John Cena is the face of WWE, the man at the top of the company. For over 10 years now, Cena has been the featured Superstar, the one who Vince McMahon has trusted to carry the ball for the premier pro wrestling promotion in the world.
But as WWE fans know, Cena definitely has his critics. Citing the company’s refusal to change his character and its insistence on presenting him as being practically bulletproof, many fans have turned on Cena. However, the evolution of WWE does not lie with simply replacing its top star.
It’s a chorus that the WWE faithful has heard for a while. It all comes down to the fact that Cena does not change; he does not evolve with the times despite what adversity he faces. Through good times and bad, Cena remains basically the same Superstar he was before he became the face of the company.
His look is the same, his personality is the same, and his will to win is the same. He never backs down, he always fights no matter how much he’s outnumbered, and he never gives up. And though he has been riding high at the top of WWE for over 10 years, he is still presented as the underdog.
Fans know he will always overcome, but that does not stop WWE from putting his back against the wall at every turn. It’s as if the company wants fans to buy into the notion that Cena has no chance, but that move has all but lost its effectiveness.
All of the hate leveled against Cena for who he is and how WWE presents him leads to the overwhelming desire to see him replaced as the top guy. Many fans believe that when Cena is out of that spot, the company can finally begin to move forward and evolve into the future.
But the problem with that seemingly simple theory is that it’s just too simple.
Believing that replacing Cena will be the cure for what ails WWE is to suggest that the company is ready for success without him. However, in order for that to happen, there must be something more than just a top guy.
Cena carries the load for the company, and he has for a long time. He is consistently placed in the best spots and shown in the best light. He has beaten all of the top names ever put in front of him and wins more than he loses. While this is expected of the No. 1 star, the fact is that virtually no one else shares any of those bragging rights.
From Randy Orton to CM Punk to Daniel Bryan, each man had phenomenal runs, and each man contributed greatly to the WWE product. But at the end of the day, each man was second to Cena. The fact that all three men were very human while Cena was viewed as superhuman did not help in the slightest. There was never any doubt among fans of who the top guy was, and if Cena had suddenly disappeared during any of those eras, the company would have been ill-prepared to move ahead.
WWE as a whole must be sound from top to bottom. There will always be one top spot—that much is certain. But there must be room near that spot for other talents to rise and be featured as major players.
As impressive as Cena has been, the fact is that one man cannot do it all. All of WWE’s resources, all of its creative storylines, basically begin and end with Cena as the top star. The result of that work over the past 10 years has been a collection of fan-favorite Superstars who may be respected for their talents but cannot break through the proverbial glass ceiling.
Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow and Cesaro are all Superstars who many fans admire, and despite whether they’re heel or face, the fact is that each man has the ability to succeed on a high level. But it’s nearly impossible for some to even envision that happening with Cena in that prime position.
There seems to be less sharing of the wealth and more of one guy winning it all.
Assuming that Roman Reigns is the man who will eventually supplant Cena as WWE’s top star, the truth is that he will also not be able to do it all. His supporting cast must be so much more than just a supporting cast. If WWE continues to do business in the future as it has done with Cena, then it will encounter the same problems it faces now with a main star who could be just as hated.
The John Cena show transitioning to The Roman Reigns show may be fine in the short term, but it will not be the answer to WWE’s long-term evolution.
There cannot be one almighty presence at the forefront. The next face of WWE must have a human character, one who is capable of coming up short and missing the mark from time to time. Fans must believe that he is strong and very good at what he does, but he cannot be completely untouchable.
And WWE must support him with other top stars inside of a product that does not live and breathe directly through the character of just one man.
WWE’s model for doing business can no longer revolve around just one or even two Superstars. Simply replacing Cena is not the answer, and the company must realize that before moving on with the next man.
So as it is replacing him is not as easy as hating him but the wwe universe need to miss him. CENA has to disappear for at least two or more years maybe even one.