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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Back To The Drawing Board
March 3, 2005 by Ashley Daniels


During the summer of 2004 I wrote my very first column for Obsessed With Wrestling, the column was entitled 'Randy Orton: Has His Time Come'. The column put forth my views on why Randy Orton was not ready to be the World Heavyweight Champion. Now, months later, Randy Orton is seemingly lost on RAW, Benoit and Eddie Guerrero are being misused and we have two average wrestlers being rammed down our throat as legitimate contenders for their respective World Championships. Similar to the Randy Orton column, this column shall look at the two individuals, Batista and John Cena, looking at why they should be World Heavyweight/WWE Champion, why they should not be World/WWE Champion and what a possible title reign for both men could mean for the WWE in the future; example matches, storylines etc...

Batista

Batista was not always a member of the all powerful group Evolution, in fact early in Batista's career he was affiliated with Reverend D-von, although he made the jump to RAW. It was not long before he was under the wing of the 16 time World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and arguably the greatest World Heavyweight Champion (Yeah right) of all time Triple H. While in Evolution, Batista had great success winning two Tag Team Championships with Ric Flair and for a little while was the arguably the top contender for the Intercontinental Championship, although never did actually win it. Somewhere along the line Batista caught the attention of many wrestling fans. It was along this line Batista upped his game and won the Royal Rumble. Now Batista is on the road to Wrestlemania, but more importantly on the road to the World Heavyweight Championship.

Why does Batista deserve to be World Heavyweight Champion" This is a question which has plagued and riddled me, since Batista won the Royal Rumble, and to be honest I can not think of many reasons as to why Batista deserves the opportunity to be World Champ, except for he is popular amongst the fans and that he is a wrestler who carries himself like a champion. Another good reason for Batista winning the World Championship is that he would have officially separated himself from Evolution. On the other hand, I think he officially separated himself from Evolution when he delivered the Batista bomb to Triple H through the table. Nonetheless with Batista out of Evolution this will give Triple H the opportunity to recruit new wrestlers and give them the chance to prove themselves worthy. Examples include Maven, Chris Masters and possibly Christian.

Why Batista does not yet deserve to be World Heavyweight Champion" If - and I reiterate if - Batista defeats Triple H at Wrestlemania, what more is there for the big man to do" I mean it seems the only reason Batista's popularity sky-rocketed is because of the intrigue of a Triple H vs. Batista match and once that is in the record books, Batista will return to being nothing more than a jacked up freak as so many in the past have referred to him as. If the WWE chooses to keep him on as their World Champion, I could see his championship reign being the mirror image of Diesel's. Sure it may have lasted about a year, but it did not draw the numbers and proved to be a big mistake on the part of the WWE. In my opinion the World Heavyweight Champion has quite a burden on his shoulders. You see once you are World Heavyweight Champion you are the representative of your company, this being the WWE. Once you are the World Heavyweight Champion you have gained the respect of the guys in the office and your fellow workers. However more importantly you gain their trust. They trust that the World Heavyweight Champion can go out there and draw the numbers, they trust the World Heavyweight Champion can grab the ratings and they trust the World Heavyweight Champion can take any wrestler walking the face of the earth and put on a half decent match with them. I just do not think Batista has earned this trust; believe me when I say Batista can put on good matches especially when he squares off with guys such as Jericho, Benoit, Edge and Orton. However he can only go out there with particular wrestlers and work good matches with them, any other wrestlers the match would usually be nothing more than a squash match. I would also like to make the point that Batista's matches are not the longest matches in the world, as well as his moves are very restricted.

What may the future hold for Batista as World Heavyweight Champion" Well I feel if the WWE go about it the right way they can not only bring needed prestige back to the World Heavyweight Title, they could also make Batista a passable champion, bordering on the line of a great champion. What I would do is have Batista's reign of terror as World Heavyweight Champion last anywhere between 4-8 months, however have Batista only defend the championship at pay-per-views and every now and again on RAW, similar to champions of the past. This way you could create longer feuds and in the process keep Batista's intrigue and popularity alive. Although what the WWE may do is have Batista drop the title back to Triple H a month later, so Triple H will be six championship reigns away from living out his wildest dreams, winning more championships than Ric Flair, although there is some debate on how many World Championships Ric Flair acquired.

John Cena

John Cena made his debut on SmackDown! taking Kurt Angle to the limit in a good solid match. It was evident from this match that John Cena had good wrestling ability, definitely displaying better wrestling ability than what he shows now. On the 2002 Halloween episode of SmackDown! John Cena arrived at the party dressed as Vanilla Ice, this was the beginning of the Dr. of Thuganomics gimmick. During these early stages of his career John Cena played a heel and may I say, one hell of a heel. He played the part so well he soon became a favourite amongst many wrestling fans. Since his face turn Cena has been on a roll, winning various United States Championships and more recently the victor of a tournament to crown the number one contender for the WWE Championship.


Why does John Cena deserve to be WWE Champion"
John Cena does deserve the WWE Championship because of his pure wrestling ability; because lets face it ever since his return from a supposed stabbing he, in my opinion, has only had two good matches - one against Booker T and the other against Kurt Angle. The reason John Cena deserves the WWE Championship is because he has a great gimmick which appeals to many of the wrestling fans. Also, I feel he has the power to get a whole new audience into wrestling. There is a saying that 'you never know where you are going until you know where you've been.' I feel the WWE has looked back at their past, namely Wrestlemania 6 where Ultimate Warrior beat Hogan to add the WWF Championship to his list of accomplishments, when he was already Intercontinental Champion. The WWF knew that this created a stir of emotions and was a wrestling moment that will stand the test of time and they probably feel Cena as a double champion will make for a great wrestling moment. Although after Warrior lost the WWF Championship he took a great fall from grace, some may say Warrior was never the same, so who's to say the same may not happen to John Cena"

Why John Cena does not deserve the WWE Championship"
The reason John Cena does not deserve the WWE Championship is because I feel ever since Cena's push he is not the same humble young man he once was. I remember a time when I looked forward to watching Cena's matches, seeing as I personally sensed the hard work and desire Cena put into his matches. He had great matches with Angle, Undertaker, Benoit, RVD, Rene Dupree, Booker T... On the other hand ever since his big push his in ring skills have deteriorated and his ego has inflated. I assume that if Cena wins the WWE Championship his skills will become even worse and have squash matches left and right. Another reason I feel John Cena does not deserve to be WWE Champion is because I feel there are other wrestlers who deserve the opportunity to have a shot and a possible run with the championship; examples include Booker T and RVD.

What may the future hold with John Cena as WWE Champion"
I feel there are many possibilities to create great matches and angles. You could have Cena continue wrestling JBL in a series of rematches; you could have Cena defend the WWE Championship against Kurt Angle. However I personally would like to see Cena win the championship, and on SmackDown! following Wrestlemania, have Cena turn heel, saying how he used the fans, how once he had their support he had the opportunity to be booked in higher profile matches which led to him winning the WWE Championship. Then this could bring Eddie Guerrero into the mix - Eddie could remind Cena that it was the fans who made him, as well reminding him it was he who gave Cena the advice on defeating Kurt Angle which led to Cena winning the title. This hopefully will freshen John Cena's character. Though I have a feeling WWE are going to keep Cena face and ram him down our throats.

As always I am interested in your opinions on whether Batista or Cena do or do not deserve the championship so please send in your responses.

by Ashley Daniels ..


Erkka Järvinen wrote:
Batista, maybe. John Cena, hell no. Batista is not the issue here with me so i am gonna go on about Cena. Back in 2003, i was waiting to see Cena do some good heel promos or have a look some of his wonderful matches which were always something to wait for. Mistake WWE made with Cena was to make him an annoying face at 2003 Survivor Series. At the start, i was thinking "Well ok maybe this will turn out good, i still like Cena" but after maybe half a year i already HATED him. He started to piss me off all the time just more and more with his lame jokes and a cocky attitude (cocky attitude in a wrong way). What pissed me off the most was that in every night when i was hoping Cena to get his ass kicked, he never did. His squash matches were jokes especially when his moves are deadly boring. People complain that you always know alreaydy that HHH will win, well it is Cena the one who always win and you will always know it like half a minute before he wins. Some rights and lefts, a clothesline, back elbow, running shoulder block, five knuckle shuffle (learn how to wrestle) and then his highly overrated FU. Only thing going on with Cean now is that he can get the growd going which i dont understand cause you know what he is gonna do before the match, in the match and after the match, his same crap. In his song it says "When my theme song hits, get your reinforcements" well it should say "When my theme song hits, close your eyes and sleep" as i do.
-Rhey wrote:
Batista I feel is not quite ready to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. The IC Title, yes, but not quite yet The Big One. But at least his talent has grown and his ego has not, which is totally opposite of the other #1 contender, John Cena. I've never hated a wrestler as much as Cena, and I don't think I'll ever hate one more han him. Now, my hatred of Cena is well documented (my first ever column was one bashing Cena), but the fact that he is main eventing the Grandest Stage OF Them All makes me sick. After Cena wins the title at Wrestlemania, there will be NO honour left in the main-event status at Wrestlemania, and none left in the WWE Title. This bastard SERIOUSLY needs an ego adjustment...or an injury to sideline him for long enough so that everyone forgets about him.
Phil T. wrote:
You make some good points in your article, however I feel it would have been more effective if you took one side regarding each title match and gave facts to back it up. As far as the actual main event at WrestleMania, WWE needs to put the strap on Batista. I'm a huge HHH fan and a few years ago I never thought the day would come when I would be sick of HHH having the title, but now that day has come and is long gone. Batista can take RAW into a new direction which RAW desperately needs. Unfortunately the list of strong heel characters on RAW is extremely short. If the WWE decides to take Orton back to the promise land as a heel, this would be the ideal first contender for the new champ. As a heel Orton was perfect for RAW. Win or lose WWE should make Orton look like gold against the Undertaker. This would set up Orton as a worthy first choice to challenge Batista. If HHH does lose the World Title, he should do the right thing and forget about the World Title for at least a year. Let another heel step up to the plate and hold the title for a while. WWE could have HHH feud with Benoit, Jericho, Kane and if their desperate one more time with HBK. Taking HHH out of the World Title hunt for a year would be great for RAW and for the HHH character. A year goes by and HHH wins the belt again would mean a lot more then him losing it and then regaining it in two months or less.
JBL vs. Cena at WrestleMania will be my bathroom break match. WWE took two great wrestlers Bradshaw and John Cena (The wrestler not the Dr. of thuganomics), and changed them into two side show puppets. Since JBL won the title I have never wanted to see him retain the title in any match until now. Cena is too young to hold the WWE Championship. Seeing him in main events every week and especially on a PPV would destroy SmackDown. I was a Cena fan up until his last change back to a face when the Dr. was born. Now he puts more effort on the microphone then he does in the ring and it's obvious. I could bring up many points to back this up, but I will only need one and there is no Cena fan on earth who can argue with this one. What happened to the FU" When Cena first starting using the FU as his finisher it was a variation of the Spicolli Driver; Cena would go down to the mat with his opponent and drive his opponent through it. Today, the FU is a glorified fireman's carry. Watch the next time Cena executes it, a backdrop does more damage then the FU. Cena made an OK US champ, but the WWE Championship he is clearly not ready for yet.
Thomas wrote:
I think it would be interesting, to have Cena as the champion on Smackdown and Batista as the champion on Raw. This way we might find out which is more popular- A less action, more charisma champion like Cena. --- Or --- A less charisma, more action champion like Batista. Let the rating's decide which the fan's like more.
Tyler Keef wrote:
I don't know why you guys have to be dissing Cena. The only reason you think he's a bad wrestler is that he's a brawler. Well wasn't Stone Cold Steve Austin a brawler too, and didn't he revolutionize the WWF. Then you might reply, "but Austin had a good gimmick..." Well Cena has a gimmick too, a rapper, and a charismatic rapper at that. You say he hasn't had that good of matches except Booker T and Angle" Well the only other matches he's had were with Carlito who won 1 U.S. title, Jesus with no titles, and Rene and Kenzo who have only been tag champions. Maybe you should stop complaining and wait to see Cena's performance after he wins the WWE championship. With the big one around his waist, he will have better opponents and will entertain.
sfhardrock wrote:
Hey hey! Time for my comment on this little topic. Ready.. it's gonna be long, just like something else.. Cena's promos.

Ok, I'm gonna start with Batista. This guy is a natural powerhouse and wilth a good manager good really be a considerable champion. Anyone remember Vader" He wasn't much of a speaker and more of a fighter (in WCW days) so they changed that by giving him such a charismatic manager, Jimmy Cornet.. I probably mispellec or got my guys mixed up. He's the guy with the tennis racket.

Anyway, if Flair ends up turning on Triple H and goes with Batista, Batista could become a REAL fighting champion with Flair giving the promos. Unlike Cena who can only claim and no show, Batista can give action. He may not be the greatest athlete when it comes to ground work or technical skills, but if he faces against the right opponents, there's a big area open for him to make notice. Maybe after a while, he can go into a role where he begins to think he's unbeatable and turns heal, thus bringing in a more experienced Shelton Benjamin, title-deserving Chris Jericho, or a need-of-a-spotlight Randy Orton to make an interesting feud. Of course, that's only hopes, if he doesn't get a manager and still wins the title, Batista will have to work hard to draw in fans.

As far as Cena goes.. ugh. I'd prefer another Angle title run or even Big Show. See, I enjoy JBL and I really REALLY enjoy his character. Maybe it's the classy side of me, but I really enjoyed watching that party he had and the singer they had for him. It's been a while sense there was a champion who has this type of class. It's been nothing but muscle heads(Triple H), hot heads(Lesnar), and arrogant(Angle) for so long, JBL brought class to the title.

However, no matter how much I like JBL, he's had a long enough title run and would like to see him lose it. NOT TO CENA THOUGH! I enjoy brawlers, but Cena's not a brawler. I enjoy rappers, but Cena's not a rapper! I enjoy wrestlers with charisma, but Cena has no charisma! Cena has nothing good in his arsenal that separates him from other wrestlers except for the hip toss, 5-knuckle shuffle, and the FU. At least the Rock had HIS spinebuster, HIS elbow, HIS eyebrow, and even HIS catchphrases. He was able to take the most common of moves, motions, or words and make them his. John Cena relies too much on the same damn tiring lines week-in and week-out. He is just like Bret Hart and ends every match the same way. Granted that Bret Hart has been in this company longer (oh SO much longer) than Cena's been in the business and has earned nearly everyone's respects. Cena's proved nothing other than the fact that the fans are hypocrites. "Oh we hate Triple H, every title match is the same thing and he always wins.. BOO! Oh watch this, John Cena's going to do the same FU to this guy he's done 5,000 times to before cause it's an easy move, but the opponents are supposed to get knocked out from it and not ever find a way out. Oh he wins again, YAY!"

Is it me.. or is it just that Smackdown fans are completely oblivious to what's happening on Raw" Same stuff, but just because HHH is the boss-man's (not Ray, R.I.P.) dear ol' son-in-law, they think that he's getting his wins by bangin someone in the back.

Hey everyone, just for fun, lets cheer next time HHH comes to the ring. Lets see how they react. No matter WHAT Triple H says or does, cheer. That can be interesting.
Larry Christison wrote:
Is Dave Batista ready to carry RAW on his shoulders. Not by himself. At least not yet. His character works best with someone in his corner. If no Flair, then have him reteam with Randy Orton as friends and partners. He needs to establish a series of highly competitive grudgematches with several solid wrestlers (non-title) that emphisize wrestling and not disqualifications. I would like to see him stay in the grey area between hero and heel, so he could face both Kane and Snitsky, Jerico and Hassan. Taking on all comers would be a good way to start but feud with a couple. Kane would be a good one to start with. he is large, experienced, would push and teach Batista while giving a good accounting in the matches. AND he adds a fresh breath to the championship run that Edge, Benoit, and Triple H have let stale. Triple H and Steph deserve a couple month vacation, Edge could fight Benjamin or go tagteam, and Benoit could go tagteam and pop in, but Batista needs to establish himself with some fresh angles and competitors (a fresh breath) before Edge or Triple H come in breathing hard, or his reign as champ might be lost in the static. As for John Cena... get rid of the punches, clotheslines, and elbows and he has exactly six wrestling moves. Count them, we have each match for months and he uses an average of four of those six each match. If I was a heal, I would be on the mic calling him on that and saying that I could counter every one of them. Then in my first match I would raise my arm counting each one (angering the crowd), and walk out of the match laughing at a countout disqualification against me. Perhaps appear at another of his matches and count to rile the crowd more, then finally lose a match where he somehow pulled off a seventh wrestling move then a new finisher. His F-U (firemans suplex) is the weakest finisher this side of a super kick, and looks like he is gently setting down and positioning his opponant (which he is). He needs to work on a new finisher that will shake the matt. I would love it if he got on the mic angry and said, "Some people say that I can't wrestle. Well I'm going to prove to them and to you right here and right now that this dog can wrestle!" Then if he really did that, I and some others might respect him more. The matches mentioned above as quality matches were with good wrestlers who day-in and day-out give good matches to any opponant they face no matter how good or bad their opponant is. If John wants to show us that he is one of those, let's see him wrestle and get good well fought nondisqualification matches from Heidenreich, Jindrak and Luthor Reigns. Then we might respect him as champion more. In other words John, prove that you are a fighter and not just a poser. Do you deserve a championship shot" That is up to McMahan. Would you be a good champion" That is definately up to you.
wrote:

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