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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Why John Cena Had To Be Champion
April 13, 2005 by Daniel Hartman


First off, let me say that this is my first submission, and it might be a little rough around the edges, but you can not blame me for trying. Also, I would like to throw it out there that in no way am I a mindless Cena fan, but I just have to give credit where credit is due.

When I first saw that Cena had won the WWE Championship from JBL in a lackluster match, I wasn't a bit surprised. Neither of these men have ever really displayed a great amount of wrestling ability (they are good on the mike, but it isn't the talk that counts, it's the walk), so to expect them to compete in a high class nail biter was asking a bit much. To their credit, however, they both have the fans in the palm of their hands; they hate JBL and love Cena. That is the first and one of the most important reasons that Cena had to win the title, the fans love him. There has not been a superstar since The Rock that has been this over with the fans, and he's doing it without wrestling ability (Hulk Hogan anyone").

The next reason that I can see as to why Cena needed to win was to bring a sense of invincibility to the title. Lots of people knock Cena for not jobbing or never losing a match, but it's that unbeatable nature that fans always will gravitate towards; E.g.: Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, Goldberg (loser), and almost all of the face champions in recent memory (minus the likes of Chris Benoit, who brings a great sense of reality to the ring, but that's another column entirely), and the list goes on and on. People love someone who is funny and unbeatable, end of story.

The third reason is the number of opportunities for storyline expansion this brings about. Look at what they have going now, they are having a sort of tournament style couple of matches to see who the number one contender is going to be(God I hope it's Kurt Angle). This will allow the SmackDown! writers to make a high quality match almost every week as the main event, such as the upcoming match between Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle. Think of that, that's one of Wrestlemania XX's main events, on a free show! Am I the only one who thinks this is a good idea, finally filling the void for real wrestling on the WWE's shows, and who is to thank for this turn of events" That's right, John Cena.

The way that I see the current situation, Cena will not have the WWE Title for a terribly long time, but one can not overlook the value of his reign. He will probably help to facilitate a new heel champion (Maybe Eddie"), hopefully they don't put it back on JBL, he's getting boring. Even though he may not job, and he's not the best wrestler ever to live, and they are going to make to Championship look stupid I'm sure, I can excuse it all, because his reign will bring about to many good situations for the WWE writers to pass up. I hope that this article makes it on the site, but if it doesn't, no big deal, and if it does, GIVE ME FEEDBACK, good or bad, it's all good.

by Daniel Hartman ..


Joseph Huber wrote:
Hey I just wanted to write and say that this is a pretty good first column. I agree with you on a lot of your points. Sure Cena might not ever put on a match like a Kurt Angle/Mysterio/Eddie Guerrero etc, but he gets the crowd pumped. In my opinion he is the modern day Ultimate Warrior (right down to the shoulder tackle Warrior did and Cena does now). I'd rather see someone who gets the crowd hyped rather then see someone who bores the crowd to death (Kurt Angle with his Olympic medal matches against nobodies).

Something was wrong with Cena's Wrestlemania match though. He didn't give near enough offense to deaerve the title. I think that might have been WWE's fault more then Cena's. They probably saw that time was running short and they soon had to move on to the HHH/Batista match.

All in all, I'd say this is a good first column. I'd like to see more from you in the future. I like seeing that I am not the only one trying to focus on positive aspects in wrestling.
Andrew Sharp wrote:
Daniel, you bring up some good points about how former WWE Champions such as Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan were top draws but never really great wrestlers. However, compare a household name like Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold to John Cena. Quite frankly Cena just hasn't caught on for me and many others out there, Cena appeals to two kinds of audience - people who like rap music...and kids and well, that aint me. Stone Cold, The Rock and Hulk Hogan appealed to almost everyone out there with the acception of few. Also people still love Austin and Hogan and it seems the way Cena's going now he's going to tire the gimmick very soon. Rap has grown in popularity which is why in my opinion Cena is appealing to the majority at the moment, however, just like wrestling the music industry goes in cycles - but that's an entirely different column.
Antonio Figueroa wrote:
First off, let me say that although I agree with much of what you said, I don't think that JBL should have dropped the belt at WM21. To me, him retaining would have made a D- show into a C. Anyway, I think that there are only 4 REAL opponents for Cena now. No, it's not the Undertaker OR Kurt Angle OR Big Show. Cena has already feuded with these guys more than enough. First off, there's Eddie. Although his career has been butchered by ridiculous amounts of jobs for Rey Mysterio, a heel turn and Main Event push may yet turn it all around. Second, Booker T. Booker T and Cena have had some great matches in the past year, and I think that if they have Booker beat OJ for the United States title at Judgment Day, a Title vs. Title match for The Great American Bash would be...well, great! Then there's JBL. I admit it, I am a HUGE JBL fan. The guy worked his butt off for so many years before finally getting his shot at the top, and whether you like it or not, he succeeded. I definately see JBL getting the belt back sometime this year. And lastly, there's...Edge. Yes I know he's on RAW. Yes I know he's a psycho maniac. That doesn't matter. The best thing to do for BOTH brands right now is to trade Edge for the Big Show. Big Show and Edge have all done everything they can on their respective brands, and I think Edge would be a great WWE Champion for 5 or 6 months. If not Edge, maybe Jericho" But anyway, those are the guys I forsee Cena feuding with in the upcoming months. But my OFFICIAL prediction is that Cena will drop the title at Summerslam, most likely to either JBL or a heel-turned Guerrero.
nate speckman wrote:
John Cena is the worst wrestler in the history of the buisness and that includes Goldberg and Scott Steiner. John Cena did not "need" to be world champion. He has done nothing to deserve it. The only reason he won is because he (along with Batista) is the flavor of the month within the eyes of the fans. I don't know why this is but the WWE fans always seem so captivated by the guys who can't wrestle as well as everybody else. The guys who (unlike Benoit, Gurrerro, Angle etc) need to look to their charisma instead of their lack of wrestling ability. Who are arguably the two biggest stars right now" Batista and John Cena. Both of which don't have that much skill in the ring. They both rely on something else to get themselves over. Cena his charisma and Batista his power and size. It's the same thing with other heavyweight champions as well. The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan all three of these men are not the greatest wrestlers of all time by any streatch of the imagination but they will all go down as three of the best ever because of their entertainment value. The only reason I can see for Cena getting the title is because they want to make him into the next Rock and they feel giving him the title will accomplish that. Even though he's just going to shit on it by making it into a side show freak title like he did with the US title. Hopefully the fans will soon figure out that he's not that entertaining, he stoped trying to impress people with his wrestling long ago, and that his promos have just gotten tasteless and horrible since he started his push. When the fans notice this they will turn on him and WWE will realize that everyone needs JBL as their champion. Oh look at that I rambled on for a while again. hmmmmm... anyway your ideas are stupid. If JBL won at Wrestle Mania then they'd do the number one contender tournament anyway. It has nothing to do with Cena being champ. Cena is not champion so the writers can come up with cool ideas to appease you. Cena became champ so WWE can dig SmackDown! a bigger hole. WWE has dug SmackDown! into a 50 foot hole and JBL, Paul London and Kurt Angle all have really big shovels.

ps- I notice you think that Cena had to become champion because the fans love him. I went into some detail about that in my argument but let me just say this... that is a lie and you are a liar for saying that. WWE fans may love Cena but not everybody wanted him to be champion. This can be evidenced by the fact that almost nobody was cheering when he beat JBL for the title. Also if you watch No Way Out you can see a group of people in the 6th row flipping Cena the bird when he came down to the ring to fight Kurt Angle.
Jesse Lee wrote:
There's only one reason why WWE needed to have Cena win the belt. Too many fans don't care for JBL while thousands(maybe just hundreds and they dub in thousands) of fans cheer for Cena. I'm a JBL mark. In fact, I wish I were already out of school and trained in wrestling just so I could be a part of the Cabinet. Anyway, the majority enjoys Cena and I'm sure WWE would have lost a lot of fans if JBL found a way to win.

However, think about it this way, people will turn on Cena in a blink of an eye to see Eddie G., Rey Rey, Undertaker, or even Booker T become champion. Rey Rey has proved again and again that he could beat bigger men while Eddie G is everyone's main man. Booker T is a big favorite, however it's highly doubtful that WWE is going to give him a push for the title.

The way I see it, Cena's going to beat JBL (rematch), Angle, Big Show, Booker, Eddie G., Big Show, and possibly a small Heidenreich feud before WWE finally push Eddie to win the title from Cena. They're going to have him face JBL to prove that the win wasn't a flaw, beat Angle to push Cena as "unbeatable," beat Big Show to prove that size doesn't matter to him. Beat Booker and Eddie to prove experience won't beat him, beat Heidenreich to prove that crazy talentless guys can't beat him. Then they're going to either have him lose to Angle, Big Show, or Eddie Gurerro only so the title can change hands.

Don't compare Cena to The Rock, the Rock (although didn't do much in the ring) was able to keep the fans on their feet simply because he was able to electrify the crowd with his presence, his speech, and his quick wit. Cena may have mediocre abilities on the mic, but Rock is far more superior than him. Rock also had no problem giving a 30 minute match where Cena uses up all his moves (including finishers) in five.
Aaron West wrote:
I agree with you for the most part of what you said. I am not a fan of John Cena at all, and felt like the match he had with JBL at Wrestlemania 21 was the second worst of the card. I wasn't looking forward to it to begin with, but it was worse than I thought it would be. With that said, I hope you're right about Cena not holding onto the belt for too long, because there are more deserving people on Smackdown! such as Booker T, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, and Rob Van Dam (although I'm sure they'll never use him in the world title picture). I'd personally love to see The Undertaker have one last run as champ before he retires. Maybe it sounds a bit pretentious, but a lot of times, I just wish the WWE would pay attention to actual wrestling ability and talent as a performer instead of just what the fans are cheering for. I sometimes find that what the fans in the arenas are cheering for, I am usually not.
Peter Abonza wrote:
Well let me start of by saying John Cena is a big superstar and he will always be remembered as "The Doctor of Thuganomics" and will one day be inducted to the Hall of Fame.

John Cena is one of the most deserving wrestler in the WWE, although I don't agree what he did with the original WWE Championship Belt at Smackdown!. John Cena ever since he made his debut on Smackdown! Vs. Kurt Angle has been phenomenal.

John Cena is like The Rock in some way. He get the fans really riled up and can really work a mic, except The Rock doesn't really give a crap about wrestling anymore but just to stay at Hollywood, like Hulk Hogan. John Cena raps but is still wrestling for the fans and there is a rumor that he has made a movie yet he is still here.

John Cena was destined to end JBL's title streak. Unlike Batista, John Cena has earned his spot to the top. It seems like these days if you turn on Triple H, you automatically get a title shot, Randy Orton and Batista what's next Ric Flair getting a title shot, come on! Like I said in one of my columns, John Cena clearly won the Royal Rumble. When both opponents went over the ropes John Cena legs landed last. They just made Batista win so it can set up the Triple H Vs. Batista feud at Wrestlemania 21.

John Cena has been in every single event in 2004 with a major storyline. Royal Rumble, No Way Out in a Triple-Threat, Wrestlemania XX to gain US Title, Judgment Day against Rene Dupree, The Great American Bash in a Fatal-Four Elimination, Summerslam in a Best of 5 Series against Booker T, No Mercy of the last match of the Best of 5 Series. Survivor Series in a Classic Survivor Series Match and finally at Armageddon in a Street Fight. All classic matches to tell you the truth. That's why I said he has earned his way to the top. Not given like Batista.

I know this column seems like I'm bashing Batista but he needs to really earn his way to the top, like John Cena. John Cena loves the fans and the fans love him. He will go on to be one of the most decorative wrestlers in WWE History.
Will Gossett wrote:
I have to disagree with Mr. Abonza on certain points. The only reason I see Cena being where he is today is because he was forced on the fans every 5 minutes. He was doing great as a heel, with good promos and good matches (vs. Benoit and vs. Rhyno stick out in my mind), but when he turned face, it kind of went down hill as he was everywhere. He was acting as a modern day Austin, going against the General Managers as if they were trying to catch the next Austin/McMahon.

Batista, on the other hand, has never really been pushed barring his recent one, yet he got cheered anyway. Remember the "Batista" chants at Summerslam 2004" In Toronto, Ontario, Canada" Against Chris Jericho and Edge who were both face AND Canadian" Or when he was getting cheered for getting Benoit, the World Heavyweight Champion" Batista's turn was the most gradual in years, starting before Survivor Series 2004 when he was spotted eyeing the Triple H's World Hevayweight Title and ending a few weeks before Wrestlemania when he powerbombed Triple H through a table. Cena's turn, however, was quick and spontaneous, spanning two weeks.

I will say, however, that Cena was the only plausible choice to beat JBL for the title, as he's extremely marketable (Look at the WWE Shopzone and Cena is pretty much monopolizing the top 10 list), and the fact that he's pretty much the only main-eventer that JBL hasn't beaten. He is by no strides even a good wrestler, but he entertains, much like Hulk Hogan. If you look at it Hogan was the Entertainment Epitemy of the '80's, Austin was the Entertainment Epitemy of the '90's, and, as much as I dislike saying this, Cena is probably the Entertainment Epitemy of the '00's.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
Why does Cena deserve to be champ" He doesn't. The only thing he's EVER done in WWE is put on shitty matches (you know you suck when even Kurt Angle has trouble making you look good), yet still manage to win over uneducated fans who think along the lines of, "Oh, a rapper! He's cool! I'm gonna' cheer for him!". Jericho wins over fans too! WHERE'S HIS BELT"!"!"! What good has Cena done for anyone lately" He wastes WAY too much time on SmackDown! going on and on about how he's the best and dropping gay catchphrases to sell retarded merchandise to all the brain-dead Cena fans in the world. Then he has three-minute long matches and wins with his SUPER LAME finisher, the F-U. All they did by taking the belt off JBL and giving it to Cena was take the belt away from someone whose character was getting better and better to someone whose gimmick started stagnating almost immediately. And in your article you say "Cena had to win to give a sense of invincibility to the title"...um, what was the last match you saw JBL lose before Wrestlemania 21" He gave a MAJOR sense of invincibility o the belt, but also could WRESTLE (say what you want about JBL, his ring skills were getting better and better with every match...kind of the opposite of what's happening to Cena). I know I'm probably the biggest Cena basher on this site, but there's REASON behind it...HE CAN'T WRESTLE!!!!!!!! YOU DON'T DESERVE TO BE CHAMP IF THE ONLY PART OF "WWE" YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO IS THE "E"!!!!!!!!! Overall, Cena has ruined SmackDown!...I never, EEEEEVER thought I would change the channel during a wrestling show...then along came Cena with his boring promos and shit matches, buyring all my favourites. I swear, if I hear "Chain Gang" on more time, I'm gonna' have to break something.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
WM21 was excellent ppv but the match (it was a match not a fight) between Cena and JBL was simply the most pathetic title match i've ever seen. I mean what the heck Cena even did" 3 minutes he did his moves and one FU and thats it! He didnt deserve that title at all and now LOOK AT WHAT HE DID TO WWE TITLE! Cena is basicly spitting to the faces of every great WWE champion before him! This is a disgrace and i hope someone like Kurt Angle puts an end to it!
Jonathan Ayres wrote:
Um are you crazy! Having John Cena champ just shows how bad smackdown is at the moment. His in ring wrestling skill in non existent. And him being on the mic is just embarrising to watch, especially after wretlemania on SD, it was like do you have a point it what your trying to say" I mean most wrestlers have a point in what their saying like the Rock, Triple H, Austin, Angle and even JBL. Also alot of people don't even like Cena, in fact alot even hate him. He maybe a hard worker, but at the moment he shouldn't be champ, hes poor in the ring and aint great on the mic. But at the end of the day he does represent wrestling at the moment, stale, crap and has no direction.
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