Over the past few years, and especially in 2015, John Cena has been on a personal quest to win over the part of the WWE fanbase that hates him.
Ever since the fans first turned on Cena in his feud with Kurt Angle in 2005, Vince McMahon has stubbornly put his head in the sand and pushed Cena as a babyface anyway – a move that never would have happened in the world of WCW or non-monopoly competition.
Pundits have come out of the woodwork left and right to tell the fans why they should change their minds on Cena.
“Cena works so hard – he is always on the road!”
“Cena’s matches are sometimes good!”
“He works with young talent!”
It’s not clear what questions these are the answers to, but it’s certainly not relevant.
Heck this week, even Jim Ross chimed in on it:
Seems as if it’s only the most uneducated and novice of wrestling fans who can truly dislike John Cena especially after watching his performance with a grotesquely broken nose on RAW. I can see where some may not enjoy John as much as others because he is “overexposed” in their view but to verbally castrate him for any other reason is borderline stupidity.
Novice? If anything, Cena haters are the most diehard and ardent fans.
Putting aside his clunky work, with the most audibly called spots of any top star in history, Cena is hated not because of his performance or dedication to the industry. No one hates Cena because he is a nice guy. No one thinks Cena is mailing in his effort.
John Cena is nearly universally hated by adult WWE fans because his character is a phony corporate suck-up, the type of person everyone knows in real life and hates
When Cena first began getting a push, he was an Eminem-style white rapper with “street cred”. He made his name early with battle raps and running down opponents with trash talk. Suddenly that changed – he stopped rapping. The insults stopped. He became kid-friendly and talked much like the 1980s Hulk Hogan about integrity and loyalty. All of the “edge” that the John Cena character had established was sanded off, leaving a teacher’s pet/hall monitor-style character that parents loved but the other kids hated.
This is the change that got the fans to turn on him.
Cena was no longer authentic, but a corporate creation, spewing the pre-written lines of PR directors and corporate partners. It was clear that Cena was indoctrinated into the Vince McMahon-created WWE universe and didn’t believe a word he was saying. Was it good for sponsors? No problem, Cena would say it with a straight face, smiling, without a hint of self-awareness that he was a corporate shill.
The most incredible part of the whole situation is that WWE, on some level, must understand this issue.
Over the last few years, HHH and Stephanie McMahon as the “Authority” have been on a worked-shoot quest to find the next “face of WWE”. It’s never said out loud, but the current face is clearly John Cena, and everything the Authority is looking for in the “new face” is just whatever Cena is now.
In this storyline, however, Cena is still presented as a good guy. Despite the fact that he is the living embodiment of WWE-supported corporate vanilla-ness, Cena is supposedly rallying the fans. The person that HHH and Steph is championing is the heel – even though that person is trying IN THE STORYLINE to be the next Cena.
So let’s be clear. John Cena can have 25 matches against internet darlings over the next few weeks, but as long as he no-sells everything, smiles and talks about his corporate role in the company and how much he appreciates Vince McMahon’s greatness, he will be booed by the same people who have been booing him for over 10 years – if they haven’t given up and stopped watching already.
Tags: John Cena, WWE Universe