Not sure whether to put this in the Wrestling forum or not; I'll leave it up to the mods here.
I really didn't care for the Bad Bad Man video; outside of Cena being really funny in it, I didn't really find anything terribly interesting or good.
I don't understand the hype, personally. I mean, John Cena is the rapper, right? His name is on the CD, etc. etc...but in the video, there are THREE rappers.
Now, I don't profess to be a fan of rap CDs (I only own three CDs, and most would say they really suck) but shouldn't credit be given? Even when the title of the video came out, it was just Cena's name in it.
Cena's career as a "recording artist" seems to me to be all part of the WWE's plan to make him a star by forcing him down our throats. Putting the strap on him, blinging it up, produciung a movie vehicle for him, and now this. The video took up a fair chunk of the SD broadcast. Had I paid for a ticket to the show, and was forced to sit through that, I would felt a little ripped-off that there wasn't another high-profile match booked for that time. As a TV viewer, I would rather have wathced the Paul London/Akio match that was tapped for Velocity. The WWE is soon going to learn, again, that when they try to force a "star" down our throats (us being the audience, not just the geeks) there is usually a backlash. Cena's heat is looking more and more like Orton's every day.
(edited by Stilton on 7.5.05 2001) He was a popular attraction until he choked to death on a corn kernel.
I agree. But is that going to be such a bad thing? I'd much rather watch Cena as a heel. He was nothing short of vicious and COOL against Lesnar. Remember when Buchanon was still around and was Cena's sidekick? Well, Cena's wrestling skills were suffering at that point, but his personality was nailed down to a T.
Now that he's improved in the ring enough to justify being considered for the main event, all we're waiting for now is the backlash against him. That won't be such a bad thing after all, when it does happen.
I don't get it sometimes. When superstars are on top, people want to complain about everything about them to knock them down. Some say that Cena is being pushed down our throats in the same way that Randy Orton was. Now there is a big difference between these two stars: Cena was groomed for just about two years to be champion while Orton was rushed to the title to wipe out the memory of Brock Lesnar being the youngest champion in WWE history.
Now Orton was forced down our throats. As a heel, he was just strating to hear some cheers when he came out, mostly after his match at Backlash against Foley. However, Orton's character was the cocky jock who though he was better than everyone and we as fans were suppose to care about him when Evolution turned on him after all the comments and actions Orton had committed? I don't think so.
Also, the few cheers Orton was getting as a heel were no where near as close as the cheers Cena was getting as a heel. It was literally the fans that turned Cena into a strong face. Granted, his freestyles aren't as good as they were in 2003 but that is in large part because of the FCC having a tizzy fit over Janet Jackson.
Everyone is just sitting back and waiting for Cena to fall flat on his face and have everyone rebel against him. Uhm, have y'all been listening to the ovations and crowd reactions he recieves when he comes out? Unless your deaf or just don't want to admit it, Cena IS the most over WWE Superstar right now and will be for a long time.
Originally posted by S.W.A.T.Uhm, have y'all been listening to the ovations and crowd reactions he recieves when he comes out? Unless your deaf or just don't want to admit it, Cena IS the most over WWE Superstar right now and will be for a long time.
Chain gang represent. There's nothing wrong with trying to project your hopes and dreams onto reality, but that's a-what they're doing. I mean, Cena is everything as the top face that Orton wasn't -- someone the people genuinely want to get behind, far and away the most popular guy on that side (definitively now that Guerrero is turned), and a wrestler who is legit connecting as a hero to the crowd and coming off as a big star.
Is he going to become a crossover mainstream star? I kind of doubt it, but it's smart as all heck to give the fake impression that he is, because it makes him seem larger than life to the existing audience. And Xtina's brothers like him. ABADOO.
RANDY ORTON began getting a LOT of cheers after Backlash and his CLEAN victory over Cactus Jack. He won the World Title from Chris Benoit [then the #1 face and champion for 5 months] and was suddenly turned face by Triple H kicking him out of Evolution the next night after his rematch against Benoit. So, we had a World Champion who'd just turned face (and had never worked for a prolonged period AS a face at that level)...and they're surprised it bombed? Most of Orton's signature poses and moves are distinctively heelish. Heck, the "Look at me" pose he does during his entrance is particularly heelish. The bookers panicked and did everything possible to get us to like him...but it didn't take since the majority of his definitive moments in wrestling are as a heel. His reign was ONE MONTH, and came after the very successful Chris Benoit reign which featured many, many title defenses and good wrestling.
JOHN CENA began getting a lot of cheers during the fall of 2003, eventually turning face at or around Survivor Series (he was on Team Angle with Benoit & Angle, and turned around this time). Cena won the big title well over a year after his turn. He's used to working as a face. Cena worked as a face for his first several months on Smackdown before his initial turn, so he was probably more prepared than Orton. Nevertheless, Cena IS over. While his promos have lacked the edge that made him popular initially, and his ringwork isn't spectacular...he's not bad. It probably helps that Cena was preceded by a very over (like it or not) heel champion in JBL.
I remember when The Rock turned face and everyone complained that The Rock is stale. He does the same variation of his schtick every week. The People's Elbow is a lame move. The people will turn on him. They did turn on him for a short period of time when he left the company, which allowed him to turn heel on TV but he had a hell of a run as a face.
When Stone Cold got the strap, everyone complained that he was watered down and not the same guy that was breaking Brian Pillman's ankle and terrorizing anyone associated with the name Hart when he was a heel.
Everyone loves the rise, they love the chase, but they can't wait to stick a knife in the guy's back when he gets on top. Cena's not JBL. He's not a manufactured "star". He's a guy who rapped on a gimmick Halloween show after they brought him in and made him a generic rookie. Now people are claiming that he's being shoved down our throats? JBL was shoved down our throats. He was the circle piece that a kid tries to jam into square spot. Eventually, you may force it in there but everyone with half a brain can see it doesn't belong. John Cena is not JBL.
"When did they pass a law that says the people who make my sandwich have to be wearing gloves? I'm not comfortable with this. I don't want glove residue all over my food; it's not sanitary. Who knows where these gloves have been?" - George Carlin
"The video took up a fair chunk of the SD broadcast."
It took up maybe three minutes of airtime. If anyone was complaining that it was a waste of their precious ticket-money, they should be thankful they got a show with Rey Vs. Chavo, MNM Vs. Scotty/Shannon and Carlito wrestling on it rather than the crap SD was putting on last year.
Personally, and this is gonna torpedo what little credibility I have I'm sure, I enjoyed the music video immensely. It's goofy enough to appeal to fans of novelty records, it's got a hard enough edge to get the dollar of WWE fans and it's inoffensive enough to capture the child/young teen market. Plus, it was just a lot of silly fun.
Originally posted by oldschoolheroIf anyone was complaining that it was a waste of their precious ticket-money, they should be thankful they got a show with Rey Vs. Chavo, MNM Vs. Scotty/Shannon and Carlito wrestling on it rather than the crap SD was putting on last year.
A lot of the people who are against Cena are also admittedly against rap. They don't like "this gimmick" and it won't last, apparently, because these people, who are more or less in the minority now in terms of the music-buying public, aren't into the material. Hip-hop, and all bastardizations of it, are the thing right now. As lame as it might seem to someone who is plugged into the music in a real way, most of the WWE's audience isn't deeper into hip-hop than owning a couple Eminem albums and maybe vaguely remembering the Beastie Boys. These are white kids they're trying to reach, who traditionally are going to be into a pasturized relative of the initial black music/style/lingo/whathaveyou versus the original article. In that sense it works, it stays generic and never alienates their core audience. It isn't going to be hard to convince them Cena is the only act in WWE that seems relevant or topical.
And if the Eminem comparisons mean anything, let me at least say that I find Cena's intensity a hundred times more believable.
As it goes, if he's to be the Eminem of wrestling, they're doing a good job of executing him that way. It's "poppy" rap, not really all that deep or relevant, but fun and easy-going and a good imitation of something that might actually move units. I don't think it will ever approach anything close to legitimacy, but that's not really what they need. They need him to get some minor play on VH1 or one of the lesser MTV channels, and create a little extra publicity for them and trick someone into thinking they're "it" right now. I don't think Georgio Armani needed to approve the Austin 3:16 shirts for them to be a good idea, this is just them expanding their marketing potential into newer areas. I doubt anyone is aiming for Cena to become a huge recording star and leave them in the lurch like anyone in their right mind does when they find a better gig.
What Cena needs is a long series of matches with someone better than fucking JBL. He's not going to get any better in the ring with this shmuck to learn from.
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I agree. I don't think Cena's necessarily bad bad, not Orton bad, but the gimmick sucks and ought to be changed. First off he can't rap. And he responds to adversity with staggering overreactions. I'm still trying to figure out where all the anger against JBL came from, considering that the one thing JBL did to him-- destroy the blinged-up U.S. Title-- was the one thing that Cena didn't seem to care about. "U.S. Title rematch? I don't need no stinkin' U.S. Title rematch!" Um, OK. Then quit yer bitchin'.
Overall he's not very easy for me to relate to. You could relate to Steve Austin (bad-ass redneck who doesn't trust anybody and gets to beat up The Man), The Rock (arrogant and ultra-charismatic superstar who seems to have a never-ending supply of energy in the ring), Hulk Hogan (all-American hero who fights for the rights of every man™), Ric Flair (cocky, ultra-charismatic and too cool for school), and guys like that very easily, no matter who you were. Whether you liked them or hated them, you at least always understood where they were coming from.
I simply find it hard to figure out where Cena's coming from. And I have the sneaking suspicion that twenty years from now, when the hip-hop culture has no doubt gone the way of disco, we'll look back and say "They put the strap on a guy trying to be a rapper?" Sure, hip-hop is "hip" right now, but a lot of things have been "hip". It takes a special individual to be "cool".
And on the subject of the music video, though I didn't see it, I guess WWE figured "It worked so well for WCW when K-Dawg did it, why not have Cena do it?" Of course it didn't work well for K-Dawg at all, though for awhile he was certainly one of the more popular wrestlers on the roster. Kick him outta the Wolfpac, though, and he becomes a non-entity.
(edited by ekedolphin on 9.5.05 0235) “Hey, I'm bilingual! I speak Profanity and English!" --Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA, May 8, 2005
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Originally posted by ekedolphinAnd on the subject of the music video, though I didn't see it, I guess WWE figured "It worked so well for WCW when K-Dawg did it, why not have Cena do it?" Of course it didn't work well for K-Dawg at all, though for awhile he was certainly one of the more popular wrestlers on the roster.
It worked better for nWo Wolfpac-era Disco Inferno. :-)
Originally posted by ekedolphinI simply find it hard to figure out where Cena's coming from. And I have the sneaking suspicion that twenty years from now, when the hip-hop culture has no doubt gone the way of disco, we'll look back and say "They put the strap on a guy trying to be a rapper?" Sure, hip-hop is "hip" right now, but a lot of things have been "hip". It takes a special individual to be "cool".
Rap and hip-hop culture have been around for about thirty years, and have been mainstream for about 20. I'm not even a big hip-hop fan, but it is inarguable that it is a major musical genre that is here to stay, unlike disco.
So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweets shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me, and Keith Moon, and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweets shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shopkeeper and his son... that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business, really, but sure enough I got the M&Ms, and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.--- Del Preston
Originally posted by ekedolphinAnd on the subject of the music video, though I didn't see it, I guess WWE figured "It worked so well for WCW when K-Dawg did it, why not have Cena do it?" Of course it didn't work well for K-Dawg at all, though for awhile he was certainly one of the more popular wrestlers on the roster. Kick him outta the Wolfpac, though, and he becomes a non-entity.
The Konnan video (and the song for that matter) totally blow away anything that Cena will ever do. Seriously.
I'd rather they started playing Konnan's video two or three times per show like WCW used to rather than see Cena's again. Spoof videos have been so overused in the last few years that barely any of them are amusing anymore. Stick a wannabe rapper over the top of one and it's even worse.
Originally posted by ekedolphinAnd I have the sneaking suspicion that twenty years from now, when the hip-hop culture has no doubt gone the way of disco, we'll look back and say "They put the strap on a guy trying to be a rapper?"
Does it matter what people say twenty years from now about Cena as champion? If WWE can sell his CDs, movies, merchandise, and title defenses in 2005, who cares if people turn on the character well after he's out of the spotlight?
Besides, Cena's really toned down the actual rapper part of his character, the new rap album notwithstanding. If you only watch Smackdown, all you see is a guy who never actually raps. The CD comes across like a side project, rather than the main idea of the character. Nobody's saying "They made the first ever undisputed champion the lead singer in a hair band?"
I thought the song was pretty good, actually. I did not think it was a good vehicle for Cena. I understand the concept of a "rap crew," but Cena rapped for all of 30 seconds. You'd think his debut would include more of him. That song is all Bumpy Knuckles, who is awesome. Even Cena's cousin, the least convincing-looking rapper I've ever seen, got more focus than Cena and was probably a better rapper to boot.
The video, meanwhile, was kind of a disaster. It was trite, nothing we haven't seen before, and Gary Coleman is always a terrible idea. (I love how now that Gary refuses to use his "whatchoo talkin' 'bout" catchphrase, the alleged joke is always for someone to say it to him. Quite the loophole right there.) Kidnapping the '80s is a really stupid plot idea -- the '80s got permanently kidnapped on Dec. 31, 1989, and besides, I thought Cena's milieu was the early '90s. Worse, it was very badly directed. The song seemed secondary to the action, which is a cardinal music-video sin. Sound effects of breaking tables and shattering glass kept interrupting the flow of the song and dominating the soundtrack. They broke into the song entirely at a couple of inopportune times.
As for Cena himself: I've completely given up on him. When he first adopted the rapper gimmick, I thought he had a lot of potential and recognized the importance of the gimmick in getting him attention, but I thought he would never truly make it to the next level until he dumped it. I still believe all of that, but unfortunately, it's now clear he's going to be saddled with the gimmick for the rest of his career. The rapper thing is lame, and I say that with what I think is a fairly OK knowledge of hip-hop culture. It is very, very Marky Mark, and even Mark Wahlberg knows that Mary Mark was totally uncool. I'm sure middle-aged guys in Des Moines think his dress and speech are representative of current hip-hop culture, but they're actually about 15 years out of date. Those jean shorts he wrestles in are ridiculous, as is his jewelry. He called someone "homie" the other week. "Homie"! Sadly, as of late, Cena seems to have started spouting the usual WWE party line that his gimmick is just him "with the volume turned way up." This rings a lot more false than when the Rock, who was also lying, used to say it, because any gimmick in which you adopt fake speech patterns is by definition not a variant on your actual personality.
Of course, I'm completely ignoring his wrestling ability, which is not good. He's not a bad wrestler, per se, but if you were to rank the WWE roster purely in terms of their ability to put on an exciting match -- note I didn't say moveset or technical ability, just the ability to put on an exciting match, which I've always thought was the only thing that was really important -- Cena would probably finish somewhere near in the middle, most likely in the lower half. I might also add that there is absolutely no excuse for his awful, awful finisher. I refuse to believe he can't come up with something better, but for whatever reason, he just doesn't.
Cena is 100-percent strictly for the kids, which I suspect is the secret to his success. He's Hulk Hogan in 1987, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for the company, but as a fan, I'm thinking about what entertains me, not what's good for the company. And I'm not entertained. His Chain Gang is presented thusly: He's the leader, the coolest guy ever, and he wants you to be his loyal follower. This is a '80s sort of concept (hey, he's old school) that worked to appeal to kids back then and can only have the same appeal now. Contrast this with Steve Austin, whose gimmick suggested that he couldn't care less if you followed him or not, and the Rock, who, as a babyface, referred to "The People" with a figurative (and literal) raised eyebrow, letting everyone in on the joke. With Cena, there is no joke. Hey, times have changed and the Rock and Austin models may no longer be effective. Maybe they need to go back to the '80s, when they hooked kids left and right then got those kids, by that time young adults, back with the antiheroes of the '90s. Now that the '90s fans are largely gone, they seem to have written them off entirely and are trying to capture a new generation. I admit this could work. But we shouldn't pretend anything else is going on here.