Cena Nuff?

Scott Hudson


John Cena is over. There – I said it. I said it without regurgitating, bazooka barfing or driving the proverbial porcelain Trailways. The reaction he received at the 2008 Royal Rumble was, with all apologies to Ludvig, deafening. No matter your opinion of John Cena (mine is so low is has to be measured with a septic tank depth finder), one has to admire his guts in returning at least two months early from what was said to be a severe injury as well as his â<80><9c>it-factor.â<80> That intangible that makes people pop when they see his chiseled visage even though they later boo him like Osama at the VFW cookout.

There are those in the wrestling community (from the densest marks to the highest floors of WWE Towers) who are making comparisons between John Cena and The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin and (gasp!) Hulk Hogan. These are people who do not know the difference between a ring rope and a ringworm.

Cena is certainly over but his popularity is tempered by relativity. In short, John Cena is the most popular talent in the WWE which is two-thirds as popular as it was in 2004. Thatâ<80><99>s akin the being the greatest hockey player in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. Iâ<80><99>ll grant that over the last few months, the WWEâ<80><99>s business has been trending upward but there can be no question that the precipitous path the WWE was taking from 2004 through 2007 was trending downward. I have no idea what saved it but, it appeared to hit bottom and bounce late last year.

And therein lies the rub.

The WWE is stuck in a pickle wrapped in a conundrum. Do they keep building around Cena who moves merch and gets decent buy rates and ratings or do they take a chance on pushing someone else who may take the company to an extreme in either direction? Better the devil you know than the devil you donâ<80><99>t, right? But lets leave Kevin Sullivan out of this.

What do Randy Orton and John Cena have in common? They look alike. Not twins-alike but both are ripped (not monstruous) white guys with buzz cuts. Jesus, why does this look always equate to decreased business? As much as I liked the guys, the Natural Born Thrillas did not draw money in WCW. Bald is one thing, but a buzz cut and ripped abs really only works when you are the only one who looks like that. Let the guys develop personalities and looks that separate them from the rest of the pack. At least Edge has long hair.

If I may, lets take an unfiltered look at the options the WWE has if John Cena has reached critical mass and a new StoneHulkColdRockAustinHogan needs to be groomed.

Mr Kennedy: Many pluses, especially his promo ability. Confidence at the mic is 90% of a great promo and this guy oozes it. His ring work, however, is only average. But then again, no one ever accused The Rock of working like Jushin Liger.

Randy Orton: His upside is he is above average on promos and above average in the ring. His downside is that he is an Ultimate Warrior-style headcase waiting to happen. Orton has had almost as many suspensions as Test has had dressing room girlfriends. Do you want to trust the very tip-top spot in the company to a guy like that?

Edge: Horrible promos. Great work. A walking dichotomy. Maybe if he had a manager. Say, whatever happened to Lita? Oh, and great hair.

Jeff Hardy: See Randy Orton. Stir in a quarter cup of â<80><9c>personal demonsâ<80> and bake.

Santino Marella: No-a super-a-star-a will-a ever-a get-a over-a and-a draw-a house-a if-a the-a close-a caption-a-ing-a guy-a gets-a carpel-a tunnel-a syn-a-drome-a during-a two- a minute-a promo-a.. The Ultimate Warrior may be the exception to this rule, however. (Note to Vince McMahon, if a guy needs subtitles for his interviews, donâ<80><99>t build around him.) But, the guy is cutting the best promos in the WWE right now and his work (what we have seen of it) is fine.

MVP: First, get rid of this stupid, stupid name. The guy has charisma on the mic and in the ring and has proven that he can be carried to a **** match. In just a short time, I think he will be able to carry someone to a **** match. Just get a new name!

Carlito: Who did this guy piss off?

Who is the next StoneHulkColdRockAustinHogan? Could be one of these guys but we will never know as long as â<80><9c>Mr. 3.1″ leads the charge. Remember, if you always want what youâ<80><99>ve always had, keep doing what youâ<80><99>ve always done.

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