I bet you MONEY John Cena wishes Vince McMahon would stop forcing Michael Cole to call him the greatest WWE champion of all time. I bet you he’d tell you it is Hulk Hogan, who many of us around our age, recognize as the real, true Mr. WrestleMania. Arguments could be made for the fake Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels. The Rock. Brock Lesnar. CM Punk. Ric Flair. Near countless others. I’m about to do something heretical on these here innernets: tell you why John Cena actually ISN’T that far off from being the greatest.
As much as inflation has lessened the value of being WWE Champion, it’s astonishing to note that less than fifty men have held that title in over 50 years of its existence. In the past decade or so, attaining double digit world title reigns became like nothing, as HHH, Randy Orton, Edge, John Cena and The Rock have done so. But, then… it’s not like jabronies are doing it. Let’s be honest here: not none of us are here for the 3 to 8 year title reigns of a Hulk Hogan or Bruno Sammartino. I believe if they existed in our social media age where anyone can create a blog, or YouTube channel, or Twitter etc… we would bitch endlessly about how many people they’ve buried to prop up a man, who in our uneducated opinion, is not that good.
Lots of people are caught believing in the concept of ‘deserving’ things. As in “John Cena doesn’t deserve 15 world championships”. I personally don’t care. I’ve been on record as saying I thought Bray Wyatt could have been a good choice. So, yes I was opposed to the idea of John Cena winning, as I am also opposed to Brock Lesnar beating John Cena at SummerSlam if he’s not going to make more appearances on TV. But… on paper, this matchup and the resultant rematch make sense.
The reason many of us are not running multimillion dollar corporations, is because we do not understand box office. We think guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk and Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart ‘deserve’ to be the champion because they’re great wrestlers. Guys like John Cena and Hulk Hogan and The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin may not have been Greco-Roman mat wrestling, throwing thousands of submission holds and high spots… but they lined Vince’s pocket with GOLD. And let’s not pretend they didn’t do it with their work in the ring. At the end of the day, you can have the look, you can be a good talker, but you need to back it up in the ring. Vince doesn’t push Cena solely because he sells merch… he sells merch because he sells in the ring.
Are you tired of John Cena getting beaten up for a 15-20 minute match then pulling out his ‘Five Moves of Doom’ and winning? Were you also offended when Hulk Hogan sold then ‘hulked up’, blocked a punch, wagged a finger, threw three punches, irish whip, big boot, legdrop? Maybe you ARE that wrestling fan who hates such finishes because ‘it’s so predictable’. That wrestling fan who so conveniently forgets every wrestler EVER has MAYBE five signature moves no one else in the promotion uses, and a certain sequence they use them in so the crowd can get hot in anticipation of the finish, or a false finish. I hate you motherfuckers.
I’ve never thought John Cena can’t wrestle. I’ve read that HHH didn’t believe in Cena until he fought him at WrassleMania 22 and then he got it. Next year they were sposed to have a rematch, but he beat Shawn Michaels instead. He beat Edge and The Big Show at 25 and Batista at 26. Beat The Rock at 29. I think Cena will mostly be ceding the main event spotlight to younger stars now, or even putting them over, just like the aforementioned stars did him. This is the nature of the business. If John Cena is the ‘greatest WWE Champion in history’ according to Michael Cole, and Brock Lesnar broke The Undertaker’s streak, that’s gonna be one hell of a big match. Then, when Brock Lesnar loses to whomever, that man will be the man that beat the man who broke The Streak and beat the so called greatest champion ever.
Last night on Raw we saw Roman Reigns cut a promo saying he can beat Cena. They had words backstage, then they raised each other’s hands as Raw went off the air. If the plan for THIS year’s Mania is Reigns/Lesnar… what if they’re planting seeds for a bigger confrontation at the next year’s Mania? We could see Cena get desperate to protect his legacy and finally turn heel and win his 16th title from Reigns with help from The Authority of all people… then build to Reigns taking it back at Mania. And it would really be best for business if they found a way to do the rematch a year later. Reigns. would. be. MADE. And then, in two years, we’d see blogs and videos about how Reigns ‘deserves’ none of this.