability" is not the same as a "move set". Cena's move set is limited 99% of the time. We have seen examples that his actual ability far exceeds what we normally see from him. The problem is we don't see enough of that ability. Now I'm not talking about the "5 moves of doom" bullshit. EVERY wrestler has their "go home" routine. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Cena is no different. But Cena's problem is that more often than not, his entire offense normally consists of his "go home" routine, and that he doesn't play to the crowd very much outside of the "Five Knuckle Shuffle".

You notice how rarely anyone complains about guys like Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels doing their "go home" routines? That's because over the years, they changed their move set that comes before that. They added or subtracted little things here and there. They interacted with the fans. And it never got boring. It's ring psychology. Cena doesn't do that. It's the same stuff. EVERY NIGHT. He needs to do more.

Look at Money in the Bank. I didn't hear or read about ANYONE saying Cena sucked that night. On the contrary, he actually looked like a "top guy" for a change. He showed what he can really do. But he should just do that every night, instead of waiting for someone better than him to come along to play off of. Like with his promos, it's a mystery why his ring work doesn't seem to improve. Is he being held back? Are his co-workers just so terrible that Cena can't work with them? Or is he just a lazy ring worker? Beats me. But again, we have seen great ring work from the guy. It just needs to happen more.

My Opinion - He's worth watching when he changes his routine. When he doesn't, he's the most boring wrestler I have ever seen. Part of me thinks he's mailing it in. He can, and should, do better than he does. I have no idea why he doesn't though. But he does have one hell of a gas tank. I don't think I've ever really seen him truly "blown up" in the ring.

Attitude - He's clearly happy to be in front of people. He enjoys his work. That's always good. As a fan, there is no bigger turn-off than when a wrestler clearly doesn't give a shit. But....

My Opinion - Dude seems bitter at times. Especially about The Rock. For all his talk about wanting Rock back, when it finally happened, Cena did not look happy about it at all. Cena looks upset and/or overwhelmed whenever someone better comes along. Like his confidence has been shaken. Those are the only times I've ever seen him look unhappy on TV. And to anyone saying "he's acting", just go watch his movies. The man is no actor.

Verdict - Cena isn't the worst wrestler ever. Truthfully, he does have the talent to be a highly regarded ring worker, and potentially be considered the best of of his generation. As I stated above, the reasons why he hasn't shown his true potential are a mystery. We've seen him look brilliant. We've seen him look like garbage. We all have our opinion. and I think most of us take our own opinion as fact. I know I do at times. Maybe it's time that we admit that while many of us are tired of the guy as he is currently presented to us, he really isn't as bad as we like to think, and he could be better if either he, or someone within WWE, actually pushed for him to evolve as a performer.


That's it for now. Hopefully i managed to keep my honest evaluation and my opinion of the man separate. If not, fuck it, I tried LOL

Hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment. If I get a fairly decent reaction to this, maybe I'll turn it into a series, and do a different performer each time. That would be kinda fun.

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Updated 10-15-2011 at 03:11 PM by Parallax (typos)

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  1. Parallax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by toobeastly33
    Ok I can see you put work into this and it was an enjoyable read. The part that u messed up on is that it is all oppinion. Which is fine, but u have wat u call the unbiased fact then you had your oppinion. They were both the same just worded different.

    Aside from that I liked it and agreed with it. Espesally the look part. I'd definitely read these if u made more, just don't try to be unbiased. It didn't work.
    Thanks for being blunt. I anticipated a comment like yours, and that's the reason I put the word "attempted" in the title. I wasn't sure If I would be able to pull it off, so I covered my ass a little with that. Thanks again.
  2. AJ1981's Avatar
    The problem with Cena is that for a guy who has been wrestling for 12 years he has very little understanding of the basics of pro wrestling (psychology, timing, crowd working etc) and he's done a lot of damage to other wrestlers careers because of that. Apart from recently burying Del Rio (who they spent a year building), one example that sticks out in my mind is the finishing sequence of the Summerslam 2010 main event. Cena took a DDT to the floor and and within 71 seconds of taking that move eliminated both Justin Gabriel & Wade Barrett. Since WCW went under and with no real competition Vince seems afraid to roll the dice with new acts. Since 2000 they've only really gone all the way with Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Cena and because of they're inability to make new stars were stuck with Super Cena. People in the IWC might find Randy Orton boring, but he is an actual wrestler
  3. TheVipersCenation's Avatar
    I agree with most of it, even though I'm not a Cena fan.. the "jorts" don't make him look silly, his shirts do.. his last good shirt was the 8Bit one. My favorite was the Chain Gang Assault Battalion one.

    Also, your wole thing about his Mic Work is crap, besides your Opinion. He's one of the best Mic workers in the company.
  4. Dubs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AJ1981
    The problem with Cena is that for a guy who has been wrestling for 12 years he has very little understanding of the basics of pro wrestling (psychology, timing, crowd working etc) and he's done a lot of damage to other wrestlers careers because of that.
    I totally disagree. Cena does have wrestling psychology and his matches with Wade Barrett, CM Punk, and Shawn Michaels. He also knows how to work a crowd even though he gets a mixed reaction. Also, how exactly has he damaged other wrestlers because of his in-ring ability? The only wrestler he injured was Tarver and that's pretty much it.

    Apart from recently burying Del Rio (who they spent a year building), one example that sticks out in my mind is the finishing sequence of the Summerslam 2010 main event. Cena took a DDT to the floor and and within 71 seconds of taking that move eliminated both Justin Gabriel & Wade Barrett.
    I see where you are coming from here but just because he took a DDT to the floor doesn't mean he should be knocked out for good. 71 seconds of selling the DDT is good enough.

    Since WCW went under and with no real competition Vince seems afraid to roll the dice with new acts. Since 2000 they've only really gone all the way with Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Cena and because of they're inability to make new stars were stuck with Super Cena. People in the IWC might find Randy Orton boring, but he is an actual wrestler
    I kinda agree with you here. The writers as well as Vince seems to be very scared to take a damn chance with things. The way CM Punk was gaining momentum when he was WWE Champion only to lose it to Del Rio a month later was ridiculous. John Cena is their top player though so its pretty understandable that Vince is a little iffy about turning his poster-boy heel.
  5. Chaston80's Avatar
    I liked this blog and it has nothing to do with me being a "cena hater"...I dont dislike the guy at all. I know he is good but that doesnt change the fact Im bored of watching him. The one huge gripe I ever had with the guy is that he seems to only perform better when someone else who could out-shine him. CM Punk, Shawn Michaels and The Rock are examples of this.
    When Rock came back is the only time Cena put any real effort into his promo's. Hell he even tried doing his rap thuganomics thing just to try and keep up with The Rock. Than of course CM Punk and Shawn Michaels are prime examples that Cena can wrestle but chooses to only when put against guys who force him to do better.
    I'm just saying, if you can do better than do better cause those who pay to see you deserve that and more from a guy who claims to love the fans so much.
  6. WISEGUY's Avatar
    Great read. Most of it opinion, than factual.

    I was expecting a John "Super" Cena is boring, predictable, and is killing the WWE kinda of blog. The thing about John is, yeah he is predictable, a little stiff in the ring, and his attire (Considering Undertaker wrestled in jean pants, shirt and boots as ABA for a couple years) might not suit everybody's preference. But he is doing what Hogan did, carrying WWE in its time of need. And making it relevant to the market in the outside world which any company needs to do in order to survive. If Cena, and his character were not around post- "Attitude Era" then god only knows where the WWE would be. In the toilet that's for sure. Good luck building around an aging HHH and Undertaker. Edge and Batista are no where near as marketable as Cena. Randy Orton could only do so much. Cena is keeping WWE above float. He allowed Punk to be who he is.

    As for his wrestling, Austin threw a lot of punches, stomped a mud-hole, and then nailed a stunner. The Rock had three "slaps", a spine buster, a Samoan drop, a dance and an elbow drop, and the Rock bottom. It's all relative... Get over it, it's how wrestling's been done for decades.

    As for Mic Skills, IMO Cena is far from "horrible" like most see him as. The guy cuts pretty good promos. After all, he was the face of the 'PG Era' and his mic skills were a big reason for that. Plus, he can turn it up a notch when the time arrives, such as confrontations with The Rock and CM Punk. Its just consistency were the problem is.

    Through my analysis, Cena is the perfect face/heel tied up in a bright, colorful and marketable package. Cena is the catalyst that people spend their money heavily for or against. In a way, he balances out the merchandise market for everybody.
  7. Parallax's Avatar
    Can anyone tell me what was with that "We Hate John Cena" dude that left a Facebook link? Was that weird to anyone else?
    Updated 10-15-2011 at 08:20 PM by Parallax (typos)
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