The Cena HEAT

John Cena is perhaps the most controversial wrestler of the decade. He has climbed the heights of the corporate ladder and have succeeded in achieving the coveted spot. Yet he has been nailed down by fans across the globe for being “a manufactured product” Today, at Sunday’s commentaries I would like to share my likes and disdain for this man.

I first watched John on Smackdown when he debuted as part of the “Ruthless Aggression” call by Vince Mcmahon. That night, he answered Kurt Angle’s open challenge and almost pulled an upset victory against the Olympic hero. Since, I’ve been curious about the latter. Over the next two years, John has successfully transformed his gimmick to “the real him” – a hip hop thug that makes fun of his opponents. He was rather entertaining and I had vast confidence on his potential. I used to tell my friends that John will be the next “Rock” – a caliber of a world class champion, and as entertaining as Dwayne. I was wrong.

After John established his main event status at Wrestlemania 21, he begun to shift gear. Due to WWE’s PG policy, the company wanted John to be somewhat a person who’s responsible, serious, patriotic – a champion who can carry the company on his shoulder, who can be the face of the company, away from bad publicity. Within a short year, John quickly succumbed to the demand from the management to remain at the top spot. He dropped the backstage thug gimmick, turned away from “Word Life” and his chain gang. He simply made a drastic 180 degree change. While he has managed to please the collar executives, John has seriously failed on two matters – he has disappointed fans across the globe who thought John would be the next anti-hero hero, a fuse of Stone Cold bad boy attitude and the entertaining likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He has also failed on a larger stage – he turned away from himself to ensure the big fat pay cheque going into his pocket. Every week when I watched John pulled the words of patriotism, I just watched it with subtle disappointment. I’m not even sure if those words coming out from John were from his heart, or simply, corporate fable to ensure good publicity for the company.

To say the least, disdain for John was an obvious matter. For every wrestler he had wrestled, Edge, Triple H, Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, HBK, RVD, the fans had turned on him and cheered on the “supposedly heel character” John has stirred many controversies. One of the most significant ones in my memory lane was during the ignition of the ECW brand back in 2006. That night he stepped into the ring to face Rob Van Damm. He threw the t-shirt to the fans, and the fans threw it back. He threw it to the crowd again, they threw it back again. And it kept happening again and again. That scene itself clearly demonstrates one thing, that I’m not alone who feels the same way about the hypocritical and somewhat cowardice John.

John’s gimmick is merely a bad spoonful from a pot of soup. The real problem lies in the management. Behind those big fat cheques, powerful and commanding positions, and the luxurious job titles, they had failed to understand that fans these days were no longer like the ones before us. We are educated, we have our own opinions, intelligence and values. For me, I’ve went through education in the media, in advertising and in marketing. I’ve clearly aware that what John is doing, and what the weekly shows are all about – scripted content of good and bad, predictable storylines, hypocritical hero who salute in front of cameras, who are role models to others and yet can’t find themselves when they look into the mirror.

For John, he is the perfect illustration of what I’ve mentioned above. As a fan who had watched wrestling for more than a decade, who had seen the likes of Bret “The Hitman” Hart making his debut in WWF, to the retirement of Shawn Michaels, I know somewhere down the line, the fire of Cena will burn off slowly. Management will get sick of him, and only truly then, will we see the “real” John emerging back to the camera screen. I hope to see the real John coming back soon. Until then, I would prefer to hear the jeers for him filling every corner of the arena. Sometimes staying around might not be a good thing, simply because, when you failed to walk away from others, you chose to walk away from yourself.

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~ by wrestlingdynasty on August 15, 2010.

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