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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. The Brown One's Avatar
    You have some interesting blogs Parallax. Whilst I disagree with some and agree with most of what you said, you have logical reasons for your opinions. I agree with everything except your reasoning about his rapping gimmick. There are many, many fans that still prefer his rapping gimmick than anything else. Just take a look at the youtube videos of his segments as the "Word Life" John Cena. People said they want that Cena back, God knows why, but they do.

    Also, you said that attendance and PPV numbers are down from previous years. Yes they are, but I'm sure they would be MUCH lower without Cena involved in them. He has gotten stale, as they are pushing him down our throats, but some fans mainly watch Raw to see Cena, since they still love him. Most of us dislike seeing Cena (notice I didn't say hate, because that would be jumping on the bandwagon without a good reason) since hes been stale for a while, but hes a precious asset to the WWE. Without him, there would be guys like Edge, Mysterio, Batista, The Undertaker (who has had a limited schedule since years ago) and Triple H. Despite the popularity of these wrestlers, Cena is more popular with the fans that all of them (except maybe Taker, but Taker isn't around as much). The WWE also think that Cena is a huge draw - remember when Del Rio won the WWE title, only to lose it a few weeks afterwards? They apparently did that because the Raw rating had dropped from 3.1 to 2.7. I think a big part of that had to do with the fact that there were sporting seasons on at the same time, but nonetheless, they obviously have a lot of faith in Cena, and with good reason.
  2. JustOnce's Avatar
    Agreed. Great blog. Though, I did like his rapping gimmick.
  3. knox's Avatar
    What a great blog. Way to go man. His attire is pretty hard to stand. The main reason is because his shorts are blue which makes him look even more corny. Blue shorts aren't cool anymore lol that was something black guys like myself and even many other races wore in the 90s and early 2000s.

    Cena would look alot more modernized and cool if he wore black cargo shorts.
  4. knox's Avatar
    and also we complain about Cena's "Go Home Routine" because he does all those moves at the sametime out of nowhere. People like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Orton don't do theirs all at the same time, they happen throught the match.

    Cena hits his five moves in about 30 seconds which annoys the hell out of me
  5. Sahu's Avatar
    The WWE also think that Cena is a huge draw - remember when Del Rio won the WWE title, only to lose it a few weeks afterwards? They apparently did that because the Raw rating had dropped from 3.1 to 2.7. I think a big part of that had to do with the fact that there were sporting seasons on at the same time, but nonetheless, they obviously have a lot of faith in Cena, and with good reason.
    That was probably because they hav not given enuff build for ADR's World Championship...n also..due to sporting season...n it also may be because...hardcore wrestling fans wanted to see CM Punk as the champ..The rise of ratings may be because of Punk/HHH thing and has nothing to do with WWE Championship!!

    There may be many reasons...not necessarily it shud be rubbed on ADR/Cena...
  6. Sahu's Avatar
    Now on Topic!!!

    I have alreay comnted abt his 5MOD...

    Coming to his attire..his attire was gud for a midcarder..r Upper Mid carder but not the FACE of the company...I'm not a hater of cena until he burried CHRISTIAN (that is the same reason I'm hating Randy now..amn me..I'm a typical E&C fan)...

    But Cena shud hav changed his look (I meant in ring attire....guy always luks in gr8 shape n has a gud face)...

    Coming to his mic skills..I liked his skills when he was a rapper (yeah ther were some very boring moments yet it was better than the current gimmick)...

    as mentioned, he can deliver gud matches...only if he goes against the best....
  7. Sahu's Avatar
    Generally ppl say his match with HBK, CM Punk...But in my record...

    His best match so far is with CM Punk....

    I dis-agree with his match with HBK was Cena's best match....That match was a gud one...but not because of Cena..but because of HBK....HBK carried that match not Cena....

    But, in Punk's encounter..he too played well..

    Most mt hav forgotten his match with Undertaker when he was US Champ...That was really an awesome match where Cena also went on to a next level...That was a brawl n a street fight kinda match..n Cena played it well..
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