John Cena has been a big part of WWE for the last decade. He is the star for the company, and until WWE can bring someone else to the forefront, Cena will be the top guy by default. Ratings are proven to be good and bad with Cena, but the fact is that, historically, they have done better with him than without him. WWE has started to make Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns into stars along with Dean Ambrose.
WWE has started to do better with them all, even though Rollins has been out with an injury the last month. Meanwhile, John Cena has returned, and there is a thought that he could have a huge role at WrestleMania 32. There are a few plans that have been rumored, from Cena taking on The Undertaker to him taking on Roman Reigns. While plans are not concrete as of yet, we will know by late January where WWE wants to head.
The thing about Cena is that he may or may not be around in a few years. If he is, he won’t be around as often. Hollywood has come calling for Cena, and he was in three movies this year that he was received very well in. He appeared in Trainwreck and was a supporting actor in Sisters. He appeared in Daddy’s Home later in the movie as a cameo as well. Not to mention, he just got back from filming a new reality show for the FOX network. 2015 has been a huge year for John Cena.
At the end of the day, WWE needs to make new stars, but they can still do a lot with Cena. NBC Universal seems to be thinking that as well.
According to the Wrestling Observer, NBCU did help WWE get better advertising for their weekly and special programming. You may have noticed big names like Coke sponsoring WWE material. This is a huge advertiser who WWE would not get 10 to 15 years ago on a regular basis. USA Network has been NBCU’s most profitable cable network for years and the network has been number one for half a decade, which really was a result of the great numbers WWE RAW brought in for them in that time. In an effort to remain on top, WWE is moving SmackDown to the network this January at NBCU’s request.
It is very important for WWE to properly sell the new, big advertisements as well. As the better the content does, the better the money. When money goes around well, advertisers are happy and continue to want to land on WWE programming and in turn, other NBC Universal programming.
This means the better views WWE gets, the better NBCU does financially obviously. So now they are trying to change what wrestling has been known as through people like John Cena. The numerous appearances on the Today show have been NBCU’s attempt to use Cena as a way to make people feel like tuning into WWE RAW and SmackDown again just to see Cena, which might, in turn, keep them for other stars.
The thought of pro wrestling among many people still goes back to the Attitude Era, and many people don’t realize WWE is PG and more family friendly these days. Using Cena to make sure people know this is a good concept. WWE is not the only pro-wrestling product that has gone away from the Attitude Era level content, as even the likes of TNA Wrestling, NJPW, and ROH do not go nearly that far anymore. However, people who stopped watching or know it from the past do not realize the change.
With Cena also getting in well with Hollywood, he could do as The Rock did for a while and help drive up ratings due to outside fans following Cena after seeing him on the big screen. Many feel that his look and ability to do comedy makes him an ideal target by film companies, which puts WWE in a bind while also helping them out. Cena will not be on as regularly eventually, but when he is, he will be able to secure better ratings for the product.
[Image via WWE]