Great article, and I think it's true to an extent.
Looking at the pattern, though, it's a good thing that CM Punk had the long reign that he did, because it seems that regardless of whoever is champion, there's always a Q2/Q3 drop regardless of what's going on annually. In 2012, unlike previous years, there were no significant title changes so it seems as if you can't blame any one person for something that happens to everyone.
I think the fact that the numbers didn't dip quite as much from WrestleMania 29 till SummerSlam last year says a lot as far as how Cena staved off the drop while champion. Of course, this is WWE business overall and isn't like ratings where you can get more specific, but still an interesting read.
I'm not sure if it's entirely accurate what it says about Cena, but I do agree that Orton is better for business than people give him credit for.
Originally posted by dwatersCena is sooo beyond needing any kind of title by now.
It's not like potential ticket-buyers are going, "Cena's gonna be there? Without the belt, though? Screw that."
For what it's worth, they're trying with other guys. This year, with Bryan. In the next year, it'll be with Reigns. Eventually, hopefully they'll smarten up and give Ambrose a shot at the top spot, too.
I'm sure Cena's going to have another reign somewhere in there, just like Hogan got a few well after the heyday of Hulkamania and The Rock after his full time wrestling career. Hell, the only reason Cena's champion right now is because Bryan couldn't physically do it.
Still, it's not about Cena needing the title as much as it is the title needing Cena. Since they can't do Bryan vs Lesnar, they have to do Cena vs Lesnar and since Lesnar isn't going to be around until SummerSlam, Cena has to be holding the belt going into it. They're not doing it to pop ratings, they're doing it to promote their biggest match of the last three months.
It's just the mechanics of wrestling and all their moving parts. It has to happen this way because it's too early for Reigns, Orton's been champion long enough this year, and Kane's winding down and can't give Lesnar the match Cena can.