The Champ Is HERE!
Wrestlemania 29 came and went on Sunday, April 7th. We shelled out $70 to watch the four hour event in HD, plus tuned into WWE’s YouTube channel to catch the hour long preshow event. Wrestlemania started out with a roar but ended with a whimper when John Cena defeated The Rock to become the new WWE Champion. If I could, I would request a refund of $35, as half of the event simply wasn’t worth it, especially not with that kind of ending. Even the crowd seemed frustrated, going very quiet and remaining in their seats during this so-called anticipated and exciting main event.
The Rock promised the WWE Universe last year that he would be back and that he would be champion. He kept his promise in January, winning the title from CM Punk and ending his long reign on top. This was followed by Cena winning the Royal Rumble and choosing to chase the WWE Championship belt instead of the Heavyweight belt, making the “Once In A Lifetime” match between Rock and Cena into a twice in a lifetime event. The Rock’s triumphant return and reign as champion featured three actual matches; the match that won him the title, the rematch between him and Punk, and the match with Cena where the belt was lost. It leaves me wondering exactly what the point was to his return. I went from excited to see him back in the ring to annoyed that he would only come to Raw and Smackdown to talk, not to get in the ring and give the fans what they wanted and deserved.
In the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania, I felt confident that The Rock would crush Cena into the mat, raise the belt high, and walk off while Cena pouted. His promos made him sound determined to leave Wrestlemania victorious and as champ, clearly showcasing a dislike for Cena and a desire to win. Fan reaction supported this; the majority of the support was behind The Rock, with Cena viciously booed and mocked. When the main event rolled around, we were given a half assed match at best. I couldn’t help but feel that The Rock was not allowed to go all out due to fear of him messing up his movie star looks and causing problems with promotions for the movies he has coming out this year. It was boring, repetitive, and the victory was handed to Cena when The Rock simply laid down as he was told. The Rock did not look beaten, he looked like he was following orders, and that is not what I want to see for a main event.
According to The Rock, he suffered an abdominal injury in the match which will keep him out of the ring for an undetermined amount of time, delaying the rematch for the title. Having watched that match, I am very reluctant to believe that any injury occurred and feel that this is simply a way for The Rock to take time off to promote his films. I understand he has to juggle multiple things, but it still leaves me wondering why he bothered coming back. CM Punk could be very irritating as our champ, but he was present and he was in the ring. The Rock gave us three measly matches in three short months, and is now gone once again, leaving us with Cena. Other than people with an age in the single digits and a few handfuls of adult fans, no one is happy about this. No one wants Cena, already a ten time champion, to be the face of the company right now.
Cena has been grating on the nerves of the fans, and not in a positive way like Punk or Jack Swagger. Cena is a Face who could have flourished with a Heel turn, but instead mocked the turn as he held onto his Face status and held his new belt high. What was once a 50/50 fan reaction has now become a 90/10 reaction, with 90% of the fans screaming for Cena to leave the ring and shut his mouth. He debuted a new t-shirt to go along with his new belt and it looks like it was designed by five year olds, probably because the majority of his fans are at or around that age. We are now stuck with a mediocre champ with five moves to his name, all because the man in charge wrongly assumes that this is good for business.
John Cena is great for the WWE, don’t get me wrong. The work he does for the Make A Wish Foundation is amazing and easily surpasses the work his fellow Superstars have done. He’s a great pull for the younger fans as well; I’d be hard pressed to find a young fan who doesn’t adore Cena and who doesn’t hang on his every word. When we took our son to Smackdown, his concern was seeing Cena and he flipped his lid when he finally came out for a post-show non-televised match. Cena definitely has an important place in the company and is vital to the success of the WWE. That said, his place is definitely not as champion and should not be at the tip top of the company. With shows like Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event, Cena has other places where he can shine that are more appropriate and better suited to what he has to offer.
I have quite a few friends who are into wrestling, and it seems as though they are all crying out for a return of the Attitude Era. We are given reason for hope with The Shield, Brock Lesnar and Triple H, Punk feuding with The Undertaker, John Laurinaitis making a return, and all the wishing and speculating we did about Cena’s Heel turn. Wrestlemania shattered that hope by missing a lot of marks, then missing the biggest one with Cena and The Rock. My husband had dozens of theories that would have made this a night to remember, but WWE went the easy route and gifted the title to Cena with a big bow and a congratulatory cake.
I like John Cena, so this isn’t the rant of an angry fan who thinks Cena is a piece of trash. It’s difficult not to get excited when his entrance music hits and he hops out from backstage. At Raw in March, I was screaming “Let’s Go Cena” right along with “Cena Sucks” because I was thrilled to see him. His dedication is amazing; he’s at nearly every Raw and also attends Smackdown to participate in dark matches so the fans can have their dose of hustle, loyalty, and respect. Unfortunately, Cena has been put in the wrong place and is being used in the wrong way. He could have flourished as a Heel without compromising his beliefs that are written all over his t-shirts. He could have changed his image and targeted other superstars without alienating his younger fans. He could have done great things.
My hope is that The Rock returns quickly for his rematch so we can move on to better things. Whatever happens, Cena does not need to hold the belt for very long. He needs to lose and he needs to get angry about it. He needs to go after other stars on the roster and pursue the other belts rather than act as though he’s too good for the United States or the Intercontinental Championship. Throw him in a tag team and have him battle Kane and Daniel Bryan. Take him away from Raw main events and feature him on Smackdown for a few weeks. Have him be a guest referee on Saturday Morning Slam, or make him the General Manager of that show. Something needs to happen that allows Cena to be present without being on top of the mountain at all times. We’re tired of it, we’re bored, we’re frustrated, and we deserve a hell of a lot better.
Posted on April 10, 2013, in Sports, TV/Movies and tagged brock lesnar, champ, championship, cm punk, dwayne johnson, face, heel, jack swagger, john cena, make a wish foundation, the rock, the shield, the undertaker, triple h, wrestlemania, wwe. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.