Do John Cena's relationships leave him the most vulnerable?
John Cena rests alone atop the mountain of WWE, a Superstar who has made himself indestructible by virtue of – if nothing else – his self-imposed isolation. Superman needed a whole hideout to achieve seclusion, but for all his jolly camaraderie with the WWE Universe, Cena is a Fortress of Solitude unto himself. He has no allies, no attachments, no baggage and, as a result, very few losses to his name in both wrestling matches and personal rivalries. The only way to defeat Cena is to beat him straight up, and that is a task few Superstars find themselves equal to.
Now, when Cena gets himself a friend or his family members become targets? That’s when the problems start for the big guy (PLAYLIST).
Because he is so difficult to topple on his own, Superstars looking to unman the Cenation leader will often turn toward those who are counted as his friends and family. It’s a rare occurrence for Cena to form a lasting attachment, exactly because of the consequences that tend to unfold when he does. Palling around with the former WWE Champion might as well be a death sentence. In each instance, Cena’s opponents have targeted those he cares about to weaken him either emotionally or physically, and each time it has worked like gangbusters.
Consider the evidence: earlier this very year, Cena’s best Broski Zack Ryder found himself nearly consigned to the fires of hell itself when Kane attempted to drag Long Island Iced-Z into oblivion in an effort to force Cena into embracing his inner dark side. Of course, The Big Red Machine settled for relegating the Internet Champion to a back brace and a wheelchair, chokeslamming him off a loading dock and through the stage. Shortly thereafter, Kane sent the wheelchair-bound Ryder tumbling off the entrance ramp and onto the arena floor. It wasn’t quite hell, but it was bad enough, and it forced Cena into enough of an existential funk that he inadvertently stole Eve from Ryder, who had been attempting to woo (woo woo) her for months on end. It almost didn’t matter that Cena bested Kane in the end; his personal life was left in shambles when all was said and done. And The Devil’s Favorite Demon didn’t even have to lay a finger on him to do it.
Even familial ties are a source of weakness for Cena, so it’s always a tense couple of hours when the Cenation leader’s father decides to stop by. In 2006, Edge furthered his vendetta against Cena by invading his childhood home and slapping papa John across the face, leading Cena to attack The Ultimate Opportunist during his match against Carlito. Randy Orton followed the same blueprint a few years later when he hauled Cena’s pops over the barricade and booted him in the head, creating a less than fabulous family moment for his son.
And now, of course, we have AJ Lee.
The “are they or aren’t they” debate surrounding Cena and the former Raw GM seems, for all intents and purposes, to be settled at this point. They “are,” even if they weren’t before. And yet again, Cena finds himself with an enemy – Dolph Ziggler – who is using John’s connection with another person to hit the Cenation leader where it hurts the hardest: his heart. The Showoff’s snarky game plan has already led to a bum knee for Cena after he attempted to save AJ from Ziggler and was driven through a row of bathroom stalls as a result. It hasn’t translated to in-ring losses yet, but to Cena’s credit, he does seem to see the writing on the wall this time around.
“I will do my best to keep my personal life ... personal,” Cena said on Twitter, intimating his focus would be firmly on Ziggler and then whatever came next.
For his sake (not to mention AJ’s), we hope he does.