The Birth Of A Star...And The Death Of Good Wrestling
February 5, 2005 by Rhey Higgins
After the Fan Jam column I wrote about John Cena, I got to thinking...which leads to the creation of my first article, an in-depth look at the arrogance of John Cena.
Remember back when John Cena was a heel" A midcarder" Someone who wasn't afraid to job" In essence, someone tolerable" I know...it seems like a million yaers ago to me, too. Since then, Cena's stardom has grown...and so has his ego. His mic work has addmitedly improved, but, alas, his westling abiliy (never very good in the first place) seems like it's only getting worse.
Before the push of John Cena, I almost never yelled at the TV screen in sheer rage (just a few outbursts involving another egomaniac, Bill Goldberg), but now I can't even watch any of Cena's matches anymore, due mainly to the fact that, much like Goldberg and The Rock, you immediatley know how his match will turn out. Some rights and lefts, a clothesline, the Throwback, 5 Knucke Shuffle, and the F-U. Seen one Cena match, seen 'em all.
And would it kill him to put someone over even once" The last match he lost was the Royal Rumble (I'm surprised he even agred to lose that, but of course, it's gonna' benifit him, as he'll undoubtedly move on to Wrestlemania 21 and take the title from JBL), and even though he lost it, he still had the whole "What a battle! This kids showing a lot of heart!" BS goin' on, just like he always does. And jobbing to Carlito" That was also convineint for him. Again, he controlled the match, and even though he lost, it STILL made him look good and Carlito (a terrific wrestler, by the way) look like crap, and it gave him a whole "heroic, fighting champion" angle so he could go make his movie without the fans turning in him.
All in all, John Cena is quickly proving himself to be the Bill Goldberg or The Rock of the new millenium. And thats not a compliment. 'Till next time, You have been edgecated, so will you please SHUT THE HELL UP, and thats the bottom line, because I am The Game and you're in My Yard.
by Rhey "King of the World" Higgins..
Ditto Robertson wrote:
Although I don't entirely agree with you, I will admit you make a few points. First, his wrestling. Cena isn't a terrible wrestler, but he's not great. He could use a little more work as far as ring skill, maybe some more practice and to brush up on a few things, but he's not that bad. Second, his finisher. I think he should add a little something to it, maybe fall on them as he does it. Other then that, I find nothing wrong with him. Have you ever seen someone connect with the audience the way he does" To go as far as to go into the audience and hand his jersey to one particurlar fan, to bring their signs into the ring" I could go on all night with how much the crowds loves him, and he feeds off of that. Cena has great charisma. His charecter is cool; everyone loves a hip-hop, gangsta kinda guy who is more or less one with the audience. He can one up anyone, anywhere, anytime, which is one of those things that adds to his quick witted skill type. Plus, can anyone say he doesn't keep them laughing" He is definately a funny guy, whether it be popping up to deliver a witty insult and leaving or taking his time to go all out on another deserving heel. And, for the female fans, who can deny his looks" Just because Cena's charecer is a bit of an egotistic, it doesn't mean he's like that. He doesn't find his opponent before the match and say "okay, put me over because I want it." Vince and the writers know that crowds love him and want to see him go all out on some guys ass. The writers tell his opponent to put him over, not Cena. You think the guy demands squash matches" That he walks around backstage saying "hey, everyone, pay attention to me!" According to insiders, Cena is rather quiet backstage. Their's John Cena the charecter; ladies man, hardcore rapper, won't take guff and hands out insults and raps like cookies. Egotistical, cocky and with a good reason. Then, their's Cena the person; just a hard working twenty eight year old kid who is still enjoying being young in the WWE, making movies and CDs. Right now" He's at the top of his game. He's selling his popularity with everything he's got right now. Give him some time, his focus will slowly come back to wrestling. He's always gonna be popular; face it. But now, he's at his peak, and he's capatalizing on it. He's still a kid in a candy store; their's so much there and he can get what he wants. So, he's trying a little bit of everything before finally settling down with one thing. The Rock settled with movies. Goldberg decided his ego. I beleive Cena, when the time comes to make the decision, will decide wrestling.
Danny Parkhill wrote:
I read this column, and I have to say, with all due respect, I saw no point of it except to bash Cena...with no good proof to back it up. I mean, you say he refuses to job...I can't honestly think of any time where he said "I refuse to job to ___". If you can find me some proof of this, maybe I'll take that a little more seriously. I also think your comments about The Rock were a little unfounded, but that's another story. [For the record, I agree with the Goldberg part though.] My point is, if he doesn't job, he doesn't job because the head honchos tell him not to. Don't worry about it. He will when it's needed. His wrestling skill isn't the best in the WWE, true, but it's definitely not the worst. He could use some more moves, but I think you're exaggerating a little when you say that he has 5 moves in his arsenal. Those are just his "key" moves. I'm a firm believer that Cena's over because of his gimmick, which should have failed miserably, but given the circumstances, he's played quite well. Anyway, just thought I'd get my opinion out there.
Jarrod Foreman wrote:
Firstly I agree with everything that was written in the article John Cena has changed, I have seen him go from good guy bad guy back to a good guy again. But what really annoys me with John Cenas as Rhey posted in his article is that John Cena's mathes all involve the same moves, a 5 knuckle shuffle a FU and the throw back. Now dont get me wrong they are some pretty powerful moves especially the FU,and have won him the US belt on occasions and also helped him to retain it.
But still I am glad to see that Cena was able to be a particapant in this years Royal Rumble, and it was really good to see him face of with some one like Batista who is alot stronger than Cena and is someone from Raw. Even though John Cena didnt make it through the Royal Rumble this year, I hope that Cena's mic skills and his ability to pull of the same moves over and over again every week will get him to Wrestlemania 21 and win the WWE title from JBL. If it happens I hope then that Cena shows a hell of alot more respect to the WWE title than JBL has done in the past and that his matches will be more interesting to watch by introducing more moves and a different approach to winning the title.
Nice article, very nice, all except the ending where you had everyone's quotes as your closing. I agree with you on the Cena subject. At first he may have been someone that the fans could connect with. Someone from the lower ranks raising up to stop Kurt Angle's (among others) little bragging sessions. However, he began doing a gimmick which he was more comfortable with, which brings in Thuganomics. I just finished watching 2003 Royal Rumble and WOW! Considering that back then very little cared about Cena's entrance rap(i even forward it until he got in the ring) and how today people are called the "Chain Gang." I thought gangs were bad.. anyway, point is, is thta people change over time. It used to take ten years for someone to go from heel to wrestler, maybe even a lifetime for people to applaude you for your work. Example, Classy Freddy Blassie. Today's time, it can be one-sixth of a second for someone to go from face to heel or vice versa. I admit that Cena's promos have gotten rather good, though when you listen to him, they're not that good either. Just like the Rock, Cena would say the same stuff everynight for a cheap pop then a few new things, plus that sound he makes out of his mouth that reminds me of a cat getting hit by a car. His wrestling skills have gotten, as you said, worse. In short.. (too late Jesse!) .. Cena is 2005's version of The Rock... just without the Most Electrifying Move in Sports-Entertainment (admit it, you guys at home imitate the People's Elbow ^.^).
Rhey "King of the World" Higgins wrote:
First of all, thanks to anyone who sent feeback: good or bad, its still feedback, and as its my first column ever, I appreciate it. Now down to business. Ditto: Yeah, Cena is quiet backstage. But you know who else is" Triple H. Danny: Wow, you're a quick one! OF COURSE this article was written simply to bash John Cena...I had to get it out there...and no, I'm not exaggerating; Cena has roughly 5 moves in his aresenal...he might throw out a surprise move once in a while, but thats it. Jarrod: Cena show respect to a title" GIMME' A FRIGGIN' BREAK!!! LOOK WHAT HE DID TO THE U.S. TITLE!!! Also, the F-U is WAY oversold...the quality of that move has dropped drasticaly. Jess: My one supporter...THANK YOU!!! Yeah, I know the ending's weird...I had nothing strong to end it on, so I decided what the hell, throw on a bunch of random sayings. Once again, thanks for the feedback all!
Brian "Botmaster4lyfe" Akers wrote:
I just read your article criticizing John Cena, and I had to respond.
I think that your article is 100% false. There are several reasons for this:
First, you say that you miss Cena back when he was a midcarder. Are you telling
me that you'd prefer a colorless worker who's gimmick is to wrestle, nothing
more, nothing less, over a character who connects with the fans more than
anybody I've seen in WWE recently" I find that hard to believe.
Second, you say that you know how all his matches will turn out, with him
winning. Well, you can pretty much say that about almost any worker (HHH always
wins, Shannon Moore will (Sadly) always lose, etc)
What upsets me the most is that you say that he needs to put over more people.
You claim that "His last loss was at the Royal Rumble, and he hasn't lost a
match since". Need I remind you that there has been only ONE show he's been on
since the Rumble" You are just twisting words (saying he hasn't lost a match
since the Rumble) to try to put over a point that you really have no true backup
What about Carlito" You mention that it made Carlito look like Crap. WRONGO.
Here's what I think: He made Carlito look like an evil heel who will cheat to
get success, while at the same time giving Cena time off to film a Movie.
I'm not even going to mention that you say that being the next Rock is a bad
thing. Oopps, I did.
Sorry, but I don't agree with your Article. And I don't think that you have any
true proof to back up what you said.
Adrian Moran wrote:
In reply to your article, there are several points that I strongly disagree
with. Firstly, in regards to Cena's in-ring ability. Although it is by no
means brilliant, I would be inclined to say it is very much acceptable. I
personally think there are alot of wrestler's whose key strength is no their
wrestling ability, but rather, their charisma. People such as The Rock, a
latter-day Steve Austin and Christian all rely on their charisma rather than
their in-ring skills.
Also, you say, seen one Cena match, seen them all. What is your point" Have
you ever seen Ric Flair's matches...tell me everytime he goes to the top rope
you actually think he's gonna jump down onto somebody.
In regards to his match with Carlito Cool, he jobbed to him, yet did control
the match. What do you expect!" It was CCC's first match in the WWE, and you
expect him to run rings around John Cena, possibly WWE's number 1 prospect at
the moment. Hardly makes people want to cheer for Cena. I personally think
that was the best possible way for Cena to loose the title to CCC.
I think I see your problem as being too much of a smark. In the end, its the
WWE's job to make wrestler's popular and unpopular. By having CCC win the
title the way he did made him very unpopular, just as having Cena loose the
title the way he did still helped him to keep his popularity high.
i am writing this, not as the biggest fan of John Cena in the world.
Personally, I think his character is refreshing and interesting, and by the
pops he gets at every venue, he is obviously doing something right. Cheers.
Rhey "King of the World" Higgins wrote:
Brian: Cena had the same gimmick as a midcarder, it was just more tolerable, as he wasn't getting an undeserved huge push. There's lots of great wrestlers who connect with the fans, but still keep the outcome of their matches unpredictable (for example, Jericho, Benoit, Christian and even occasionaly HBK). You caught me about the whole Rumble/hasn't lost a match since deal, but look at him before the Rumble! His last loss was to Carlito, way the hell back in October. Since he's been back, he's been doing his regular squash matches. Cena didn't help Carlito's credibility as an evil heel. CARLITO did. While Cena was away pulling a Rock, Carlito was given the crappy stabbing angle to deal with...and he made that extremley stupid storyline credible. THAT is what mae him seem like an evil heel. According to your logic, Eddie Guerrero would also be an evil heel then, just because he cheats to win. And Cena being another Rock IS a bad thing...but thats not the dbate here.
Adrian: True, many wrestlers you named (just not Christian...he's a great wrestler) are mic workers with little ring skill. And theres nothing wrong with that in principle. But, just because someone connects with the fans, it dosnt mean they deserve a title push (or multiple title pushes in Cenas case) if they can't wrestle worth a crap. Keep them in the low-to-midcard range, send them to OVW, do whaterver, just don't try to make someone like that seem like a credible wrestler. Look at Chris Jericho. He has he best mic work in the business today, AND he can wrestle circles around nearly anyone in the ring. Cena's a good mic workr, and...thats it. And Ric Flair" He's a shadow of his former self. His in ring work used to be (and, to a certain degree still is) incredible. But Cena's in his prime, and all his matches have the same moves in them.
Crystal Cleland wrote:
Good article .The reason John Cena is popular is because all of the girls think he is hot, and the little kid's and the not so knowledgeable fan's think the whigger is funny.I also think he is funny but he should not be as dominate as he is(punch punch, five knuckle shuckle(worse then worm)/throwback(ok),FU(inverted scoop slam).His charisma isn't even that good, when he grunts or yells after a few clotheslines I laugh not get out of my chair.Who else is in the US division anyways"Kenzo and Rene Dupree haha a crappy tag team.I wonder how the Wrestlemania WWE championship match is gonna be when Cena hasn't had a 15 minute match since Summerslam.
Daniel [email protected]' Garcia wrote:
John Cena... Please I liked his gimmick better when K-Quick did it. However for some reason he didn't get the following or notoriety Cena did. But that's not why I don't like him. I'm simply not impressed by his mic skills or his wrestling ability, he's lame. The only thing remotely cool about him is the US Title he customized.
At any rate, his WM21 match versus JBL will be a wash and a total waste of time cause he will end up pinning him with that gloried fireman's carry known as the 'fu'. Which not only rips off Lesnar's dynamic F5 but also rips off StoneCold. At least it will help line the pockets of Vince McMahon cause as we all know business hasn't been doing too well and Cena's crap sells.
Which is a shame cause the WWE has a lot to offer. Its just too hard to please everyone. One thing that would have been awesome is if they had Cena as the guy sitting at the table in the WM21 pulp fiction spoof. But I would have took it up a knotch and gave Eddie a real gun. But I suppose a murder wouldn't exactly improve ratings or business for the WWE either.
I'm not saying he won't ever earn my respect the way Angle did but as for now he isn't a main-event superstar in my eyes. I remember when Angle debuted I hated him. After a while I saw that he really was an awesome competitor. Well, that's all I have to say for now before all you proud members of the so called 'chain gang' start getting cramps in your pinky fingers. Late
Kyle Kearney wrote:
John Cena is very overrated. His wrestling work is far from decent, and has hardly any real talent. John Cena's charisma is not earned charisma. John Cena is a thug and a rapper, rappers who are convicted murderers and rather evil people, still have plenty of charisma, so how hard is it to believe that a rapper who for a change is a good guy, has alot of charisma.
If you want proof of his poor wrestling talent, here it is. Watch a few of his matches, and the moves which Cena does, e.g. Death Valley Driver, Spinebuster, Sidewalk Slam, Spinningout Powerbomb, and others. These moves are awsome moves, but if you notice with them all, Cena just drops them. The FU" It's a Death Valley Driver, but Cena just drops them. Spinebuster" It's technical name is a Spinebuster Slam, which is not what Cena does, Cena's is more like a lifting leg trip, however the unfortunate people who have to job to him make it seem like a full spinebuster.
Cena has made famous the running neck snap, which he calls the Throwback. I've seen Torrie Wilson do a better throwback (she did a running neck snap to dawn marie on a PPV once).
Cena's popularity with the girls is because of his fashion sense. He wears clothes which can make almost anyone seem hot. Remember when he used to wear tights" No one ever thought he was hot back then. Randy Orton is very popular with the girls too, imagine if he were to were clothes which were very trendy" He would dominate Cena as a ladies man more than Big Show could dominate Doug Basham in an arm wrestling contest.
Cena's push is very unnecessary, WWE could have brought back Brock Lesnar, and given JBL vs. Brock at Wrestlemania, and that match would deliver alot more then JBL vs. Cena, because guarenteed Cena will use the same thing over and over, followed by the very weak FU.. 123.
Andrew Downey wrote:
To the real king of the world mr higgins i agree with your point 100%. Cena is overated on the mic and in the ring, he already has an ego before he is wwe champion!, the evidence of this was at no way out when it was Eddie Guerrero who put Kurt Angle over he did not even say you are right when Eddie was saying he is a world class athlete.
Furthermore he totally destroyed the remaining credibility of the US title he made it look like a toy. Ok he lost it but how often did he last defend it before that". On to his "ability's" is ring work is sloppy and lazy and sometimes dangerous when he delivers his finisher "standing freman's carry takedown", the worst aspect of him though is his abysmal "mic skills". he cheap pops the fans and says cheap insults to heels and when he thanks the fans for having his back i was disgusted about how cheap he has become they might aswell call it Cenadown.
he constantly kills characters some examples of this is when he went face to face with the cena and he said he enters on a toilet!!! that totally destroyed his Bronze warrior gimmick. Suzuki's former tag partner Dupreť was told be cena that his blond hair dye was due to Fifi's pee!!!!!!!,
I have stopped watching Cenadown due to him dominating he is going to hoist the WWE title in the air atn WM XI and begin a new era to dominate Cenadown for years to come]
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