I am writing this Backlash in response to the writing of Mr. Quinn Gammon and Asherology101’s reply to the article Let The L.E.W.D. Crew Speak: Does John Cena Phone In His Performances?
Phoning it in… That might be a little harsh.
Complacent… I think that is more like it.
PROTECTED!!!… I think that is what is happening.
Cena is the treasured possession of the WWE. The best thing that the WWE can do is preserve him so he doesn’t get injured where he can’t make it out to a show. Therefore, the WWE will do everything to keep him from getting hurt.
I believe it was stated in an episode of the WWE’s Legends of Wrestling series that some of the headliners (Brock Lesnar) are told not to do as much because they can’t risk being injured. They would be told such things as, “Stop going to the top rope, stop jumping to the floor, stop taking chair shots and start giving them, etc…”
I believe that is what is going on with Cena; he is protected and being protective.
Is this an excuse…HELL NO!!!
Shawn Michaels had a history of back issues and until the day he retired, he still performed the high-flying, high-risk moves that his body would allow him to do with excellence and precision. If anybody was a cash-cow, it was definitely Michaels.
Am I asking that Cena add a Springboard Shooting-Star Press to his rep… NO! Am I asking that he take bigger bumps from time to time… YES!!!
I re-watched a couple of the mentioned (by Mr. Gammon & Asherology) matches, but I muted the sound so that I could get a full grasp on the in-ring actions and psychology of John Cena, and possibly compare him to someone else.
Bret Hart was known for getting the holy hell beaten out of him during a match and somehow finding a way to win in the end. Cena does this from time to time in his matches, especially his ‘I Quit’ Matches. Cena will get beaten to what seems within an inch of his life.
What separates him from Hart? Ring psychology and the ability to sell damage from others.
If Hart had a match with Ric Flair, he knew that his left leg was going to be worked on, and if it was, Hart would favor that leg until he made his way to the back after the match. John Cena doesn’t favor any part of him within seconds of receiving a devastating blow from an opponent.
Which leads me to another point of why many fans dislike Cena, because he isn’t real. He can’t be hurt. That same logic is the reason why fans of Bret Hart are insane fans about Bret Hart. Hart can take a beating, and make you feel bad for him, I have never felt bad for the “My Time Is Now” Cena; to me, he is unapproachable.
I do think it is funny, however, that Cena is seen as a great influence on children, when all he does is get mad, yell, and fight people for no other reason besides he’s mad. That’s rather juvenalian in nature if you ask me.
Anyways, I will close with these final thoughts.
Mr. Quinn Gammon, I don’t think that Cena is phoning it in, I just think he is complacent, and can’t produce like he used to. If he were to…I don’t know, EVOLVE HIS CHARACTER, he might be able to tap into that bank and provide us with some better entertainment in both the ring, and on the mic.
Don’t forget that 2003 was 9 years ago, so to expect the exact same physically is a little much. You must approach it with the idea that Cena being the cash-cow means that he must do what the suits say, and they are equally as much of the problem as Cena is. They have watered him down, and now that he needs to turn up the heat, he can’t! What you don’t use, you lose.
Asherology101, the examples you provided were decent matches, but the problem is that Cena only provides good matches when the drama is behind the person that he is going up against. He shouldn’t have been able to beat either The Undertaker or Big Show, CM Punk was in his home town trying to win the title so he would leave the company with it and stick it to the McMahon. Orton was the young champion that put Cena out with the only major injury in Cena’s career.
What about when Cena was on top? That would cover 2008 to today.
What gives the Undertaker vs. Triple H match its drama? The fact that Taker sold the beating he took from Triple H at WM 27 (Wish you were there!!!) and had to be carried out. As well as the fact that his character has evolved once again from being the hunted to the Hunter (pun intended) for his WM opponent.
Evolution (other than just color changes) is the key to Cena getting over with the Universe. By evolution, I don’t mean to imply that he HAS TO HAVE A HEEL TURN! I just think that his character needs to move in one way or another.
Speaking of Taker and Cena, if the WWE really wanted to leave us with uncertainty, They should have had Taker vs. Cena at WrestleMania in an ‘I Quit’ Match… Who wins that one?