Okay, many of us were big John Cena fans at some point during his career, and I for one still believe that out of the OVW class of 2002, he still is the closest to break out star. But I would also admit that the WWE has neutered his character, diminishing his edge and making him WAYY too sing-alongy, much like they did to the Rock. Unfortunately, the Rock was already a multiple-time World Champion by the time that happened, but Cena still isn't ready. For Cena to make it over that hump, he needs a infusion of energy into his character.
Now most have said that Cena should turn heel. I disagree. The heelish manifestation of Cena won't be much different from the heelish Cena of last year. No, what has to happen is an Evolution, a moving into the next phase of his character. I've sometimes thought of Cena as an updated version of Stone Cold Steve Austin, with an DTA attitude and double birds, while carrying the flag of badass. Cena has lost his "Fuck the World" attitude, replaced by an immense desire to please the fans. This has made him soft, as he would rather pander to the fans than push forward.
In a lot of ways, Cena can take a lesson from his gimmick. As a rapper, "selling out" and "falling off" remain the twin pitfalls of any successful emcee. (Selling out is pandering to the mainstream at the expense of credibility to the core fanbase. Falling off is losing relevancy, putting out poor product that offers no impact to the marketplace.) Often, when a rapper is perceived of doing one or both, it's like blood in the water, as a hungry new face, or established one who sees his role threatened, will take potshots at him, in the hopes of destroying his career. A hip hop battle becomes a defining moment of a rapper's persona, where losing outright can close the book on it, and winning can light a new fire under him.
Should Cena be engaged in a battle? I say yes. I believe he should be attacked for being the man that he is, for "falling off," so to speak. I believe that through confronting his latent staleness, he can meet it head on and conquer it. I think that he should be attacked, both in lyrical and physical form, by a wrestler that thinks that Cena's lost his edge. The question is: Who is the best option?
Well, there aren't many guys on the roster that can pull it off. As far as the indies/TNA are concerned, I think that they'd have to be built up too quickly. For that reason, I'd have to say that Cena's best potential rival would be Booker T.
Now, you might say that Booker T is already feuding with Cena, to which I'd agree, but I already see the E losing focus, making te angle more about Cena feuding with Angle than about Cena finding something in himself to bring him to the next level. The Cena of today is too complacent, he isn't driven to get better. The feud with Angle is about Angle trying to take away what Cena has, not KEEPING Cena from achieving something greater. Perhaps if the King of the Ring still existed, Cena could follow along on the path previously paved, but without it, Cena must tread new rough terrain, and look like the right kind of dude for it. Booker T has walked rough terrain in WCW, and has enough of a main event aroma to remark upon Cena's complacency. Booker also carries a bit of a thug aura, whether through his quasi-rap theme song, his criminal past, or, truth be told, his blackness. Booker also recorded a rap song for the last WWE album. In that fashion, I don't think it'd be much of a stretch to have Booker T remix his theme song, dress a little more like a rapper, and cut a few flowmos of his own. (Ideally, he could do it in prerecorded form, like Cena did during his Lesnar minifeud and Undertaker feud.) The idea isn't to have Booker morph into some new rapper guy, rapping instead of talking; the idea is to have Booker challenge Cena on his own turf and tear him a new one. Just as "old-school" Cena used to be on point with his insults directed at his opponents, so too could Booker direct criticisms of Cena at him in rhyming fashion.
From there, the response to Cena should be similar to that of any target of rap beef. A lot of "oohing" and cautious pity, while they wait to see if he responds. Obviously, this being wrestling, a violent retaliation is to be not only expected, but called for, I'd have Booker T get the better of Cena there too. Taking Cena off TV while Booker brags about destroying Cena's career, and having Cena be curiously silent should increase Booker's heel heat, while allowing Cena to return with venom and righteous vengeance. Thus a highly anticipated PPV win (Summerslam?) can be paired with a highly anticipated lyrical smackdown in the postmatch promo. By returning Cena to the edgy Doctor of Thuganomics, the WWE could also transform Cena back into Public Enemy #1, but for good reason.
Is Booker T the wrong choice? Is this a bad idea overall? Feedback on the concept would be greatly appreciated...
Originally posted by madiqOkay, many of us were big John Cena fans at some point during his career, and I for one still believe that out of the OVW class of 2002, he still is the closest to break out star.
Cena has a long way to go before he gets to where Lesnar was before leaving, and Lesnar will be bigger than Cena when/if he eventually returns.
As for the rest of '02 OVW, Cena is bigger than Haas and Orlando Jordan. Right now, he's slightly bigger than Shelton Benjamin, and probably behind Orton, mainly due to the third-generation formula Vince is trying to hit again.
I think the biggest problem Cena has had is they have misjudged/mistimed some moves. There was no reason for Cena not to win the U.S. Title on the X-Mas night Iraq show. That would have given him a boost, rather than prolonging the Paul Wight chase for 3 months, all the while the U.S. Title was buried and lost some/all of its prestige. If they wanted to extend the feud, have Cena hold off Wight, with Mania being a gimmick match to conclude the feud. Then, they blew a simple money making feud by not having Dupree go over Cena for the U.S. Title. The humiliated American trying to regain his and his country's honor by reclaiming the U.S. Title from the 'evil foreigner' could have provided a more serious side for Cena that could eventually be used to elevate him to the next level.
(edited by thecubsfan on 13.6.04 2137) What's the difference between Sidney Ponson and a bucket of shit? The bucket.
If Cena's feud with Rikishi in 2002 proved anything, it's that you shouldn't have people battle rap when they can't rap. Putting Booker out there and asking him to rap would most likely go over like a lead balloon.
The difference, of course, is that Booker thinks he can rap. He expressed as much during one of the "WWE Originals" promo spots.
Besides, I'm not suggesting he freestyle. I'm thinking that the WWE get Booker to consult with a ghostwriter (both Busta Rhymes and Method Man are wrestling fans) and do a few prerecorded spots. Beef isn't about face-to-face confrontations; it's about what you say when the other guy ISN'T around...
Turning Booker into a rapper style kinda guy would take time, and would probably be only (unintentionally) funny. The only thing Cena could do is make fun of him. And funny Cena sucks big time. I dunno if he or WWE neutered his character, but trying to be funny and playing to the crowd the way he does now has killed him imo.
(Btw..did anybody HATE that promo a few weeks ago where he did all the fart noises when talking about Booker? That was horrible, I don't understand how this moron can be that over still!)
...Anything that gets Booker away from UT and that whole miss cleo thing is cool with me.
I like what your saying here Madiq. One thing, though, Booker doesn't have to rap at all for this angle to work. My favorite Cena fued was with Lesnar and we all know Lesnar didn't rap once the whole time.
I know Booker thinks he can rap and if he wants to, then fine do it. But I think you realized this and said he could do spots with Meth and Busta. They could have recorded promos where they're hangin out and ragging on Cena.
There's a lot of potential in a Booker/Cena fued to carry these summer shows and hopefully move Cena up to take on Eddy after he's done with Booker.
I don't think that Cena need necessarily shed his rapper gimmick completely... but I do think he needs to get away from actually rapping while he cuts promos. Or at least, he shouldn't do it quite as often.
Cena just can't seem to say anything right now that doesn't rhyme... and that's a bad thing. First, he's limiting the number of things he can say. He's having to stretch for some of the rhymes... other times the rhymes are just plain stupid. “Rene Dupree doesn't stand a chance, I'm gonna kick his ass back to France”? You've gotta be kidding me. It's like John Cena's doing a bad imitation of Mother Goose or something.
Maybe instead of having to rap in every promo, he can get away from that a little bit and focus more on the rapper lifestyle. Hot cars, fast women, jewelry, that sort of thing. I don't know... whatever the current rapper "thing" is, today. When it comes to things that are hip, I'm not exactly an expert. (Which is something I take a lot of pride in, thankyouverymuch).
Cena seems like a victim of his own success. He's gotten some popularity, some fame, now he just seems content to pander to the fans, not polish his moveset, or generally do anything other than cut some shitty rhyme, awkwardly punch his opponenet and do the FU.
This will be bad for him in the long run, because people will get tired of him.
His rhymes need to stay edgy and he needs to stop looking like a Baby Huey in the ring. Once he does that, he just needs to be put in main event programs and he'll be fine.
I'd plug him into a feud with Heyman's stable. It'd be better than his current battle with Crusty Old GM Kurt Angle.
-- Asteroid Boy
Wiener of the day: 23.7.02, 3.12.03
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