Ugh, here comes John Cena again, hogging all the spotlight. There he is, not putting over another up-and-comer. Gee, the guy won another big pay-per-view match, shocking. Oh, five moves of doom time. Same old stuff. Cena, you su-. Hey, wait a minute. It’s 2014. None of these things are particularly true anymore, nor have they been for quite some time. So why is every adult male still booing the man?
Well, the short answer is that by now, it is flat out engrained in people’s minds that when Cena’s music hits and he comes to the ring, it’s time to boo. At this point, the crowd has manipulated itself to acting like nothing more than Pavlov’s Dogs. I also feel it is interesting to note that somewhere along the line in the mid-2000’s, it became fashionable to jeer him as a way to tell Vince McMahon and the WWE that the fans are not mindless drones that will cheer him just because you shove him down our throats and want us to. However, those same people, in fact, have become mindless drones in spite of themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum by getting caught up in their own cause of booing Cena…just because. Face it: booing John Cena has lost all of its meaning.
Granted, it is fair to say that a main frustration the fans have with Cena is that he is the same character that he was nine years ago. Look, I am a huge believer that characters need to evolve in pro wrestling to maintain intrigue, and that staying the same is a death knell to entertainment. I would love to see a heel turn for Cena or perhaps a more edgy babyface character. But people need to realize that by this point, it just isn’t going to happen. I was as big of a Cena hater as any up until a couple of years ago, but you have to learn to get over it and move on. Open your eyes and see the entire body of work he has put together, especially in recent years, and you will realize that the landscape is different, and for the better.
To that point, booing John Cena was used as a signal for wanting change, and regardless of how we got here, that almighty cause has seen its successful end game. In the process, he has torn the house down with wrestlers the caliber of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, while putting them over in order to get them to the top of the WWE hierarchy. Some other recent instant classics with the likes of future stars of the company such as Seth Rollins and Cesaro also come to mind. Add that with a major Wrestlemania match with Bray Wyatt around the corner, and the notion that he is hogging the spotlight while keeping young guys down has certainly become passé.
Hey, even after all is said and done, I still don’t fancy myself a Cena guy. But as a true fan of the WWE and the business as a whole, I feel like you have to respect the performer, at least enough to stop foolishly booing him for what has become no reason at this point. If nothing else, it is clear that he totally “gets it”, apparent by self-deprecating barbs randomly sprinkled throughout his promos. While the dueling “Let’s go Cena!/Cena sucks!” chants have been entertaining over the years , I feel like it has run its course. Besides, wouldn’t it just be more fun to just cheer Cena at this point and see what he could do with a full audience in his favor all of these years later? I think he has earned that right for us to give back, and who knows, maybe he will be better off for it.
At the end of the day, the fact remains that we’ve been giving someone the business that has put on incredible matches, while putting over the guys that we’ve fought so hard in supporting in hopes that one day they would get to the top. It appears to me that at this stage of the game, John Cena is no longer a part of the problem, but part of the solution. Someone that cares just as much about both the present and future of the company as we do. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like someone that I can get behind.