Why John Cena is Hated
by, 01-14-2012 at 11:53 PM (4597 Views)
So after 8 years the WWE is finally acknowledging the fact that John Cena isn't exactly the most popular guy around. According to the news thread related to this topic on this website the reasons why articles on WWE.com point to Cena being disliked are
- Tired of his gimmick
- Think he's Hulk Hogan all over again
- Think he hogs the spotlight
- Feel he can't wrestle
If only it were that simple WWE. If only it were that simple.
I for one do not hate Cena. I hate no one. It's far worse than that for the WWE in terms of how I feel - as well as the countless others like me. We just don't care. As a result of not caring we simply don't tune in on a regular basis anymore. I stopped caring years ago when it seemed the WWE seemed bound and determined to continually shove Cena down our throats. Having him come out and win the Royal Rumble as the 30th entrant a few years back was like a slap in the face to all wrestling fans over the age of 10. It didn't do Cena's reputation in the eyes of wrestling fans any favors either for that matter.
Ironically, it's only been after I've stopped caring about Cena and WWE programming in general that I can even appreciate the aspects Cena can bring to the table. He's athletically gifted, as strong as anyone I've seen in the ring and he's comfortable in front of the camera. John Cena is the type of guy who would have succeeded in any promotion during any era. Nonetheless, it is 2012 and the business is totally corporatized (and not to its betterment) and John Cena is the flag bearer of all that.
For years professional wrestling promoters had to deal with the power-politics of behind the scenes goings on between top draws and their factions, all while having to worry about TV and product presentation. Vince McMahon and the old WWF was no different. But Vince had a grander vision as far as how he wanted his product to be transmitted and received by the consuming audience. Well, all promoters had grander visions, but Vince had the resources and the people working with him to actually make it happen.
Despite this, Vince was still at the mercy of wrestlers who had their own agendas and who always had options to wrestle for rival promotions if they were unhappy with how Vince ran things. As a result Vince, and every other wrestling promoter before him who dealt with the same problems, constantly had to juggle putting a product that would feature the talent which would bring in bigger returns while at the same time placating the body-politik of factions behind the scenes which were anything but kayfabe.
The Hulkamania era helped make Vince's decisions easier - he could always defer to Hogan because he knew Hogan would always be bankable. And all the other wrestlers knew it as well. But when Hogan departed it left a huge huge vacuum. A vacuum which was overrun by the power politics of factions behind the scenes which became more powerful than Vince in many ways (For example, the Madison Square Garden Diesal & Razor farewell incident never happens today). In fact, what was going on behind the scenes almost cost McMahon his company.
As it were the likes of Steve Austin and The Rock helped pull Vince out of the depths of despair and sky rocket to a point where he had so much money he bought out all the competition. It was something reminiscent of the end of the first Godfather film. Once Vince had all but monopolized the industry he was no longer subject to the whim of other wrestlers. He was worth a billion dollars and had complete control.
Vince now had the resources to present his talent in larger than life in a way that was larger than life: pyrotechnics, slick rock music intros, ramps, megatrons, all the works...even f'n movies! But more importantly - he could pick and choose on his own who would get the limelight as well as have them say and do exactly what he wanted them to do.
Consquently, you no longer see factions, stables or even tag teams in wrestling anymore - this is the reason for that. The talent is pretty much all given equal shares of the pie relative to their earning potential and kept compartmentilized from other talent so that there won't be any power plays.
As a result factions have become obsolete and all of the personality in wrestling has been sanitized and castrated to the detriment of the overall product being presented relative to the past. Vince and his focus group-based writer staffs of monkeys have scripted wrestler personalities into being obsolete as well. Never before has a promoter had as much control over his promotion as Vince has had in the past ten years. All Vince needed was a centerpiece.
Here entereth John Cena.
John Cena is as hard a worker as the business has ever seen. He is also almost virtually unlimited in what he can do as far as matches go. So what's the problem? Why do we dislike Cena?
Well, it's not because he's too much like Hogan. And it's not that he hogs the spotlight, that's not even his call. And it's not that he can't wrestle, not for me anyway. Since when did the ability to wrestle really matter in pro wrestling?? As far as 'wrestling' goes Cena is pretty solid. Being bored with his gimmick, well - that's something that should have been looked at a long time ago.
The fact is people have been bored with John Cena for a long time. We have always seen through the corporate b.s., because that's what it is. He's a product of the over-corporatization of the business.
Everything he does and says is at the behest of his masters at Titan Towers. To Cena's credit - he toes the company line because he's genuinely a good guy and wants to do what is best for the company overall. This is why CM Punk has been such a breath of fresh air, because for once we seemed to have a talent who was speaking from his mind, not from lines the writing team gave him. This is also why Zach Ryder is appealing at a grass roots level. Despite being burdened with stupid scripted segments the writers give him now Ryder made himself into a person of interest by letting his real personality shine via his YouTube channel.
As a fan I don't want to see someone on TV working for the betterment of the company he works for per se. I want to see someone working for the betterment of himself. That's way more entertaining. Cena doesn't bring that.
John Cena has always and forever been nothing more than the ideal proto-typical champion of corporate cronies. There is nothing he won't do for the company - even to his own detriment. As I've pointed out earlier with this Royal Rumble victory, the company hasn't done Cena any favors in how he is viewed by the fans either. Remember the night they had to stop a match because he was bleeding? This was because of the ridiculous "PG" themed programming the WWE has been trying to promote - on Cena's back no less - specifically because they feel it will help get Linda McMahon voted into Congress. Nevermind what the fans want right? They robbed Cena of what could have been a classic moment and the fans of the illusion that pro-wrestling represents.
Years back during the Big Show feud with Vicky it would have helped to turn Cena heel and reinvent his character then - much like how The Rock had with his heel turn when he turned on the fans. That made The Rock's career. Before then he was just as hated as Cena is now. More soin fact. Instead the WWE just felt like going for the easy low hanging fruit and giving Cena yet another phony Wrestlemania moment by having him win the title ...again. He had lost and re-won the title many times prior to that and many times since. He comes off as a guy who wins and loses the title just for a cheap thrill of being able to see him win it again. It's fake and it's disingenuous - and the fans recognize that.
At this point turning Cena heel really won't matter. Not to me anyway. That too would be disingenuous. The timing is way off, by four years or so.
Though I don't hate Cena - and in fact have developed some respect for him - I'll never look back on his career with any kind of fondness. He's had so many title wins I can barely remember one specific victory he's had in winning the strap other than the Big Show match (I remember that one more so than any other because it's the night I gave up on wrestling for the most part).
Though it's too late as far as I'm concerned, I would still love to see Cena turn heel by letting him have a legit shoot promo where he goes out there in jeans and a t-shirt, or better yet - a flannel shirt, rather than the cartoon cap and denim shorts he's been wearing for years and just rip into the fans out of character - SPECIFICALLY the little kids. That would help Cena's rep in the long term, but not the company, so it is likely never going to happen.
But it might be too far gone. He's simply an amalgam of everything that is wrong with the industry today. It's not even Cena's fault, it's just the way it is. And that's what the WWE refuses to take into account - and why Cena will never be completely over with the fans.