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WRESTLING COLUMNS

WWE Killing Their Golden Goose"
August 11, 2005 by Ken Lord


John Cena is the current RAW champion and arguably one of the biggest stars the WWE has ever produced. Some will argue that he isn't as talented as former champions; others would argue that he's the best ever. Love him or hate him there is no denying his popularity. But is there a chance that there could be a backlash against Cena" I believe that there could be and the blame is going to fall on the WWE.

Wrestling fans are unpredictable and fickle creatures. What they may cheer today they will boo tomorrow. The Rock is a perfect example of this. After he made The Scorpion King and returned to RAW after a lengthy sabbatical, people were booing him. Not because he was portraying a heel, but because the fans had felt that he had betrayed them. He left wrestling to do movies. People tend to like their wrestlers when they wrestle. Any kind of success outside of the ring is usually viewed as selling out. The Rock was able to get the crowd to put away those feelings because of his charisma and the matches he put on were still of the same caliber as they were before he left to make motion pictures. Now I'm not comparing John Cena to the Rock, I was just addressing that fans can be fickle at times.

What I believe could be John Cena's potential downfall is the way the WWE is promoting him. In my opinion he's been far too overexposed far to quickly. You can't escape an episode of RAW without hearing about John Cena's CD, or watching the newest John Cena music video. On a recent episode of RAW he even performs a song for the audience. Now trying to sell merchandise is nothing new, but it was usually regulated to the commercial breaks and not the broadcast itself. Never before has the WWE gone to such lengths to promote a wrestler's talent that was not wrestling related. John Cena may not be seen as a sell out but it's only a matter of time before people will get tired of having the Cena CD crammed down their throats.

The WWE is spending far too much time promoting Cena the "artist" and not Cena the wrestler. This is only going to hurt his credibility in the future. Sure this CD may be a hit with the fans, but what if the follow up isn't" Cena's CD is a gimmick that paid off well, for the WWE but they shouldn't rely on it to promote him. He got to where he was because of his talent as a wrestler and not as that of a rapper. If they continue to promote him as a big musical sensation, he'll only go the route of other once popular musicians. (Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer does anyone take them seriously") Once the fans begin to reject his music they are going to reject his ring work.

So far the crowds are still reacting positively to Cena, but recently at the RAW airing from Pittsburgh there was a very audible boo emanating from the crowd after John Cena's latest video. Is this just the beginning of the end of Cena's popularity"

by Ken Lord ..


David Meece wrote:
I agree 100% with Ken Lord, John Cena is being pushed too hard too fast. I myself am a John Cena fan and think he has a great talent, in the ring. But I am a wrestling fan, i'm not watching wrestling for the music or to see if there are good movies coming out. If you want to be a wrestler and you love the sport than wrestle, don't be a musician or a movie star. Yes John Cena is a great athlete and he is an ok rapper, but I think the only reason they strapped the belt on him so soon is because the WWE is lacking star talent who can grab the crowd like he can. I do not believe he has put in the time or worked his ass off long enough to be the WWE Champion. I mean if you recall when Triple H first came on the scene in mid 1995, he had to work his way to the top and it took him nearly 5 years before they gave him the title. I mean John Cena goes from the first match at Wrestlemania one year and the main event the next. Cena is too young and is being pushed too fast, and just like Brock Lessnar, I think John Cena's time as being a crowd pleaser is almost up. If you want to give the belt to someone who has worked his ass off and doesn't get the respect he deserves then strap the belt on the likes of Hardcore Holly or I hate to say it, Edge. These are two guys who have been in the business for a while and their in ring talent is second to none; who shouldn't have to take a back seat to these young guys just because they are good on the mic or have a greek god physique (Batista). So to make a long story short, is John Cena a great talent and asset to the WWE, yes; is he gonna get old fast, probably; and does he deserve the title so early in his career, i say no. I guess we will have to let the rest of the WWE fans decide the fate of Mr. Cena.
Hrosealicia wrote:
I think you are absolutely correct. John Cena has lots of potential. Vince Mcmahon does not pay attention to some of his major talent. I am looking forward to seeing you write more collumns as good as this one, if not, better.
Dave Hanson wrote:
I think that the point you bring up is indicative of the general problem with WWE in general, in that the entire show now is just a big advertisement for the merchandise and tie-ins, and the problem isn't specific to John Cena. Watching WWE these days is like going to a rock concert where the merchandise booth is bigger than the stage, and the musicians talk more than they perform. It used to be that the merchandise was only there to promote the wrestling shows, but now it seems like the wrestling shows are only there to promote the merchandise. Buy the CDs, buy the DVDs, buy the magazines, buy the t-shirts, watch the reality shows...it's just an endless sales pitch with the occasional Gene Snitsky or Rob Conway match in between, and about five minutes of whoever your favorite wrestler might be. Maybe buyrates have been going down, and Vince is pushing the merchandise to make up for the lost revenue, instead of simply re-evaluating his product and making it good enough that buyrates go back up. But getting back to the point of your article, Cena is the prime example of this. Maybe everyone will tear me apart for saying this, but I honestly believe that Cena, given the choice, would rather go out and have a wrestling match than perform a rap song. I've got no problem with him doing both, as long as he still shows up for wrestling events on time and gives the same amount of effort he always does. As for Cena's overexposure...well, I think that right now WWE is very anxious to get the next "megastar" that will blow up their popularity again ala Hogan in the 80s and Austin in the late 90s, so as soon as someone like Cena or Batista starts to get over, they jump all over him and give him a super push, rather than letting their popularity and wrestling careers develop naturally. Obviously WWE sees Cena as the guy of the future...but as you pointed out, WWE may be in such a rush to bring in the future that they're ruining the present. Not to mention the fact that they're ruining the past by trotting out old, past-their-prime wrestlers like a novelty because they think that will get the "old school fans" excited...but I'd rather not remember Animal, Tatanka, Jake Roberts, or Hulk Hogan that way. OK, enough outta me. Great column!
The Lionheart T2KX wrote:
On a side note about this column I seriously think that Cena's Finisher isn't all too great. It's a DVD where you drop them on their back. I was watching Raw where Y2J took on the Ref. And After Cena cleared the ring of Y2J Carlito was set up on Cena's Shoulders for a good 20 seconds. Now if Cena had his arm out Carlito could of executed a sunset flip or a head scissors toss in that time. Or when Cena keeps winning like the lumberjack and the handicaps. That doesn't make good show IMHO. When someone wins the same time over and over with the same little painful maneuver is doesn't really make for entertainment. I really didn't care who was the WWE champ. But when Cena keeps winning this weak way it kills the show. My point to this is Cena has been winning way to easy and frankly it dosen't make good a good show at all. If he lost once and a while then It wouldn't be as bad IMO.
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