Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The build to Night of Champions and the re-match to John Cena and Brock Lesnar will be interesting to say the least. Lesnar says he is going to end John Cena in the match that is great wrestling hype for sure. However, news that John Cena from his own lips that his shoulder has been injured and he has been battling through it makes this take on a different meaning. News since that Cena may in fact have neck issues as well makes you wonder a few things. First on my list would be, if people were aware of this, who exactly came up with the brilliant idea of Cena taking 16 German Suplexs in the match? Is this further injury, because of that match would be another question to be asked. You can also wonder if these are in fact, legit injures or just brilliant selling that Cena physically might not be fit for this match. This would create some concern and vulnerability for the former 15-time champion heading into this re-match.
Working with Brock Lesnar is never the easiest thing to do physically in a legit sense. Brock is a monster in a real sense and does not have a history of being the safest worker for not only his opposition but also himself at times. Just minutes into one of his matches with Triple H it was said that Lesnar had rang his bell and might have suffered a concussion. If memory serves me this was at their match at Wrestlemania 29. In any case booking a less than 100% Cena in a match with Brock Lesnar with shoulder and neck issues assuming they are legit injuries is just tempting fate.
This is the best argument for why the WWE booking Cena stronger than everyone else has never been a great idea. When Cena in effect makes opposition look weak and takes away from them while building him up it does them no favors. The latest example the beating he put on Bray Wyatt to restore Cena after the royal ass whipping he took at Summerslam. Bray might be in some hot water, as it seems his feud with Jericho may in fact not go to a third match and more and more people are starting to question his ability to have good matches and get himself over beyond his promos and entrance.
We had a glimpse of the WWE without John Cena when he was forced to walk away for what was at the time expected to be 6 months after losing to Daniel Bryan at Summerslam. After which the company seemed unwilling to legitimize him as the top guy in Cena’s absence. Cena would make one of his miraculous recoveries and be back in about 2 and half months from injury. He would win the World Championship and have a unification match with Randy Orton to close out 2013. Bryan it appears may have avoided a second surgery and could be on the road to a return sooner than it was originally feared. WWE might need him if Cena is taken out of the game after this re-match with Brock Lesnar.
It is going to be interesting if we end up with Brock as champion and Cena potentially out with an injury coming out of Night of Champions. Many already wonder how the WWE will adjust without having a Champion on T.V all the time and not at all on house shows. Now add losing the face of the company in John Cena to that, it could be a one-two punch that would not be best for business at all.
Dean Ambrose who many would argue is the most "over" superstar is off doing a movie but should be back if not for Night of Champions soon after. Even though in storyline, Dean is portrayed as being out indefinitely. Roman Reigns is still trying to deal with the weight of expectations about him being deemed the next one to replace Cena. He is not ready to handle that at this point in the view of majority of wrestling journalists and fans as well. Seth Rollins has the Money in the Bank briefcase but as long as Brock is champion it makes the concept of him cashing in and winning seem highly unlikely.
There is a theory John Cena would beat Lesnar, but be so beaten down that Rollins would cash in on him and win the championship. I find that hard to believe, it would take away the whole idea of Brock being the man that ended Undertaker’s streak and someone by beating him getting something out of that. This is what most feel is something they want for Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31. If Reigns is not ready to be champion, I have a hard time making the case for Seth Rollins to be. No question as far as an in-ring worker is concerned he is ready. That said his performance in promos still leaves a great deal to be desired. I can’t see this idea having any merit. However, WWE has done stupider things its history.
There is never a good time to have injuries let alone to the guy you have built the company around for last 12 years more or less. You add in the WWE still struggling to get this WWE Network to a place where it can be profitable it becomes an even bigger issue.
No one should be crying tears for the folks at WWE though as they have made choices that have put themselves in this position. How many times have we said over the past several years that various guys were on a path to be main event level stars only to have the WWE’s booking take it all away? Cesaro is an example of a guy that was positioned to make that step up the ladder coming out of Wrestlemania only to have him taken back down the ladder. He is just one of many examples you could point too.
There has been a lot of talk in recent months of internal struggle between Paul Lévesque and Vince McMahon over creative. At some point Vince is going to have to trust in the future that Paul Levesque as created for this company. If he fails to do so and longer he continues to rely on the old guard the more difficult the transition will be to a new era for the company beyond John Cena and the stars left from the past like Randy Orton, Big Show and Kane.
It is vital and trick to make this transition at the same time this company is trying to redefine how it does business for the next generation at the very same time. Making the transition from the pay-per-view era to this bold new Network era that may be an idea that is a little ahead of it’s time. Regardless, the WWE can’t turn back now and must stay committed to this bold new business model. While at the same time, have faith in the investment they have made in their developmental system with the performance center and their partnership with Full Sail University. This is the first steps in seeing the investment in the NXT brand coming to the main stage. Not showing faith in that system and the talent it is creating would be a massive mistake and one this company can’t afford to make.
There is a lot at stake and regardless of what the plan is on paper the signs in reality are starting to show that John Cena does not have many days left on top on the WWE Mountain. At least not in the current position, he holds now as the main attraction and face of the company. Be it the company’s choice, Cena’s, or both the idea of not having him transition to a heel character is also limiting his longevity to being a draw for the product even if they fail to see that. The WWE is a company that can come up with ideas like the WWE Network that are truly revolutionary despite the lack of success they have had no one debates it is the future for content. While at the same time, they seem to cling to nostalgia and end up being stuck in the past in terms of creative. It is time for the WWE roster to represent that same forward thinking that their business model truly is. Even if it might take a hit of the start as the WWE Network has, it is worth it for the long term and overall growth and future of the product.
Cena’s time is no longer now it is time for change in fact that change is long overdue. This is not to say that anyone should want to wish ill will to Cena and his heath and well-being. If he were to take the time and heal up it might be the best thing forever one including him and his own longevity at the end of the day.
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