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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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Retrospective: Battling Cena

Now a couple weeks back, I looked at John Cena in a WIRTB Review and indicated that, while Cena is, well, John Cena, he isn't exactly that bad. However, I began to think about something. While Cena himself isn't particularly bad (tired as fuck to the point that even kids are getting in on the "JOHN CENA SUCKS!" alternative lyrics to his theme song), he seems to have the ability to completely derail any sort of energy and/or push his opponent has going for them. Let's look back at some of Cena's feuds over the years. There's not a particular order to them, but they will highlight some to showcase the following: feuding with Cena is essentially a death knell to just about any wrestler, for reasons unknown--unless you're Edge or CM Punk.

In 2006 and 2007, John Cena feuded with Umaga (talk about stereotypes, True. You forgot the fact that Samoans are almost always portrayed as indestructible ingrates who only know how to solve problems with their fists, have heads of steel, shuck and jive, or some weird combination of all three).

While the feud itself was pretty legitimate (we even got the infamous "Cena chokes Umaga out" spot that, eight years later, we got again with Rusev--but more on the "Bulgarian Brute" later), after John Cena rose above hate, did his usual "LOLCENAWINS" antics, and so on, Umaga won the Intercontinental Championship, got put into hackneyed storylines, and lost to CM Punk in his last match with WWE. Umaga, unfortunately, died a year after his last match. But, the point remains. He feuded with Cena, lost, and there was nowhere but down for him to go. And he plummeted pretty quickly, considering his next feud was being tossed into the Trump vs. McMahon feud (one of the worse things in wrestling from that era).

In 2010, The Nexus debuted. One of the hottest storylines in recent memory. And then they met with Cena, for real for real. Every ounce of energy was sapped.

Cena was forced to be fired, rehired, become a member of The Nexus, and then destroy the entire group by himself essentially a couple months later. A simple storyline (hero's fall from grace and comeuppance against the "evil new guys") was ruined because...well, I'm still unsure how they fucked up this storyline as much as they did.

Damien Sandow was Mr. Money in the Bank in 2013 for the World Heavyweight Championship. He had mic skills like all hell. He was solid in the ring. And then, he met John Cena. Do I really need to explain how that one ended?

In 2014, Rusev was the Black Bruiser newest WWE guy to meet Cena. Over their feud, Rusev, a man who threw around pretty much everyone up to that point, lost to Cena. Cleanly. On several occasions. These occasions culminated when Cena used the Umaga Spot again. Now?

Rusev is now in the middle of a storyline with Dolph Ziggler in which zero fucks are given by anyone, including the audience, which is unfortunate. I'm not the biggest Rusev fan, but he is solid in the ring. Dolph Ziggler, another Cena meal--I mean opponent hasn't fared much better, either. Neither has his Team Cena 2014 mate Ryback. Then again...Ryback was also part of The Nexus, so he's been fucked from the jump by Hustlelujah.

That's certainly not PG.

There are many more instances of Cena meeting an opponent/feuding party and said opponent turning into the next worst thing/a possible midcarder for life (Bray Wyatt in 2014, AJ Lee for a split second, Chris Masters, Kevin Owens recently, Neville, Wade Barrett, etc.). So, I literally could keep going for days. But, why waste your time? John Cena, for whatever reason (read: because WWE seems to still lack faith in anyone who isn't Cena) is usually the endpoint for a push. If you go over (Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Edge to a degree, Kevin Owens, etc.), you can usually expect the following:

Expect Cena to get his win(s) back.
Expect a loss in a screwy finish (see Bryan most of 2013).
Expect yourself to be in the middle of the pack.
Expect Cena to randomly, out of the fucking blue, get yet another WWE Championship shot (hi Seth Rollins).

Hustlelujah will reign supreme until Cena retires, it seems...I don't even think Roman Reigns could stop him (and I sure as shit don't want him to)


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