Many wondered what we’d see out of Cena. It was the first time in his career that he’d been beaten so decisively, with the event coming off more as a glorified squash match than anything else.
Instead of, I don’t know, maybe using this to show some vulnerability in their always-triumphant Superman, the WWE chose to go the other way. Because apparently, in the WWE universe, faces can’t show vulnerability. They can’t be human.
No, instead, it was business as usual for the 15-time champion. He came out barking in his match against Bray Wyatt, squashing the cult leader in a way that was reminiscent of the treatment Cena had received at Summerslam. He was about to beat Wyatt handily when Erick Rowan and Luke Harper jumped into the ring to cause the disqualification. This brought out the Big Show and Mark Henry, kicking off a six-man tag team match.
And it only got worse.
Cena tagged into the match and dismantled the Family. He got Harper to tap out to the STF before administering Attitude Adjustments to both Rowan and Wyatt. For Wyatt, it’s devastating. He finally looked like a formidable heel once again after a definitive win over Chris Jericho at Summerslam. He needed to be protected in order to build up his credibility as a top heel again. But no. Cena can’t seem vulnerable ever, so he has to thoroughly destroy and embarrass not only Wyatt, but Harper and Rowan as well.
As the reports go, it was Vince’s decision to book Cena this way because he feared that fans would lose faith in Cena after the destruction at Summerslam. And my initial thought was “does Vince even watch his own product?”
John Cena hardly ever loses and when he does, it’s through some kind of shenanigans or BS that keeps him from looking weak. But that’s the thing: with such a long track record of “overcoming the odds” and generally winning all the damn time, did the loss to Brock really hurt John? OF COURSE NOT. Cena is a 15-time World Champion. He has a win over Lesnar, for Christ’s sake. He’s literally done every conceivable thing there is to do in wrestling, including destroying an entire faction by himself (RIP Nexus). Losing to the most dominant monster heel in ages doesn’t make you look weak, John. It makes Brock look indestructible because he beat the guy who refuses to lose and he beat him more badly than anyone ever has.
At this point, you could relegate Cena to Chris Jericho territory, having him pretty much only put guys over while collecting the rare win, and it wouldn’t affect Cena one damn bit. He’s the Superman now and forever because for a decade, the WWE painted him as the guy incapable of losing. Instead of building on Summerslam, raising real questions as to whether or not this might be it for John Cena, we get him ruining three promising youngsters and he’ll probably ruin the allure of Lesnar at Night of Champions, either by winning outright or losing through some kind of schmoz.
And when it’s all said and done, Cena will go back to doing his “some a y’all like me, some a y’all don’t” bit where he pretends to respect the fact that half the crowd hates him because he’s the stalest thing this side of Hulk Hogan.
Keep overcoming the odds, John. They only exist in your mind at this point.
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