The WWE took a new approach Monday night when it comes to promoting the top man in the company – it’s trying to prove he is irrelevant.
[adinserter block=”1″]In one five-minute segment on the program, every Cena hater in the world took a moment to smile as Stephanie McMahon undressed Superman like he was squirming Clark Kent in front of Lois Lane.
The WWE no longer needs Cena to survive. And the air in the balloon deflated as quickly as it could.
After more than a dozen years at the top of the WWE food chain, 15 world titles, 10 WrestleMania events and millions of questions revolving around whether a heel turn is a good option for him, john Cena has nothing left to accomplish in the company he owes his career to.
The hook is great, the delivery by McMahon was on point and the reaction from both Cena and the fans was exactly what the WWE needed.
Even the littlest doubt of whether Cena appears at WrestleMania XXXI is worth its weight in wrestling gold. The success of this kind of angle works because the company is losing ground with its current plan to put the WWE World Title on Roman Reigns. It also works because Daniel Bryan will be relegated to a mid-level match on March 30. It also works because making Cena irrelevant makes him relevant again. As odd as it sounds, the company must reinvent Cena as a man who has done everything, has nothing to prove and must now climb the mountain again and turn around, professing his greatness. Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Rusev and the stars of NXT are the future of this company. John Cena is now only window dressing.
I bet you never thought you would see that in the WWE.
Cena signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to WWE) in 2001, debuting on the main roster in 2002. As of March 2015, Cena has won 22 championships, with a record 12 reigns as WWE Champion/WWE World Heavyweight Champion, three reigns as World Heavyweight Champion, three reigns as WWE United States Champion, and a four-time Tag Team Champion (two World Tag Team, and two WWE Tag Team). He also is a 2012 Money in the Bank ladder match winner, a two-time Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013), and a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, 2012).
He has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, behind Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan. He has also headlined WWE’s flagship event, WrestleMania on five occasions (WrestleManias 22, 23, XXVII, XXVIII, and 29) over the course of his career.
Few have accomplished everything he Cena has and still had the love him/hate him relationship with the fans as he does.
There were other wrestlers in this business, for whatever reason, who thought they were greater than the promotion they worked for. Hulk Hogan was famous for this. Never was there a situation where Hogan contemplated his worth to the WWF or the business of wrestling. Ric Flair did so, but on a personal level, as discussed in his biography, “To Be The Man.”
[adinserter block=”2″]Cena will spend the next 26 days mulling over his career, and in the meantime, Rusev will come to his senses and issue another challenge to everyone’s All American. The mighty Russian will get over at wrestling’s biggest party, and a man who defends the great USA will be crowned champion. It’s a bit of a step back for a former World Champion, but if Ric Flair can win the United States Heavyweight Championship from Konnan after winning the world title 16 times, Cena can follow suit. And by challenging himself, reinventing himself and redefining himself, Cena will reclaim the fans who put him in the lofty position he has been for years, just be appearing to be more human than he ever has.