Home Memo to IWC: Show John Cena some love already

Memo to IWC: Show John Cena some love already


“You can’t wrestle!” Remember that serenade from the remnants of ECW Nation at the Hammerstein Ballroom for John Cena before his WWE Title match with Rob Van Dam at One Night Stand in 2006? And how the fans kept throwing Cena’s T-shirt back at him when he tried to toss it to the crowd?

Wrestling fans who fancy themselves purists love to hate Cena. WWE is trying half-heartedly to capitalize on this with a new T-shirt on sale that reads: “If Cena Wins, We Complain on the Internet.”

It’s long since past time that the IWC give Cena some credit. Dude can actually put on a good match.

Think back to that match against RVD at One Night Stand. That wasn’t a Fruity Pebbles match for the faint of heart. Tables, chairs, a motorcycle helmet, Cena flying off the top rope onto the floor: that one was a highspots-galore fest.

More recently, WrestleMania 29 comes to mind. The Rock, we now know, tore an abdominal muscle early in that match, and was basically reduced to being able to do a half-assed Rock Bottom over and over and over. Cena carried Rock through a decent main event, and considering the circumstances, it was a Herculean job that he did to get us to decent.

Then go to SummerSlam against Daniel Bryan. Cena’s elbow was twice the size of a football, and he was facing surgery that threatened to keep him on the shelf for six months or more, and he still went out there and put on maybe the match of the year to drop the title to Bryan.

Give Cena credit for something else, too. He does what he does while being boxed into a corner by creative, which has taken any edge off his character’s ability to grow beyond his clean-cut, babyface persona that makes the WWE millions in merchandise sales with the kids.

Most wrestling fans over the age of 10 would love to see Cena be able to go back and forth between heel and face like every other WWE superstar gets to do from time to time. Think CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Big Show. Cena is what Hulk Hogan was in his WWF years: untouchable as the face of the company, in more ways than one.

There will be a point in the future when creative takes the reins off, like WCW and Hogan did masterfully with his character in the 1990s, turning Hogan heel and capitalizing on all the pent-up Hogan Hate that had built up in his WWF tenure selling trinkets to legions of pre-teen Hulkamaniacs.

But that point is probably still a way down the road into the future. In the meantime, Cena has tickets and merchandise to sell. If he only gets off the occasional hurricanrana as he does it, well, you can boo him all you want, but he’s got a job to do.

Column by Chris Graham



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