John Cena is the king. No one tops him, he is rarely beaten, and he is the quintessential WWE Superstar. He is everything the company is, and wants to be. At this point in his career, he is more untouchable than Eliot Ness.
The well publicized “Cena haters” absolutely despise him, cursing everything he says, including all of the silly one liners he rattles off during his numerous promos. Every time he opens his mouth, he provides these fans with more ammunition to use against him. His early moments on the mic, which now seem like an eternity ago, were brutal, cutting edge, and highly anticipated. The crowd could not wait to see what he was going to say next.
Now, John Cena is more softcore in his delivery than a pseudo porn B movie on Showtime. He is harmless, a machete with a dull blade. His jokes are lame, his smile goofy, and his supposed love of the business is matched only by his seemingly massive inability to actually work a wrestling match.
His detractors point to his overused move set as proof positive that the guy cannot work. Shoulder tackle, spinning back drop, bulldog, five knuckle shuffle, Attitude Adjustment, the end. Every pro wrestler has his or her own particular style, no doubt about it. But for Cena, his “style” appears to be nothing more than a random assortment of elementary moves patched together because he simply does not now how to do anything else very effectively.
But, here’s the kicker. He doesn’t care. John Cena is living the dream that a lot of kids growing up watching WWE will never realize. He is the main event attraction of the number one pro wrestling company in the world. The WWE Championship, when not around his waist, is simply being kept warm by whatever fill in worker is carrying it for the next ten minutes. That belt belongs to Cena.
Not only does John not care about what his haters have to say about him, he actually welcomes the criticism. He likes being the guy backed into a corner, having to prove that nothing can hold him down. Fighting to keep his spot in the company, John Cena gives the impression that while he feels every attack, he will not be stopped. Nothing will prevent him from lacing up the sneakers and getting in the ring, despite how the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against him.
It’s brilliant. It’s working. And, to be honest, there is really no other way to sell John Cena at this point. He is the PG Champion, and when a guy is presented in that fashion, the only teeth he has is his reputation. Cena’s rep as the untouchable fighter who will not back down is all his own. It is perhaps the only thing that is keeping him relevant in the minds of wrestling fans who love debating, and discussing, the pros and cons of his presence in WWE.
John’s current feud with CM Punk seems very real, and with good reason. Basically, every character trait he has, every point of argument for his critics, have been brought to light. The layers of his character are being peeled away, and when Punk declared that Cena was no longer the underdog, but the dynasty, it was the ultimate declaration of obvious fact. Cena’s rep is being exposed as a sham, and the grinning evil genius that is CM Punk is just the man to point that out.
CM Punk is perhaps the perfect foil for John Cena. He is the Lex Luthor to John‘s Superman. When Cena plays the hero, his bright and shining gimmick a beacon for all that is good and right about WWE, Punk is there, reminding him that he is only human, that he is not what he says he is. The dichotomy of good and evil in the business has perhaps never had a better example in Vince McMahon‘s company than it does right now. Yes, they have touched before. But, this time it’s different.
The outcome of Cena and Punk’s WWE Title match at Money in the Bank is anyone’s guess. Some speculate that Punk’s contract, which has been up for a while, has now secretly been renewed, making the match not all that important in terms of outcome. Others say that no contract has been signed, that Punk is definitely leaving after the pay per view, perhaps heading to another promotion with a lighter work schedule.
Whatever happens at Money in the Bank, there is little reason for anyone to believe that John Cena’s spot as the number one guy in WWE is in danger. On Monday morning, July 18, WWE fans will be buzzing about either the controversial end of the pay per view, or the fact that Cena once again has emerged unscathed. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. The haters will hate. John will smile and shrug it off. He is above it all, and nothing anyone can say will ever change that. John Cena is the king. All hail the king.
Tom Clark, Bleacher Report Featured Columnist
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