Don't Hate Cena, Hate Everybody Else...
by, 08-22-2013 at 10:15 PM (4531 Views)
We have all heard the complaints about Cena a million times. 5 moves of doom, needs a heel turn, same gimmick of hero making the comeback to defeat the villain, character has went stale, etc. Realistically, the biggest problem that Cena has is a lack of competition within the WWE. Yes, you read that correctly. WWE’s roster is too weak at the top of the card. Austin had Rock, Bret, Taker, HHH and Foley. Hogan had Andre, Savage, Sting, Flair and Iron Sheik. Cena has Punk and well.....that's it right now.
Let's look at Cena's resume since the beginning of 2012
Since the beginning of 2012, Cena has had great feuds with Punk and Rock. The primary reason is that both men are equally as good (if not better) as Cena on the mic. Nobody else on the current roster is even comparable to these three men on the stick. As a result, everyone else is not able to help get Cena over. More specifically, the man feuding against Cena is not able to get the angle over. Quality promos, mutual dislike and built up animosity generates PPV buys. When Cena is so much better on the mic than the wrestler he is going to face at the PPV,it makes for uninteresting TV.
However, it is not Cena's fault that he continues to do the same dog and pony show. Realistically, it is his opponent's fault for not elevating their game when put into the top spot. If Cena's opponents would consistently seize the ball and get over, Cena would eventually lose his #1 spot. As a result, Cena would have to change his craft and alter his gimmick. There have been times when Cena's opponent took advantage of their push. As you can recall, Cena had some very good feuds (although short) with Bryan, Lesner and Henry. Historically, these 3 men are not known for being good talkers. However, when they feuded with Cena, they found a way to make it work. Mark Henry who has always been bad on the mic, cut the promo of his life and for the first time in his career, found a way to promote a match by using the stick. Meanwhile, the 2012 match at Extreme Rules with Lesner worked because Paul Heyman is another rare breed that can go toe to toe with Cena on the mic. Lastly, Daniel Bryan has elevated his mic skills to where he can hold his own with anyone in the industry. He turned the table on Cena for their SS match by making himself the underdog and clear fan favorite.
On the other hand, Cena had some very forgettable feuds since 2012. For example, Ryback, Ziggler and Kane. Ryback is way too green on the mic. Nobody cared about this feud because of how poorly it was promoted. More specifically, Ryback was not able to use this stage to get himself over. As a result, Ryback could not make the fans believe he is indeed a main event talent. Likewise, Cena’s short feud with Ziggler at TLC 2012 was forgettable because Ziggler is also extremely weak on the mic. As a result, Ziggler had Vickie do the majority of the talking on his behalf to promote this match. Unfortunately, while Vickie is better than Dolph on the mic, she still is not in Cena’s league. When it was time for the PPV, there was just not enough animosity built up between Cena and Ziggler/Vickie for the fans to be completely engaged in the match. Cena also had a short and very boring feud with Kane where he was going to “embrace the hate.” I give WWE credit for realizing that Kane is not a promo guy so they tried to build the match by having Kane reintroduce the mask, be booked as a monster heel and decimate Cena’s kayfabe best friend Zach Ryder week after week. However, that type of animosity is not what sells tickets anymore. The fans want something that is more personal and expressed through promos. This is why the feuds with Bryan, Rock and Punk were so good.
In summary, I am getting tired of hearing the fans complain that Cena is stale and needs a gimmick change. This does not mean that WWE has not overexposed him. In fact, I think they have completely overexposed Cena. Unfortunately, the primary reason for this overexposure is the result of the other guys at the top of the card being too weak to work in the main event spot. It will be interesting to see what happens during Cena’s absence over the next few months while his body heals up. Fortunately, Punk and Bryan have really elevated their game the last couple of years and appear that they can be more than capable of working in the top spot. Perhaps Orton can be put into this elite group as well since he works much better as a heel. On the other hand, guys like Sheamus, Del Rio, Ziggler, Miz, Big Show, Ryback, Kane, etc. have had their chance. If just two of these guys were good enough to get themselves over like Punk and Bryan have, perhaps Cena would have altered his gimmick by now. Unfortunately, the top of the WWE roster is weak and these boys are working toward the top of the card opposed to in the middle. Perhaps a couple years from now, Sandow, Rhodes, Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns, Bray Wyatt or some of the other new guys will be able to elevate their game and rise to that elite, main event spot. If not, VKM will continue to pay part-timers big cash while WWE attempts to develop younger talent that can.
In closing, make a mental note the next time Cena does the same dog and pony show. Say to yourself, "Why can't anybody else come up with anything better than this to become more popular?" Then say to yourself, "Is it really Cena that I hate? Or perhaps, is it the other guy in the ring with him holding a mic that is significantly more uninteresting?"