How To: Book John Cena Effectively As a Face

We all know that for the past 10 years John Cena has been one of the most controversial babyface personas in professional wrestling’s rich history. His apparent lack of controversy on TV has, ironically, been a leading contributor to the ‘mixed-reception’ that ‘the champ’ has received since his his meteoric rise to the top of the company. ‘Turn Cena heel’ has been thrown around a million times with just as many theories and suggestions on how to do such, but I have yet to come across anyone who can suggest an effective way to book the ‘doctor of thuganomics’ as an appealing face and I have therefore took it upon myself to attempt to do so in this; The first ever ‘how to’ feature.

Since day one of John Cena’s World Title era – It’s not too much of a stretch to call it that, right? – The IWC’s favourite words with regard to the face of the company have been “5 moves of doom” and “same old shit” as keyboard warriors from all over the globe have aired how disgruntled they are with West Newbury’s finest. But with an ever changing in-ring offence that’s largely ignored by such anti-Cena supporters, I think that a change to the guy’s move-set is far from the biggest issue I should suggest to be changed. In my opinion, the biggest and most effective way for the E to change their booking of Mr. Cena for the better is all to do with his positioning and exposition on their weekly headline show Raw.

So, everyone knows (including the McMahon’s etc.) that John Cena is considered the E’s Superman, right? So why not play on that? My suggestion with regard to his televised in-ring exposure would be to have Cena steam-role through opponents in squash matches – Hear me out. During the weeks where the E want Cena in the ring they could have him squash opponents and then find things much tougher at pay per views. It would allow him to be kept from the ‘safe’ work-style he’s been so widely criticised for in his slow-paced ‘five moves of doom comeback’ matches and still save his body. And while a number of under-card and mid-card guys would feel the wrath on television, the opponents who were elevated to face Cena at pay per views would be elevated in the eyes of the fans when they actually tested Cena and pushed him to longer matches at each month’s pay per view event. This way Cena could save his body on Raw, work ‘safe’ matches at pay per views, continue his reign as Champion andstill put people over. In short, if he squashed people week after week, the challengers who weren’t squashed would be pushed regardless of whether they win or lose – The opposite of what happens now where everyone dominates Cena and then loses.

It would be a simple and easily implemented initiative that would, at least, increase his likelihood of putting people over and not being considered ‘boring’. Of course, it’s only one piece of the puzzle and changes in his promo delivery and backstage segments are also needed, but the Champion would be able to, in my opinion, kill the murmurs of his lack of wrestling ability in making such a change.

Nicole Thomas

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