There is no doubt John Cena is the face of the WWE. He has starred in movies, often headlines Wrestlemania, and might be the only name non-wrestling fans actually know. His colorful shirts, never say die attitude, and connection with the Make A Wish Foundation have made him a positive role model for kids. How could someone who in real life is a pretty good guy and whose character is even better, be so hated by some wrestling fans?
He Never Loses
The same way a baseball video game loses its luster when your team finishes the season 162-0, watching someone win all of the time can get boring. Since WWE is scripted, there is even less reason for Cena to pick up as many wins as he does. While this makes his character a more credible champion, there are plenty of other guys who still do lose often enough where they seem like a legitimate threat in any match. Rooting for Cena, the guy who seems to never lose is like hoping the most popular kid in school gets voted prom king. All Cena has to do is lose a little bit more and the older fans will be a little more accepting when he finally does pick up a victory.
He’s Too Cheesy
The entire character of John Cena has become hokey to the point where I use “grandmother words” like hokey to describe him. Cena is a goody-two-shoes company man. Even when he attempts to be rebellious he has righteous intentions. What made Stone Cold Steve Austin great was that when he rebelled it was against his boss. Stone Cold broke the rules. Cena’s strategy is more on par with writing angry polite emails. The Cena character can remain a positive influence without breaking away from his morals. Each time he takes the high road though, it comes off as cheesy. Why would a man who settles his arguments by fighting shirtless in a ring have such a perfect set of angelic virtues?
His Character Never Changes
Evolution is a big part of a wrestling character, and I’m not talking about HHH’s wrestling stable. Speaking of HHH, he faces a lot of the same criticisms that Cena has. HHH spent a long time rarely losing and being a little too cheesy. However, in the long history of HHH he has continued to evolve his character. Spending ample time as heel and face, HHH has gone from the sophisticated Hunter Hearst Helmsley to the sledgehammer carrying Cerebral Assassin to the current evil COO. Cena has failed to evolve ever since he became a main eventer. He continues his one man army gimmick, always “fighting the good fight” and “giving it 100%.” For a change Cena needs to do something for a selfish reason, even if in the end we know he reverts back to his stale character.
His In-Ring Action is Predictable
Unlike most Cena detractors, I do believe Cena is a decent wrestler who can tell a story in the ring. The problem I see is that Cena tells the same story every time. We are made to believe that Cena is an underdog even though he always overcomes the made-up challenges. Cena is not small like Rey Mysterio, pushed around by the authority like Daniel Bryan, or a guy who comes from a tough life on the street like R-Truth. Cena is a golden child and we expect him to win. When it comes to actual matches, Cena often looks down and out before making a triumphant comeback. He will reverses finishing moves and whenever it looks like he may tap out, Cena manages to drag his opponent to the ropes to break the hold. The ‘Attitude Adjustment,’ ‘Five Knuckle Shuffle’, and ‘You Can’t See Me’ all make an appearance. For a John Cena match, it’s always only a matter of time before he comes from behind and takes the championship belt off someone else.