Friday, August 29, 2014

When the WWE got it wrong on Cena

I've defended John Cena plenty of times here, and how he was booked to win or lose matches.  It's my opinion that most of the time they've done it right, especially since I got back in as a fan, and that the perceptions a lot of Cena haters have are not based in reality.  That doesn't mean we don't have any common ground, though.  There were definitely some cases where booking Cena to win was not the right move in hindsight.  Here are the ones that stand out the most to me:
  • 2006 Royal Rumble over Edge - Edge had just cashed in his Money in the Bank contract 21 days earlier, on Cena, to win the title.  Why not stretch his run out until WrestleMania that year?  You can still have Cena drop the title like he did in June to Rob Van Dam without disrupting anything. 
  • 2010 Elimination Chamber -  Cena wins the title in an Elimination Chamber match, and then immediately loses it to Batista right after the match!  The point was to put the belt on Batista to lead up to a title match vs. Cena.  Storyline-wise, Batista got the match as payment for helping Vince McMahon earlier.  Why not just put Batista in the Chamber match as payment and have him win the belt there?
  • 2011 Exteme Rules over the Miz - This was a month after WrestleMania, where the Miz retained the title over Cena after the Rock laid him out with a Rock Bottom.  The point was to get the belt on Cena so that CM Punk winning it at Money in the Bank later would resonate more.  They couldn't do that at Wrestlemania because they need something to spark the rivalry between Rock and Cena for WrestleMania 28.  But they could have done a triple threat at Money in the Bank between Miz, Cena, and Punk with the same Punk/Cena buildup, and have Punk get the title by pinning Cena.  Then have Summerslam be your Punk/Cena one on one match, and you can keep everything in place that happened afterward.

  •  July 25, 2011 RAW over Rey Mysterio -Mysterio won an 8 man tournament to fill the vacated title, and then lost it to Cena the same night.  The title had been vacated because Punk won it from Cena the same night his contract expired (a rare time real life was the same as the story), and the story was that because his status was in limbo the title was vacated. Punk would re-sign and face the winner of the tournament at SummerSlam. Instead of all that, just keep the belt on Punk (he actually re-signed the night he won it so he was on board already), and do a rematch with Cena at SummerSlam.  The aftermath, where Punk wins and gets laid by Kevin Nash so Alberto Del Rio can cash in his Money in the Bank contract and win the title, can go on as it did. 

  •  2011 Night of Champions over Alberto Del Rio - Another win over a guy who'd just cashed in Money in the Bank contract.  Del Rio held the title for a whopping 35 days before Cena got the victory over him for his tenth title reign, and it quickly proved to be a moot victory because he dropped the title back to Del Rio two weeks later at Hell in the Cell, who would then lose it to CM Punk at Survivor Series a month and a half later.  What was the point here?  What was gained from a 14 day title reign other than giving more fodder to the Cena haters?  If Del Rio had kept the title all the way through from Summerslam to Survivor Series would that have been so awful?  This was clearly a 'we need to have a big title change hands at Night of Champions' move and nothing else. 
Those are five instances were I'd agree with the Cena haters; there are a few others that don't involve the title as well.  He didn't need to beat Dolph Ziggler multiple times on free television after TLC 2012, and getting a pin on Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 30 didn't have to happen, either.  And then there's the worst of all, Extreme Rules 2012.  You bring back Brock Lesnar after eight years and a successful MMA career, and in his first match back he jobs to Cena?  Yikes.  It took two years of buildup to get Brock's status back up.  So with this evidence and a bunch of other examples I haven't gotten to, why do I still defend how they've handled him?   Mainly because most of what they've done over the years has been fine.  As I said in one of my previous posts, he puts people over all the time.  He's the biggest draw in the company; he's supposed to hold the title multiple times and work main event matches.  He's supposed to win most of the time.  He's not going to be out there jobbing to Luke Harper.  As much as I've bashed Hulk Hogan's record of not putting people over, I'll admit that 90 percent of time things were done the right way with him.  I think that they really do know what they're doing now.

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