CONTACTABOUTFACEBOOKTWITTERPODCAST IPHONE APPANDROID APPAMAZON APPRSS
Pro Wrestling Torch
Pro Wrestling Torch Reaches The Most Wrestling Fans Every Week: #1 in iTunes • #1 on iPhone and iPad • #1 on Android • #1 on Kindle
GOT THE PWTORCH APP YET?
iPhone & iPad
Android
Amazon Kindle
Windows Phone
PWTorch Phone App
THE SPECIALISTS
MAGIC, MEMORIES AND MANIA: Ten Step Plan for a more refreshing John Cena return

Nov 19, 2008 - 10:57:31 AM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY


By Shawn Valentino, PWTorch Specialist

This Sunday, WWE presents its annual fall tradition, the Survivor Series. Over the years, this PPV has provided us with some of the biggest moments in wrestling history - from Steve Austin and Bret Hart's classic match to the Montreal Screwjob. This Sunday, the big selling point is the return of John Cena, the biggest star in wrestling of the moment.

Cena, as we all know, is a unique superstar in that he generates a divergent reaction between different sections of the crowd. The women and children seem to love him, while adult males - wrestling's main demographic - generally cannot stand him. Cena is the classic case of a wrestler who started off as a hot heel who was then turned babyface because of strong crowd reactions, but in the process, lost the coolness and the edge that made him popular in the first place. This week, we will look at some ideas to freshen up John Cena's character upon his return.

10. No more lame jokes

Cena has to be one of the most over-scripted characters in the history of wrestling. Unfortunately, whoever is writing for him has a really lame, juvenile sense of humor. Most of Cena's jokes appeal to the lowest common denominator of fans. Poop jokes do not make a wrestler cool. I do not know if the writers are feeding him this garbage or if Cena is writing this idiotic tripe himself, but all I know is if he ever is going to gain support from wrestling's main fanbase, the atrocious jokes have to go.

9. Bring back some swagger

If you look back at Cena's earlier days, when he was a heel, he had a really cool bad-ass entrance. There was a certain swagger to his step and although nobody took him seriously as a street-thug, he effectively portrayed that there was an edge to his personality. He needs to bring some of that back if he is going to be cool again.

8. Do some raps here and there

I am not going to deny that WWE made a smart move by transitioning away from the rapper character, but it would not hurt if Cena did some freestyle raps here and there to put down his opponent. He was a pretty witty guy and could deliver his rhymes fairly effectively in a wrestling context. A few smartly written poetic putdowns of his opponents may bring back some support for the former Doctor of Thuganomics.

7. Ditch the jean shorts

Wade Keller has mentioned this many times, and I will say it as well. The jean shorts need to go, plain and simple.

6. Address the people who hate him by playing a Bret Hart 1997-type character

One of the dumbest things on WWE television the last few years is watching Cena get booed but still having him continue to smile and deliver goofy lines. I always thought there would be money in a John Cena who chooses to address the hatred from a portion of the fanbase and react to it by lashing out that adults are not smart enough or cool enough to like him.

If Cena plays to the women and kids while giving the older guys the big proverbial FU, it may make for a rabid reaction from the audience. The Cena fan polarization has been one of the few things that have drawn a passionate reaction from the crowd. Unfortunately, WWE has done nothing to play off it. I think Cena acknowledging the people who like him and address those who hate him would draw big money.

5. Create merchandise for each side of the Cena debate

If WWE addresses the fact that so many of Cena's fans hate him, they should create merchandise that allows them to display that heated reaction. Just imagine a crowd full of fans who are wearing shirts that either depicts their love for Cena or their hatred for him. Again, I still cannot figure out why the WWE has not taken advantage of the divergent reaction he has generated from the crowd.

4. Turn him heel

Now, I can totally understand the argument against this, but there would be no bigger heel turn in recent years than a potential Cena-turn. This year, his fan support has waned and he has lost more matches than ever. WWE has patiently held off on this because of the merchandise sales Cena accumulates, but when this turn finally occurs, it will be a huge deal. I think the money that fans who have been waiting for and edgier Cena will be willing to spend might make up for lost sales. I am not sure that this is not a perfect time for WWE to hit the reset button on John Cena.

3. Align him with a faction

I understand that this may not be the most popular idea, but if they turn him heel I think Cena could benefit from being in a faction with some hipper, edgy acts such as Miz and Morrison. This would make fans feel better for hating him because he is aligned with other characters that are really not likeable. It could also benefit lower card wrestlers looking like bigger stars than they are. I could see John Morrison and Cena making a good team before the inevitable break-up. There is big money in the future in a match between an edgier Cena and a Morrison character with more gravitas. Whoever Cena aligns himself up with should elevate to become bigger stars by association, and also help Cena in the process.

2. Get rid of the bad facial expressions

One of Cena's weakest elements in his repertoire is his facial expressions. The exaggerated looks seem straight out of a bad cartoon. This goes both for during his promos and his ridiculous facial gestures in the ring. It is just an embarrassment and they should show close-ups of his face in action so that he can see how inane it looks.


1. Stop portraying him as such a dork

This is a broad statement that encompasses all of the ideas above. People have been afraid to adjust Cena's character because kids and women love him, but the reason they like him is because he comes across as a really charismatic personality. There is a way they could tweak his character to make him more serious and cool with appeal to adults without alienating his main fanbase of kids and women. After all, kids loved the Rock and Austin as well, but they were still edgy acts.

Cena needs to get rid of that marine salute he keeps doing, as if his character is clueless to the fact that the filming of his d-grade film is over. He has to stop referring to himself as a soldier going to war, which is in fact insulting to actual military men. They need to let the guy be more serious and intense without neutralizing his charisma. I do not know any guy over eighteen who watches wresting now who thinks Cena is a cool act. Once he stops coming across as such a huge dork, WWE can see the real dollars roll in, and it will not be just from people too young to drive to the arenas.

Please send questions, comments and feedback to valentino.torch@gmail.com


We suggest these recent related articles...
10/5 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Natalya vs. Paige, Owens vs. Cara, Stephanie McMahon, Sasha Banks, Xavier Woods
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: The History of Foam Hands in Pro Wrestling
9/28 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Kane's Split Personality, Divas Revolution, Heyman & Big Show, Reigns vs. Wyatt
prowrestling.net
CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE PW.NET HEADLINES


CLICK TO EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN LISTING

NEW! SIGN UP FOR FREE PWTORCH BREAKING NEWS EMAIL ALERTS
BECOME A PWTORCH VIP MEMBER
-FORMER MEMBERS LOGIN HERE TO RENEW
-NEW MEMBERS CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP
SELECT BY ARTICLES CATEGORY
SEARCH PWTORCH.COM



CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF UPCOMING PRO WRESTLING EVENTS
MORE HEADLINES AT AFFILIATE SITES
MMATorch
LATEST HEADLINES - CLICK TO READ CLICK HERE FOR MORE MMATORCH HEADLINES


PWTORCH POLL - VOTE NOW!
RAW POLL 10/12: Vote on Monday's show
 
pollcode.com free polls


RAW POLL 10/12: What was the Best Match on Raw?
 
pollcode.com free polls
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: TNA will have a 32-person tournament to determine a new Hvt. champion - your thoughts?
 
pollcode.com free polls
CENA POLL: If John Cena takes a year-end break, who should win the U.S. Title from Cena?
 
pollcode.com free polls
VOTE IN OR SEE RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLLS



LATEST HEADLINES - CLICK TO READ CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE INC HEADLINES

_
LATEST FREE AUDIO SHOWS - CLICK TO LISTEN VIEW MORE PWTORCH LIVECAST EPISODES
DOWNLOAD PWTORCH LIVECAST APP
SUBSCRIBE TO PWTORCH LIVECAST IN ITUNES


ABOUT US

THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE

PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTORCH STAFF

EDITORS:
Wade Keller, editor
(kellerwade@gmail.com)

James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.

PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


**SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**

CONTACTABOUTFACEBOOKTWITTERPODCASTIPHONE APPANDROID APPAMAZON APPRSS
VIP SIGN-UP
VIP LOGIN
THE TORCH: #1 IN COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT COVERAGE | © 1999-2013 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved -- PRIVACY POLICY