RAW Episode 2 (Season 2): I Am Hate Cena (And So Can Them!)
I’ll be frank: I don’t like John Cena the character. I don’t like his inspirational speeches. I don’t like his colorful collection of shirts. I don’t like his stupid jean shorts. I don’t like his shoes. I don’t like his theme music. I don’t like his haircut. I don’t like his hats. I don’t like his signature five move momentum combo. I don’t like his finisher. I don’t like his submission finisher. I don’t like his tastes in belt designs. I don’t like his “Never Give Up!” attitude. I don’t like his regular attitude. I don’t like his hometown. I don’t like his home state. I don’t like his mechanophilia showing up during the shows; his personal mechanophilia is okay. I do not like John Cena the character, and I’ve gone on many a rant about how much I don’t like or appreciate it, but no one has asked me the question in response: “Why don’t you like John Cena the character, my wayward son?”
Actually nobody has EVER referred to me as their wayward son, but as a fan of Kansas and other bands with a state or a city as a name I would appreciate it fondly. No one has asked about my dislike, however, because it is a given. It is taken as standard. If you ask the standard American male between the ages of 18 and infinity if they like John Cena, more than likely they’ll say, “No.” And that’s it. No follow-up questions. John Cena is simply not supported by the mostly legal American male demographic. With that in my glove box (it barely fits because I had a glove fetish) it did strike me as a bit strange when someone asked me, rhetorically I must point out, “Why does Laurinaitis hate John Cena so much?”
I compare hearing this question to seeing a rose bloom in the middle of spring, or witnessing the sun rise from the crystal clear waters whilst on a tropical island paradise, or talking your good friend into giving you a lap dance to Janet Jackson’s entire “sexually liberated” catalog, knowing full well it’ll lead to mor – STOP! Bad DiZ! Letting memories and story ideas loose; ignore that last bit! What I mean to say is that the question was a breath of fresh air in a fresh pair (of Jordans) because the answer seemed simple to me when in fact it is worthy of a long, complicated, complex, disciplined response. I’ll offer two out of four at the most, please choose now.
Thank you for participating. You have chosen “long” and “complicated”. Thank you for playing “The DiZ Picks Your Answers For You”: Blog Edition; your minimal $29.99 fee for partaking in such a wondrous game will be mailed to you in the next two to three business days. Payment does not include shipping and handling, international fees will be applied to all countries outside of Stankonia and the Zulu Nation; all rights reserved. I theorize that John Laurinaitis hates John Cena for the same reason a lot of people do: he’s there. As simple and pointless as that two word response is, it takes on a heavy cavalcade (continuity) of answers that are best exemplified in a number of people within the WWE rosters, from the recently retired Edge, to the recently returned Brock Lesnar, to Eve, to Randy Orton, and finally back to our beloved general manager of both shows. Oh how I wax fondly on the infamous mini-angle where Mike Knox beat up on Rey Mysterio for no reason outside of wanting to beat someone up. What genius…
But let’s be professional and pick up where we left off. In the last spine-tingling, heart-stopping edition of RAW (Season 2), the evil John Laurinaitis, known in the grimy streets of the city as Big Johnny, has been establishing himself as a major player in the violent undercity of the world’s wrestling entertainment. While his general musings as general manager have been generally made plain, what hasn’t been touched is his seemingly irrational and illogical hatred for local vigilante John Cena. Why does Big Johnny find discomfort in the muscle bound meathead that consistently foils his dastardly plans and had single-handedly done in ten years what Big Johnny hasn’t been able to do since his early inception into the backstreets as a low level thug? The real questions are “Why are you writing like that?” and “What hasn’t Cena done to earn Laurinaitis’ ire?”
As the face of the company and repetition spokesman giant, John Cena represents all the good in the WWE and the benefits of hard work. Big Johnny, on the other hand, represents provoking ire and anger. As CM Punk put it, in words that contradict the Cena, “Never has a man who has done so little achieved so much!” Think about it: Cena has been, for better or worse, a serious work horse. However one may feel about him, he’s more than put in his work and earned his accomplishments. The man did his time in developmental, went through some goofy and unabashedly terrible phases (the Doctor of Thuganomics is now and forever the epitome of bad; Chernobyl in Reno bad) and now, in his latest incarnation, is the same person he’s been since jump, minus the “thug” mentality, though I argue that using “hustle” as a word is very “hood”.
Big Johnny can’t make that same claim. John Cena’s rise to the living embodiment of the WWE was a long rise; a lot of us can track out our personal feelings on the man from whatever year it was.
2002: he jacked Angle’s move! Oh snap!
2004: spinner belts? KEWLS!
2007: no more Kevin Federline, thank God!
2010: Cena’s the champ again? Uh…?
2012: HA! Cena got beat up by Lesnar! BAOW!
John Laurinaitis went corporate and got called out by CM Punk during the shoot that ushered in an unintentional shift (at least I believe it was unintentional) in the landscape of things, and still no one knew who he was until he came out and introduced himself in his “I smoke menthol and play with porn stars” voice, saying the infamous, “My name is John Laurinaitis. I am the executive vice president of talent relations and the interim general manager of RAW.” Only a few people I can think of even know about John’s work when he was an active member of wrestling rosters, American, Japanese or otherwise, but I think it’s fair to say that the impact has been less than stellar. It should be worth noting that John Cena’s career (all around) low point may have been tag teaming with Rico, and John Laurinaitis’ might be not only his career as a whole, but the fact that he’s Animal’s little brother and no one cares. John Cena’s high point may be his various PPV wins. Laurinaitis’ might be losing to the Undertaker before he was the Undertaker. Okay, I’m being a little mean: Big Johnny probably has some good matches on the Japanese circuit, I can’t say he does or doesn’t.
I’ve said in both plain and flavored formats that John Laurinaitis sees John Cena and thinks, “You son of a bitch!” with as much hatred as he can. Cena is the height, the highest title, numero uno, with or without a belt, and Johnny Ace looks at this guy and says, “That should have been me! Johnny Ace is hot! I AM ONE OF A KIND!” Through his years in NWA, WCW and All Japan Pro Wrestling he might very well be able to make that claim, but that was then. This is now, when he’s in a corporate role and he has to watch talent he believes he’s better than and manage their relations (I stretched to get that one) with his wooden smile. But as we’ve all seen in the past couple of days, Mr. Ace doesn’t appreciate being disrespected. If anything, that’s the excuse for why he led the attack on John Cena last week on RAW. Sure, he had been attacked on his voice or his wooden behavior or his complete lack of a personality or his possible lack of genitals for the longest, but on one hand that was CM Punk who was doing it, and he was (and still is) the WWE Champion. On the other hand, whenever someone else does it, they’re usually bigger than Laurinaitis. John Cena, in a sense, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
During that assault on April 30th, we saw a good bit of his “dangerous” but we were screwed out of our “skillful” something fierce. The next week the stills he showed us were less than prime examples of his capacity to be both “skillful” AND “dangerous” and it was all at the expense of Japanese wrestlers we don’t know and likely don’t care to. At the end of the day, Johnny Ace is looking for respect and one last chance at glory (Christian! CHRISTIAN! At last you’re on your own…) and a great man once said, “In order to be the man, you have to beat the man”. Ric Flair said it too. Until Cena is on his extended vacation to heal up, he is the man, and while I’m not sure who is supposed to occupy the vacuum that that might cause, he has to get his ass handed to him.
Not that I care. I don’t like Cena.
But that’s just Mr. Ace. What about the others, like Edge who I mentioned earlier, and Lesnar, and Eve and Randy Orton? Well they each represent, as I’ve stated, another reason to hate or dislike John Cena, valid reasons at that. So we’re going to go through each one, step by step, with a fine tooth comb, and go to town on the issue with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. Sidenote: how are y’all liking these random pop culture references?
In the spirit of chivalry (chivalry being dead and all, etc.) we’ll start with the lady. The lady, why might you be melancholy to angry at John Cena?
“I have to get a foot up somehow. Divas aren’t respected as athletes until they show off their chest and shake their ass, and even then they aren’t really respected so much as gawked at. A corporate position is much nicer, better paid, but you need to prove that you can rise to the level yourself. To do that you need status, and status comes from doing groundbreaking things. For me, acting. Between Superman, the Emperor and Dick Ryder I just needed to use the king of the hill as my stepping stone and look at me now. Take note, ladies.” – Ivana B. Seka, Head Administrator (prices negotiable).
Yes, the stepping stone. You have wrestlers who job, wrestlers who put over and wrestlers who have no purpose at all, but not many are perpetual stepping stones. John Cena has this honor (?) because he is the top of the line. Any storyline or high profile match with John Cena has taken on the unofficial role of being an instant thrust into the spotlight. The angle between Eve, John Cena, Zack Ryder and Kane (if you followed my original RAW series then you know how disappointed I am by how that played out) was the big angle for a while, and it pushed relative “Who… cares?” athletes Eve and Zack Ryder into the main story. We all love Zack Ryder, but he and his failure of a U.S. Title run left him in a dog house (I still think Kane’s constant beatings were punishment of some sort) and Eve was just… there. Kane wanted to beat someone up and who was his victim? Cena. Why? So he could embrace the hate. And had Cena embraced the hate, I imagine that he and Kane would defeat the emperor and rule the galaxy together!
Erm… excuse me, I got a little excited there. Zack Ryder became John Cena’s plucky young sidekick and Eve because the apple of Ryder’s eye. It was a basic kind of story worthy of a lackluster episode of South Park, but it did keep us all entertained and wondering if Zack would ever be the same again. He went flying and near dying plenty of times, but the worst pain of Zack Ryder came when Kane tried to kidnap Eve and Cena saved her (lame action; decent concept) and they kissed. While it can be seen as an early influence to Brian McKnight’s new hit single, “If You’re Ready to Learn”, I think it just showed how Cena was to be used as that boost to higher status that all stars use him as; Eve just did it better that Ryder. On another sidenote, compare the Cena-Ryder-Eve thing to the Korra-Mako-Bolin thing in Avatar: The Legend of Korra. It’s so similar it’s hilarious. Check ‘em out below, you’ll see what I mean:
Little brother character gets screwed over and cries. I don’t know which is funnier: Ryder or Bolin…?
Eve now, in the story, has a higher position (resisting joke urge) of power than Cena, and she throws it around. She fires fellow women, tells off men bigger than her, makes old men rub young men with oil while foreign women watch and does it all while looking oh so sexy in her secretary outfits. Low cut tops and short skirts. I notice these things: I’m a guy. I miss the booty popping but I appreciate the authority she administers as the head. Yeah, the jokes come too easy. Then again, there’s a reason they’ve visibly gone from calling her the head administrator to the executive administrator. They realized the jokes. I have plenty more. That’s why we’re going to move on.
“DiZ,” you are no doubt wondering, “you… oh fuck it, you great man you, what about Randy Orton? Does he really hate John Cena?”
I would think no, but then again I don’t really hate John Cena, the man. But say Randy Orton did hate John Cena, the character of course. What do you think he’d say?
“I’ve dismantled legends. I’ve destroyed families. I’ve felled giants and become the single most dominant force time after time after time again. And yet here I am having to cater to perceptions of pleasant behaviors when the Viper knows no such allegiances. I am the Apex Predator, not a John Cena clone.” – Bob Orton Jr. III, schizophrenic and bad team player.
Consider it a blessing that Randy Orton doesn’t so much follow this path so much any longer. Sheamus might be on the road. John Cena is what we like to call a cash cow. He brings in money and puts asses in the seats that are arenas. His name is money, his name is a brand, he can BE on boxes of Fruity Pebbles and guess what? He’s just making Vincent Kennedy McMahon richer than he already is. And since the WWE is a business, the true motto for the company should be, “We like money. Give us more.” Someone (and by someone I mean all of us who continually watch it or buy the products) do just that and give him more and more money. We may claim to hate John Cena (I do) but even if we don’t buy tickets to see him fight, we buy them to see him lose.
Something about his Superman everyman muscleman image radiates with children. A child once said, “If you work hard, all your dreams will come true.” The unemployed bum in the trashcan next to the child said, “That’s the (explicit) shit I’ve ever heard in my life.” Moms of all ages and failed marital statuses can take their children of ages between 3 and 12 to see John Cena come out to a clean rap song, acting all patriotic without being a mindless fanatic (I’m looking at you, Geraldo!) and showing off his muscles to a bunch of little boys and girls who are thinking, “Wow, I like boys now!” while the aforementioned divorcees are thinking, “Wow, I like boys… again!”
But call a spade a spade: you NEED that in a company. You need a poster boy. Look at the show Chuck: in one episode the Buy More was in desperate need of a new commercial, and who did they get to be the spokesman? Not one of the employees but Devon, aka Captain Awesome, whom Big Mike (he can DJ with his penis) knew would attract customers. But there lies a problem with John Cena being such a golden boy. Do you know what that is?
Correct! He’s a RAW Superstar, not a SmackDown Superstar, adding more fuel to the nonsense that is the WWE Draft and Brand Division thing which should have died with Teddy Long’s initial job loss. So what do you do? You make another Hov, I mean Cena. Problem is John Cena really is one of a kind. You can build up someone to have a similar look but you need to have someone that can create the same influence. For all they tried to do with Randy Orton with SmackDown (after a Draft, no less) he could NOT command the same kind of power that John Cena does, and thus the failed attempt to make him John Cena: Pokemon Blue Edition was put in the history books as a loss.
Then comes along Sheamus. Admittedly, I’m still on the fence with Sheamus. From what I’ve understood he’s surpassed Cena in terms of sales in some respects (and times; citation needed) and his character has been a consistent face for a while now while not descending into the trap of being too John Cena: Pokemon LeafGreen Edition, which I admit is a feat. At the same time, look at John Cena outside of the ring. He’s the Make-A-Wish paragon and the poster boy for all things blue collar (he’s wined and dines with king and queens, slept in alleyways and dined on pork and beans) in the WWE right now, but let’s be honest: do any of us REALLY think he was bullied as a child? Look at him. He’s John Cena. I don’t recall exactly what he looked like as a kid, not even bothering to look online for pictures of a child because I don’t roll that way, but suffice to say that Sheamus is a better candidate for pushing this stupid Be A Star campaign. On one hand, he actually does seem to have gone through the transformation of being a bullied kid to being the first Irish born WWE champ. On the other, TNA actually bashed the PG concept of the anti-bullying campaign by inadvertently introducing the PG-13 concept of standing up to those bullies. WOW! WHAT A CONCEPT! STANDING UP TO THE PEOPLE WHO PUSH YOU AROUND! Kind of like, oh, I don’t know… THE ENTIRE IDEA OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING! I refuse to sit back and say that John Cena is anti-bullying when he consistently gets into a ring and beats people up! Bully Ray does it and takes pleasure in it!
You see what I just did? I gave TNA a compliment. Take it for what its worth because I don’t see myself doing it again for a while unless they just want to let me fondle Mickie James and Christie Hemme. Did I just type that? Yeah, I did. Sue me: I love those two women and make no apologies for it neither.
Speaking of beating people up and taking pleasure in it, what’s up with Brock Lesnar? The world (outside of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex) went into mark mode with the return of great man and imminent genius Paul Heyman, but the news he delivered was bittersweet following the announcement that Him Who Broughtith the Pain had quit. While I see plenty of issues with this (he quits after HE broke a man’s arm?) my bigger question is this: why did he really hate John Cena? I imagined at one point time that he simply didn’t like the idea of Cena or anyone being better than him, but I recall the onscreen respect he had for Kurt Angle many years ago. It showed amongst many Superstars, so why Cena? Why did Brock Lesnar want to dismantle Cena? Hmm…
“ME NO LIKE CENA! CENA SMELL LIKE WRONG! CENA WRITE POEMS ABOUT LIFE ON STREETS HE NO LIVE! FEED ME MOORE! HE NO ON MY LEVEL! I COME IN SAME WAY HE NO HOLD TORCH TO ME! FIRE BAD! ARGHHHHHH!” – The Humanoid Freight Truck.
I legitimately think Brock Lesnar went into Extreme Rules with the intent of hurting John Cena. Literally. The blood coming from Cena’s head, I think it fed Brock Lesnar in a way that the dismantling of Shannon Moore couldn’t even do. Think Death Proof and Stuntman Mike’s fetish with killing pretty women with his car (losing Sydney Tamiia Poitier hurt my soul…) and that’s what I picture(d) Brock Lesnar would be doing now that he was back for a bit. He’d rush in, cause extreme damage and wipe himself off afterward, satisfied for a spell. That’s kind of what happened, I think.
The “controversial words” segment on RAW a little while ago was interesting to me because I don’t think anything he said was controversial. All he really did was say how great he was and how Cena didn’t hold a torch to him. Most importantly, he implied that if he never left, then Cena would not be on Lesnar’s level. I throw my hands up here, he’s got a point. The WWE always has a “next big thing”. Lesnar. Batista. Lashley. Hogan. Now you have Cena. What you rarely saw was the pushing of more than one big thing. It played out in a cycle. You might have big things dueling each other in smaller venues (Batista vs. Lesnar) but the big thing count in the main shows was always very very very small.
So what we have is a war of confusion. Is the return of a big thing reason enough for said big thing to hate the developed big thing? Short answer: no. Long answer: no, and I find your argument to lack substance. Longer answer: nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I never said Brock Lesnar’s rationale for coming back and beating up John Cena (bringing “legitimacy” to the company) was a good one, but what that represents is a mindset shared by many fans and non-fans alike. People are simply tired of John Cena, period, and the best way a lot of people see this problem solved is by having him get beat up like Sticky Fingaz by people they like more. Brock Lesnar represents the collective conscious of the people that hate Cena and did exactly what the collective conscious of people who hate Cena wanted: he beat Cena senseless. I draw your attention back to his attire:
He came there ready to beat Cena up; not wrestle, beat him up.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. I was excited to see Lesnar because I thought it would be interesting to see him and Cena do battle; I was more excited to see him kick that hat. But despite how it looked, never once did Lesnar make any indication that he might hate John Cena. He simply goes along with the money and whatever makes him happy (a la CM Punk). So yes, Cena was right in calling him a mercenary. Not much more to say here. Lesnar doesn’t like Cena (allegedly) because he doesn’t bring any legitimacy to the company, whatever that means. Honestly, if he’s felt like this then he would have come back sooner but I digress…
Let’s leave Lesnar alone and come to the final piece of the puzzle. Edge. The feud between John Cena and Edge was great, but it wasn’t just the action. It wasn’t just the story. It wasn’t just the way they actually showed chemistry. No, my friend, the greatness behind Edge and Cena’s long rivalry is simple:
Sometimes you just HATE somebody. I can’t stand Nick Cannon, Tasha Smith, Terri J. Vaughn, the man behind Green Giant vegetables, the inventor of Four Loko, people who love watermelon as their favorite fruit and sometimes even you smark-ass bitches that say stupid or illogical (or both) things about things you are illogically stupid about. I hate Nick Cannon. I hate Tasha Smith. I hate Terri J. Vaughn. I hate Green Giant’s broccoli and cheese. I hate Four Loko. I hate watermelon. I hate those of you that think that because you don’t like something that it’s bad! I hate those of you that think because you don’t like something then everyone should dislike it! I hate it! I HATE IT! HATE! HATE! HATE!
And that, my friends, is exactly the reason for a lot of Cena’s hatred: people just hate him and don’t have any rationale for it. For all my talk about Nick Cannon, he’s a decent entertainer. I still eat Green Giant brand vegetables. I still find myself watching the Steve Harvey Show from time to time, even though I’m starting to dislike Mr. Harvey more and more (damn you and your movie influence) but I just find comfort in hating these things. I can’t even call it baggage because it’s whatever. I enjoy the act of hating these people and things. You cannot convince me that eating watermelon is any different than biting into pink water. I hate watermelon, just like I hate John Cena, the character. And with that being said: there’s a good chance I hate you too. Have a nice night! Peace!