Before I get started…
I make a comment about how there are 256 people writing about WWE Monday Night Raw, and so I’ll offer some thoughts and opinionses about WWE Friday Night Smackdown and TNA Impact. Seemed like a nice lane. I even came up with a catchy name for it, like Bennifer or VomitPuke:
256 people started writing about WWE Friday Night Smackdown and TNA Impact.
So, I figured I’d weigh in the same thing everyone else is weighing in on. I figured I’d throw my two cents… Wait, check that. One cent (there’s a recession). I figured I’d offer my opinion on the same thing everyone else is offering their opinion on, a topic that has excited the wrestling world on the Mark, Smart Mark, Fan, UberFan, Rama Lama Ding Dong level.
I am, of course, talking about The Rock and John Cena.
(I was gonna go with a joke there, something like “…talking about The Bella Twins failed attempt at relations with Daniel Bryan” or “…Booker T’s constant use of the phrase, ‘right here/there’.”, but I kinda give away the topic in the title).
Suspension of Disbelief begins…now!
So lemme get this straight.
The Rock comes out, gets everyone in the entire world excited about wrestling for the first time since 2001, since Vince McMahon ruined wrestling for me with the failed Austin heel turn, then the horrifically bad InVasion angle, and John Cena farts on it?
I’m supposed to be impressed that John Cena has been around in those 7 years? I’m supposed to be mad at The Rock for being around for 8 years, then calling it quits and pursuing his attainable dream of becoming a viable Hollywood commodity?
There’s a good guy here, and that good guy is The Rock.
I loved his Anaheim promo tearing Cena apart. I liked that he was speaking for all of us, essentially saying, “Hey Vince, John Cena is disingenuous and his ability to identify with the average person is lacking.”
Then, Cena’s response came, and it was “Takeover” vs Ether all over again. Jay-Z (The Rock) laid out a bunch of facts about Nas (Cena) on “Takeover”, only to have Nas crack a bunch of Gay/Ugly/Old jokes at Jay-Z. People voted Nas the winner, and that was that.
Last nite we had The Rock’s rebuttal, and aside from some overacting, I thought The Rock fired back quite effectively. The work The Rock did in the WWE (yes, along with Austin, Foley, d-X, etc etc) made it okay to watch wrestling again. The work The Rock did in Hollywood made it okay to make action movies again that didn’t have Jedi, Hobbits, Agents, or Superheroes in them. The Rock made it okay to have a wrestler in a movie and have it be credible.
Would there be a The Marine, 12 Rounds, or That Other Movie Cena Was In without The Scorpion King? Hell no, Generale. (c) DeeJay
Now let’s take a look at John Cena. Let’s take a look at what he’s done, the trail he’s blazed. He works hard. He sells t-shirts. He cares about the WWE. He seems to genuinely enjoy and appreciate his Make-A-Wish status…
…but how has he helped the business grow?
How has John Cena paved the way for anyone else other than John Cena?
Sure, he might inspire kids, and that’s not to be discounted… but what about the rest of us? What about the wrestling fans that appreciated his “Doctor of Thuganomics” gimmick? I mean, it’s no secret that wrestling fans aren’t the coolest guys in the world. Heck, I’ve been to half a dozen live events over the last 18 months and lemme tell you: There are a lot of mutants in the stands.
Those mutants, those teens–they need heroes too. They need someone who will give them confidence, swagger, belief in themselves. THAT is where John Cena (and the WWE) has dropped the ball.
When I was 17, Hulk Hogan was a bad guy, and training, saying my prayers, and eating my vitamins wasn’t gonna help me navigate a strange, new world of Brentwood High School. I needed a shot, I needed a boost, and Stone Cold Steve Austin was that boost. His attitude and aggression was inspiring, especially for a teenage Rey getting over a breakup and dealing with a senior year of high school that saw a lot of my friends from the two years prior lose their minds with Senioritis.
Fast Forward 13 years, and take a look. There’s no one there. There’s only John Cena in his purple shirts, playing it safe, cutting cheesy cruise-ship promos. No aggression, no attitude, not a hint of the “Never Give Up” slogan he claims to live by.
Hustle kids out of t-shirt money.
Show loyalty to the boss.
Respect the business, but not the people that need you.
The people need heroes. The people need someone to stand up and not just Never Give Up, to not just show Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. The people need someone who will inspire them to Just Bring It.
The people need heroes, even 30 year-olds like me that are still trying to navigate an even stranger world, a world divided between Red and Blue states, married with kids vs single-and-looking, governments being overthrown… It’s enough to make your head spin.
The people need their champion.
The Rock was away for seven years, and John Cena became champion, but despite his claims and catchphrases, the champ was not here.
Finally, the champ has come back.
If you smell what Rey Mundo is cooking.
This has been Suspension of Disbelief.
Tags: john cena, Raw, suspension of disbelief, The Rock, wrestlemania XXVII, WWE