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Thread: Is the 3 Count Enough to Pin Cena?

  1. #1

    Is the 3 Count Enough to Pin Cena?



    In 2002 Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, starred as Jimmy "B-rabbit" Smith in the movie 8 mile that was based on his life as an aspiring rapper growing up in Detroit. The hip hop/R&B industry was almost exlusively African American and the film displayed the hardships of a white male in Eminem trying to make it in a world he and his peers had little to no track record in. Vanilla Ice had set a harsh precedent a decade prior for any caucasian who wanted to break through and be taken seriously. As the film progressed, it was apparent that he would always be deemed the stereotype by his adversaries. After much apprehension, he finally entered a street cred worthy rap battle where he would showcase his incredible talent and win over the approval of not only his own people, but those of color as well. By the time the final round came of this tournament he was facing an opponent who was considered to be the strongest and one who could uniquely expose "B rabbit" for all his shortcomings, possibly putting an end to any validation he'd received. In a surprise move, Eminem decided to flip the script.

    This guy ain't no motherfucking MC
    I know everything he's 'bout to say against me
    I am white, I am a fucking bum
    I do live in a trailer with my mom
    My boy Future is an Uncle Tom
    I do got a dumb friend named Cheddar Bob
    Who shoots himself in his leg with his own gun
    I did get jumped by all six of you chumps
    And Wink did fuck my girl
    I'm still standing here screaming, "Fuck the Free World!"
    Don't ever try to judge me, dude
    You don't know what the fuck I've been through
    But I know something about you
    You went to Cranbrook, that's a private school
    What's the matter, dawg, you embarrassed?
    This guy's a gangster? His real name's Clarence
    And Clarence lives at home with both parents
    And Clarence parents have a real good marriage
    This guy don't wanna battle, he shook
    ‘Cause ain't no such things as halfway crooks
    He's scared to death, he's scared to look
    In his fucking yearbook; fuck Cranbrook!
    Fuck the beat, I'll go a cappella
    Fuck a Papa Doc, fuck a clock, fuck a trailer
    Fuck everybody! Fuck y'all if you doubt me!
    I'm a piece of fucking white trash, I say it proudly
    And fuck this battle, I don't wanna win, I'm outtie
    Here, tell these people something they don't know about me

    Game, set, match! With all the confidence in the world, knowing damn well he's good at what he does, he was able to take everything negative about himself and use it as fuel to the point where his opponent grabbed the mic with just an instrumental beat playing and was not able to rebuttal with a single world

    In the world of wrestling, the WWE's version of Eminem, a man who is so self aware that he can expose himself before you even get the chance to, is John Cena. Cena is so entirely comfortable in himself, his legacy and any preconceived notions to the point where he can always stay two steps ahead of you in any war of words.

    Cena's promo on the Big Dog this past Monday almost universally had positive reviews, as the majority were in the camp of wanting to see Roman Reigns exposed for being forcefed to us this long. Cena did what Cena always does; he broke the 4th wall and excelled in delivering an engaging promo that always toes the line of scripted drama and reality. I, however, was not a fan of how that went down. John Cena always gets to set the tone for breaking kayfabe and, like Eminem in his final rap, is able to acknowledge everything about himself, leaving his opponents visibly frusterated, stumbling on their words or having to resort to calling him a "bitch" like Reigns was forced to do. It's no secret that Cena is better than the current crop of superstars on being real, it's no secret Reigns has a lot of work ahead of him, but I find this tactic to be entirely unfair. At the end of the day, this is still scripted drama and not reality TV and I firmly believe Cena needs to put guys in a better position to verbally spar with him. Clearly, John Cena has 0 problems putting a guy over in the ring. When he is inevitably holding up championship #17 at some point next year, nobody (especially Cena himself) is going to care that he was the opening match of Summerslam or that Shinsuke Nakamura beat him to get a title shot or that he would have possibly lost to Roman Reigns by that time. Do you know why he wont care? He knows nobody has come close to replacing him. He knows everytime you put him in a high profile feud, what will live on is his shredding of Roman Reigns and not the fact that he may lose cleanly at No Mercy. Quite frankly, the loss will be a footnote in a storied career where people go to you tube to see his promos and his soon to be history breaking title moment rather than Cena losing a scripted match.

    Is the 3 count enough to pin Cena?

    It appears the WWE and it's writers are behind on the times and unwilling to invest in a template of long term building that got Stone Cold, The Rock, HHH, Batista and even Cena himself over by winning big time matches on big stages that would allow the torch to be passed to the next generation's star. Today, in the short attention span era we live in, it feels like creative thinks that beating Cena at any given time should just propel the superstar next level and that is just not happening. It didn't take Kevin Owens to new heights, it didn't help Nakamura to beat him and then lose to Jinder Mahal and I fear the pin in itself is not going to do anything for Roman either. September 25th is going to come and Reigns will enter the ring giving the same promo, proclaiming his yard and listing off his impressive paper resume. Who cares? I'm willing to bet you don't care.

    Everyone seems to want to rip Roman for Monday as though he didn't hold his own. While I wouldn't call his promo a success, I would also not call it a failure, either. Did he do any worse than the Rock? Cena pulled the same kind of transparency bull shit on him too and the Rock knew damn well he didn't have the same passion for the WWE that Cena had and therefore could never quite deliver an organic promo the way Cena could. The Rock may have dressed his promos up with witty catch phrases and silly jokes, but he too failed. He failed to the point where he had to resort to calling Cena a "kung pow bitch" which literally makes zero sense and is far less plausible than just calling someone a "bitch" like Roman did.

    Reigns got frusterated by Cena for the same reasons The Rock did and AJ Styles. Cena is allowed to control the pace of breaking the 4th wall and anything you say against him is deemed as whining, complaining and being just like everyone else. You are left the table scraps to a man who always skates by on a technacality and finds a few exceptions to the rule.

    Pretty Much The Smackdown promo between Styles/Cena on January 24, 2017 en route to their Rumble Match for the WWE championsip:

    AJ Styles: I'm the WWE champion, why am I on the back of the Royal Rumble poster? Why was I referred to as "the guy from Atlanta" on the Today Show? I'm the champ that runs the camp. I'm unbeatable. I'm unstoppable. We don't need you John. I replaced you.

    John Cena: I'm going to discredit all of your legitimate gripes and let you know that only I am allowed to brag about myself as the best like you just did. I'd also like to go ahead and devalue your hard work on the Indie scene by reminding you that I'm above the indies. You are so unoriginal to try and call me out on all of these mostly true statements like everyone else does. Get in line with all the people who call me out on things that are actually true. I'm going to say things like "i work hard" and "I put in the work" in a very passionate voice and leave now"

    The Cena/Reigns promo wasn't fair from the start. Reigns got to acknowledge that he beat the Undertaker and ended his career at Wrestlemania and, because of accomplishing such a feat in a kayfabe sense, he would have no reason to fight Cena. So then Cena gets to break the 4th wall early by dismissing his win over the Undertaker because of Taker's advanced age, Then it's the "everyone wants me to turn heel but I won't cause I'm so comfortable with myself" line followed by the burial of Reigns and how he's a Cena rip off and can't get the job done. So Reigns, in a Vince approved promo probably having to play it safe, is forced to respond on the spot to Cena in the same cirumstances in which he does this to everyone. He tells him if he wants to replace him he has to learn to cut a promo to which Reigns has to reply with "you suck and "you're a bitch."

    Look, I realize in a sense Cena is the face and Reigns is the heel. Perhaps Cena is supposed to be the one looking strong and burying Reigns. I just happen to be in a small minority of people that don't get what this is supposed to accomplish. Reigns wins, you still hate him, you still hate his position in the company and the loss does absolutely nothing for Cena. The loss probably won't rattle Cena, it won't pass the torch and it's coming at a time that I feel is incorrect. Reigns promos are not coming off as someone who's cocky, he's coming off as someone who's scripted not to be able to hang with Cena. End of the day, you still view him as a lame duck joke of a person who can't cut a promo and isn't in Cena's league even if he does beat him.

    How do we remedy this? I think everyone involved needs to find some middle ground. It would be nice to see some character development from Cena, even if it doesn't result in a heel turn. It would be nice for a change if Cena allowed himself to be rattled by something or someone. I'm not here to play fantasy booker, but I'd like to see an out-of-character Cena leaving the ring in disgust, taking something personal, retaliating, or letting something bother him. For Cena's opponents, they need to find another level in their promo cutting and hopefully the writers allow for some creative freedom. I can't sit here and blame Cena for doing what he does entirely if what he gives someone can't be reciprocated. For the writers, it'd be nice if they could pull Cena back a bit. As I've said, I enjoy when he gets real and it makes for excellent television but if he really is interested in moving the WWE forward, he needs to bend a bit on his character. What John needs is a motive. It feels like everytime he goes to the ring he has the attitude of "oh boy this is fun and i'm playing with house money. I can say and do whatever I please and I'm the greatest of all time so I can cut you down to size, leave, come back, repeat. I'm so much better than everyone else but I'll dress it up in a way as though i'm doing you guys a favor."

    This should be a challenge to Cena's opponents: if you want to be the best ever, get it done on the mic so you don't end up like Eminem's opponent in 8 mile sitting mute with a stick in your hand because you get served by someone who did their homework.


    I'm not ready to give up on Roman Reigns just yet, and you shouldn't be either. If the WWE had just originally stuck with him as a heel instead of painting him as the baby face hero we never wanted, we may not be in this mess. Let's let his heel run play out for months and see if the fans would then be willing to embrace him once again as a face, perhaps even more willing to accept a Shield reunion where there are unnanimous cheers rather than a 1/3 boos for the Hounds of Justice. As for John Cena, I do truly believe in my heart of hearts that he owes it to us to give us more character development at this stage in his career. Despite the entertaining promos he does gives and the intriguing feuds he's been a part of, it's time he shows us something more.

    TYPE IT BACK FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANS: Should Cena's character evolve or would this experiment just be a sad attempt to make sure lesser individuals don't get their feelings hurt?
    Last edited by TypeItInMaan; 09-03-2017 at 08:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    This column tackles such a complex, layered topic with such clarity .

    What John needs is a motive. It feels like everytime he goes to the ring he has the attitude of "oh boy this is fun and i'm playing with house money. I can say and do whatever I please and I'm the greatest of all time so I can cut you down to size, leave, come back, repeat. I'm so much better than everyone else but I'll dress it up in a way as though i'm doing you guys a favor."
    This truth bomb dropped is what top the cake. You got it right on the money, Cena needs to play the game like everyone else. His feud with Miz had the same ring to it, when Miz was dropping insults about his relationship with Bella, Cena didn't even finch. What we need is Cena showing some cracks on the mic and character wise. Give us a bit of vulnerability.

    This column is ace. Really good stuff around the Forums these days, feels like I have been missing out.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.

  3. #3
    I will say, I do genuinely believe that Cena is trying to light the fire. I just think everyone has been programmed to follow the script. When Roman tried to improve, he failed. He even resorted to swearing, which was a clear improve, but it sucked.

    Plus, its almost like everyone forgot the Cena was the original Roman. He was shoved down our throats for the better part of a decade and people didn't start supporting Cena again until Cena left and less became more. But Cena cleverly disguised his success as some kind of personal triumph when really Vince just shoved him down our throats until eventually he became epic levels of popular. Eventually the IWC will find someone else to turn on, and eventually Roman will become okay again. Its just "cool" to hate Roman, like it was "cool" to hate Cena, and then once there's something else to latch on and put themselves over the IWC will parade that direction. It's always been that way with a niche audience. It's just worse now that we have social media.

  4. #4
    Trouble is, people aren't given the chance to get on Cena's level with promos. He came from a time when promo's were just a few bullet points you had to include, the rest was up to you. Today, people are given a full script to memorise. For that reason, nobody can ever get on a level playing field with Cena.

    As much as I believe WWE have dropped the ball with not getting people over in the mid-card before promoting them to the main event, they're also very responsible for putting too many limits on what the majority of guys can say.

    Unless someone breaks through on their own like Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, it's hard to see WWE building anyone up to be on Cena's level. Unfortunately, unless that person also happens to have the look that makes Vince go hard, they will probably end up being pushed back down in favour of his latest crush.

  5. #5
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I agree that Cena's career has some really good comparisons to Eminem's career. Mainly because of the respect he now has. Because Eminem was white he had to work his ass off and become the best in the game to earn the respect of his peers and fans alike. Cena might have had the respect of his peer, but definitely not of the fans. But through hard work I think that now Cena has that respect of the fans (and even most in the IWC these days) because of his ability in the ring, especially in recent years. He battled through being boo'd out of countless arenas to finally become one of the best in the ring. And even though he still gets mixed reactions he is at least respected for what he can do in the ring, where it actually matters.

    Cena would never be able to destroy Punk on the mic like that if Punk was able to truly let go. As for pinning Cena being enough, it only is if the wrestler beating Cena gets booked properly after defeating him, unlike KO and Rusev.

  6. #6
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I had an image of Evan Karagias, Shane Helms, and Shannon Moore taking on Cena when I read this column title.

    I strongly dislike the shooty shoot kind of promo, especially in a case like that where one wrestler seemingly has special permission to break that 4th wall. It always seems to leave somebody worse off and distracts from telling a meaningful story in favor of trying to make people think something is "really real" instead of the normal fake real of wrestling. I feel like it's something Cena should be above considering his level of talent, but as you said it sounds like he's just playing around at this point, to some extent anyway. Also strongly agree that a simple win over Cena has become essentially meaningless, history has shown WWE is unwilling to follow through and thus it becomes an empty gesture. I'd love for Cena's character to develop further, I still believe someday we will get that heel turn and it'll be great, but until then I'm not really expecting much. Nice column, enjoyed the structure and the use of image, though you may want to look into resizing them a bit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Tim R, I remembered Cena got himself over with the white rapper gimmick for many years, fought it out in the mid card and made himself one of the must see before he became the guy Vince push. Roman never had that traction, he was always popular because of the Shield and even Ambrose and Seth were originally sinking without the Shield, especially Ambrose. So no comparison there, Cena is far from the original Roman. Sheamus/Batista/ Randy on the other hand...
    And Jacob wrestled with God.

  8. #8
    I beat up Kong! Powder's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Your point was made this past Monday. This was the end of the the Reigns/Cena segment from RAW.

    Cena: Or do I have to beat some common sense into you?

    Reigns: (Big Smile) Now we're talking John. Do it. (Cena just stares a little shocked) Come on, do it. Do it, right here, right now. What do you think Omaha? Do you want to see John Cena beat my ass? This is your moment, this is your moment to finally back up your big mouth. (Cena with just another uncomfortable smirk) Do it. (Cena backs away) Just like I thought. You're all talk John, and that's why I don't

    Reigns drops the mic and leaves, and Cena is left in the ring looking a little worse for where and out of character.

    Cena seemed rattled.

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