John Cena is one of the most polarizing figures in the WWE, and as a casual fan who usually finds his way to the monthly pay-per-view via WWE Network, I’ve got to admit that I don’t know why.
Or at least I didn’t until recently.
After all, Cena is the biggest Make-A-Wish star of all time. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for the kids or the company, yet every time he shows up at an event, there is an audible mix of cheers and boos.
You get a sense that the casual fan either loves John Cena or doesn’t mind him very much, and that the hardcore wrestling fan — or at least those encountered in the IWC — hate his guts.
So how can you hate a man who is so clearly supposed to be a babyface?
Thankfully, Geno Mrosko of Cageside Seats asked this very question of readers. In a post entitled, “What do you want from John Cena?” he highlighted the darker change to Cena’s character of late, presumably in response to the calls for him to turn heel.
“When examining his current storyline,” writes Mrosko, “one in which he is going after Seth Rollins to exact personal revenge in favor of fighting for the greater good, even at the expense of other good guys, many of you responded with a mix of anger, annoyance, and outright contempt.”
Mrosko acknowledges that Cena hasn’t “officially turned heel but his actions within the story he’s currently a part of are decidedly self-serving, arrogant, and maybe even narcissistic.”
“They may not be referring to him as a heel, but he’s absolutely acting like one,” he adds.
So why do people still hate John Cena so much? Thankfully, we now have answers thanks to the Cageside Seats piece. Commenters were more than happy to weigh in, and one recurring theme emerged from their venting.
It’s not so much John Cena as it is the announce team and how the company books him. Here’s a mashup of the commentary.
“The announce team calling Cena out on his BS instead of deifying him as God of Sports Entertainment would be a nice start… Consistently having the top story be a good guy being treated like scum by crowds, whilst being told how nice and lovable he is by the commentary team has just plain killed it for me…. Don’t push Cena as your top star and expect me to watch him.”
Still, others had great ideas that highlighted how poorly Cena is currently being booked. One commenter suggested a John Cena losing streak similar to what happened with MVP. Have Cena drop so many matches to where fans start feeling bad for him. Have him take some time off and come back a humbled warrior unsure of himself. Then, slowly, help him get his groove back as you work him toward a 16th title reign, tying Ric Flair’s record.
“Part of it could be he has a mental block in his way that prevents him from overcoming that milestone, and he thinks he’ll never get there. Create some doubt and some hopelessness for Cena, and maybe people won’t groan when he gets his 16th title reign,” the commenter said.
(And you know that WWE will put the belt on him at least one more time.)
So to wrap up, people hate John Cena because he’s pushed down their throats by the announce team; because he often impedes the development of up-and-coming stars by being put over by them (see Bray Wyatt feud); because he’s done pretty much everything there is to do so they’re bored by him.
But what do you think, readers? Do you love or hate John Cena? Share your thoughts in our comments section.