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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading through a column on another wrestling site late last night after watching the Arsenal/Barcelona game at a bar with my brother and some friends and this column made some very interesting points in regards to The Rock returning and the potential match up with John Cena born from the promo that The Rock cut on Raw. What we now have potentially is the most popular wrestler from 2000 through to 2004 against the most popular wrestler from 2005 through to present day which is a HUGE match up and a HUGE draw.

One major thing stood out for me from this column and that was the question asked about whether the fact that John Cena has never really had a true alternative to himself as main man or a true rival and for that reason ratings and PPV buyrates have gone backwards, i always had high hopes of Randy Orton being able to fill that gap but that is now something that will never happen. Back in their era The Rock had Stone Cold Steve Austin and also Triple H and between them they dominated their era and produced HUGE ratings whether it was Austin/Rock, Austin/HHH or Rock/HHH but John Cena has never had anyone like that who can really draw ratings like he could and he has been desperate for someone like that which now may have come along in the shape of The Rock.

Outside of his original feud with Triple H and to an extent his feud with Edge we have never once seen John Cena have someone who was believable in being his equal and the person who would be his long term multi year rival which would boost ratings like The Rock always had in his generation. We have seen so many people come in to a feud with John Cena and as good as some were they were never going to be any more than the latest feud for John Cena rather than someone who would be able to go on and off with John Cena like Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin did with The Rock.

Now though The Rock has come in and now we are seeing someone who is not only the equal of John Cena but someone who is actually bigger and now we are seeing potentially the biggest drawing feud and match if it were to happen since Rock/Hogan in 2002 and this isn't just down to the return of The Rock but also because of John Cena as well. John Cena has pretty much carried the company on his own since WrestleMania 22 and has been the go to guy without any equal or alternative, WWE were refunding tickets not so long ago on event's that John Cena wasn't appearing at which just goes to show exactly how big he is and just how important he is to WWE.

If and i say IF we were to see John Cena and The Rock begin a feud at WrestleMania 27 which would then go on to culiminate at WrestleMania 28 a year later it would do without question the best ratings for around a decade and would do the biggest buyrate at whatever PPV they were on for around the same time because both men are major draw's which is something that hasn't happenend since Austin/Rock at WrestleMania 19 or Rock/Hogan a year before. What we usually see is for one major draw and someone who is a great heel with John Cena working with heel's like CM Punk, Wade Barrett, Edge and Chris Jericho to name a few who whilst great heel's are never and have never been major draw's.

All that has to be seen is the buzz around the wrestling world and the internet in WWE potentially producing a feud between John Cena and The Rock to see what can happen when two major draw's get a chance to work with each other, everytime Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock ever worked together the world went crazy as they did when The Rock worked with Hulk Hogan. Now that John Cena has someone around like The Rock everyone's attitude has changed and they are genuinely excited by what may come next, whilst watching John Cena in there with people like CM Punk, Wade Barrett, Chris Jericho and all of the great heel's he has feuded with over the last few years has been great we have never seen John Cena in there with a superstar like The Rock which may be a reason why ratings and buyrates have gone backwards as no one has ever been built up to be John Cena's equal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

They had Batista untill his star started to fade fast in 2008.
They have a load of guys a tier below Cena in Taker, Edge, Rey, Orton, although half of them are injured all the time.

Bringing Rock back short term would automatically mean a lot better ratings, buys, money etc. And can EASILY be Cena's equal on screen but if anything with Rock being as big of a star as he is, would he be a level above, then goes Cena, then the rest, so Cena won't have an equal he'll have someone above him.
Of course that is a very good point but then wasn't Hulk Hogan a level above The Rock back in 2002 but they had simply built it up as "wrestling past against wrestling future" and they were seen as being on the same level so it could easily be done. As i said in a previous thread in my opinion i believe that John Cena is more important to his era than The Rock was to his because The Rock's era would still have had Stone Cold Steve Austin as the standout star but also had The Undertaker, Triple H, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Kane around as well whereas this current era would have really struggled without John Cena as the main man and biggest draw.

Also yes Batista was also around but as soon as he came back from his injury in 2006 his star had already began to fade and John Cena was becoming bigger and bigger to the point where the best example of a comparison between the two would be Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. For a while in 1990 we had seen The Ultimate Warrior be on the same level as Hulk Hogan but that was only for a while which is the same as Batista and John Cena as in 2005 for a while Batista was on the same level but it didn't last long.

In my opinion WWE missed their one and only HUGE opportunity at putting Batista back on the kind of level in 2007 when they should have pushed a Cena/Batista match at WrestleMania 23 rather than Cena/Michaels and Undertaker/Batista but as soon as they had missed that boat Batista was very firmly the number two guy at best and in reality more of a second tier guy alongside Triple H, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels with John Cena having a whole tier to himself. Now though with The Rock being back there is an opportunity to push Cena/Rock as THE defining feud of this generation and help bridge the gap to the next era as well which is needed, one thing that WWE have to do though is allow John Cena to cut loose in his comeback to The Rock's promo.

If i was Vince McMahon i would allow John Cena to cut loose without any restrictions and use what The Rock said against him in an attempt to push the feud and a match through, John Cena could say that The Rock has said he is never going away again so make the match happen and show the fan's how much you really love them by giving them what they want. John Cena could say that it has taken seven years for The Rock to return and in that time he was the man carrying the company and making the fan's happy whilst he refused to make an appearance for fear of losing credibility in Hollywood so now it is time to put up or shut up, sign up for the match everyone wants or be branded a liar and a hypocrite for just saying what people wanted to hear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

No at the first 2 bolded. Rock was already an icon in 2002 equal to or greater than Hogan, that's why the match was so anticipated. And w/o Rock, WWE could be WCW for all we know. Rock was the biggest draw of all time if you factor in buyrates, ratings, the videogame series based off of him and the show based off of him. Cena can only sell merchandise.

And Warrior probably could have surpassed Hogan but was held back by his firing and Vince being a asshole.

Anyways to answer the topic, no I don't think so. Cena has had rivalries with HHH, Batista, and Orton, and even Edge that were good enough to draw. The WWE itself and the superstars just don't draw as much due to lack of talent and stars.
By 2002 when The Rock and Hulk Hogan were starting their feud The Rock had been a major star and draw for two and a half years whereas Hulk Hogan had been a major star and the biggest draw of all time for nearly twenty years so The Rock was not and will never be on the same level as Hulk Hogan. I have never been a Hulk Hogan fan but i will never deny the fact that he is the single biggest star to have ever wrestled and the single biggest draw of all time, The Rock was never even the biggest star of his era let alone of all time but because he has now made his comeback everyone is making out he is more than what he really is and whilst he is certainly one of the three biggest stars of all time he is still behind Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan.

Also yes John Cena did have feuds with Triple H, Batista, Shawn Michaels, Edge and Randy Orton but not one of them are to John Cena what Stone Cold Steve Austin was to The Rock or what Hulk Hogan was to Andre The Giant which was a true rival as the top star in the company and a major draw. Yes those feuds for John Cena were good enough to draw but were not good enough to draw HUGE because none of them were as big in name value as John Cena was and still is whereas The Rock who is actually a bigger name is the kind of feud that i am asking about because it will be a feud with two HUGE draw involved rather than just one.

Cena doesn't have an equal because the WWE isn't pushing anybody but Cena. Think about it in this PG era the only reason Cena is the top draw is simply because his gimmick is made for the kids and the kids are the majority of the fans. Orton can't be the face of the company in this era he just can't. His gimmick isn't made for it. It's the WWE's own fault. They've dugged themselves into a hole.
WWE have pushed plenty of other new people since 2005 like Batista, Edge, Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy whilst in 2007 The Undertaker was booked like a god and Triple H was booked the same in 2008 whilst John Cena spent more time losing that winning in 2008 when Triple H was on top. The fact is that no one else's push worked as well as John Cena's did and that was back in 2005, look at Randy Orton last year as an example because after being pushed over everyone John Cena included he ran out of steam by the time he was involved in the feud with John Cena and The Nexus to the point where people considered Randy Orton a third wheel when in reality he simply couldn't make people care about him more than John Cena did.

I just dont really see how you can consider the undertaker orton edge HHH and so on a teir below Cena. The only thing cena has on them is selling more childrens shirts. You cant compare the rock to cena though. The rock is a megastar and is loved by almost everyone. Cena is just the most marketable superstar wwe has right now.
The reason for why i put The Undertaker and Triple H on the tier below John Cena is because they are now admittedly past their best and no longer command the kind of drawing power that they may have once had whilst John Cena is still at the peak of his power's and makes more money than anyone else regardless of whether it is through merchandise sales or not but he does. John Cena is the single biggest star in the industry today and that is the opinion of other wrestler's from TNA as well as WWE and i think because of how the product is now people underestimate how big John Cena really is.

The question i am asking though is not is John Cena bigger than The Rock but whether the fact that John Cena has never had another major draw to work with like The Rock had with Stone Cold Steve Austin is a reason for why ratings and buyrates are going backwards because judging by the impact The Rock's return and talking about John Cena thus bringing up the possibility of Cena/Rock happening has had on the ratings and people's interest in wrestling it is a valid question. If Brock Lesnar had stayed he could have been a major draw and Cena/Lesnar could have been this era's Austin/Rock but it never happened and because of that John Cena has stood alone at the top of WWE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

This. Orton had potential to overtake Cena this past year but it seemed like the WWE was afraid to have anyone be bigger than Cena seeing as how Cena is the posterboy for the PG era. If anything Orton's feud with Wade Barrett was only used to make Cena get bigger than he already was which sucks because Orton was left to be the third wheel even though he was the champion.
WWE were not too scared to push someone over John Cena at all because when you look back over the years you see that Triple H was the main man on Raw in 2008 and Randy Orton was in 2010 and Randy Orton was the main focus on Raw until he became involved in Cena/Nexus when he couldn't make people care about him as much as John Cena and Wade Barrett could do for themselves. People can say that Randy Orton became a third wheel but when it came to forcing your personality and character on to a feud Randy Orton couldn't do it too the same level as John Cena or even Wade Barrett could which is why people remember Cena/Nexus.

Just to point out a couple of things ITT;

1. Batista's fading star has already been discussed, but what separated Batista prior to his 2006 injury and the return was how human he looked upon returning. This was the guy that destroyed Triple H and JBL, overcame Eddie Guerrero and pretty much monopolized SmackDown and when he came back, he was jobbing to King Booker. This put a huge dent in his cred against the Deadman at WrestleMania. I'm not saying that he should have ended the streak at Mania, but he should've defeated Booker the first time around and then go through the SD roster of Lashley, Finlay, Kennedy, Mysterio or w/e, lost to Undertaker at WrestleMania and then go back on a rampage. The feud b/w Batista and Cena was done really well in 2010, but Batista has suffered too many setbacks by that time that his mas cred was no longer the same.

2. The only time Randy Orton had a chance to even approach John Cena's star was during the buildup to WrestleMania 25. They messed up big time with the match b/w him and Triple H. Even if it's a psychopath heel that they're building, if he's built up as unstoppable as Orton was in 2009, the crowd would've gotten behind him eventually. They already did and every time, instead of running with it, they made Orton much more vulnerable, which did result in the awesome Voldemort-lite heel but was a poor drawing decision imo.
Well you say that about Batista but after John Cena made arguably the most shocking return in years at The Royal Rumble in 2008 we then saw John Cena lose to Randy Orton, Triple H, JBL and Batista over the course of a few months so it isn't as if WWE booked John Cena like a god non stop since 2005. If WWE had pushed Cena/Batista for WrestleMania 23 they would have had a much bigger buyrate and ratings would have been much better but leaving it until WrestleMania 26 was too long in coming because by then Batista was not the star or draw that he once was.

As for Randy Orton he had a chance in late 2008 through to WrestleMania 25 when he was the hottest star in the wrestling world and had he as originally rumoured faced John Cena at WrestleMania 25 rather than Triple H i think Randy Orton would have gone over and a win over John Cena would have done wonders for Randy Orton. Obviously WWE booked it all wrong as despite being a great feud going into WrestleMania 25 the match itself was horrible and the feud and all of Randy Orton's momentum ended at the conclusion of that match.

We saw Randy Orton have another chance last year though and it looked like WWE were really about to push Randy Orton as that true alternative to John Cena as the main man in WWE but as we always see with Randy Orton he lose's his momentum after a few months and once thrown into the feud between John Cena and the Wade Barrett led Nexus he lost his way. Randy Orton is still getting good pop's and a lot of tv time in a top feud but everything about Randy Orton has died down since last year and it is that lack of ability in staying over and keeping momentum on a regular basis that hold's Randy Orton back as well as the fact that he just can not do what John Cena can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

Superman has Lex Luther, Batman has the Joker, every hero needs someone who can push them to the limit and sometimes actually succeed, Cena on the other hand has no one and probably never will.

Every time the WWE has the chance of making someone Cena's equal they veer off, Wade dominated Cena at the beginning he's probably the only one of all the new superstars to genuinely perform well and gain heat the old fashioned way, instead of ramming him down our throats like they did with Sheamus, who never really wins and ADR who lets be honest hasn't done anything massively special, they've just had him do the same promo every week and put peoples injuries down to him. Wade's feud with Cena via Orton was genuinely the most exciting feud of the last two years imo, yet instead of propelling Wade to stardom, they had Cena literally bury him and try to humiliate him.

The reason the WWE has been sucking is because it's so obvious that Cena is going to go over, there's no back and forth, the only way Cena ever loses is because he may get randomly screwed at no fault of his own and then he fades into the distance so he doesn't have to deal with the repercussions. It's this reason that people dislike Cena, he needs an equal but the WWE bookers don't realise it.
This is my point exactly as John Cena has simply never had an equal since mid 2005 with Batista but Batista lost that spot as soon as he was injured because he had lost momentum through that injury whereas John Cena went on to feud and go over Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Triple H as well as having a career defining feud with Edge. As you stated every hero needs a villian to play off of and John Cena has never had that in his career and in reality WWE hasn't even really tried to create one either which is a HUGE shame as it would have made John Cena a much bigger star than he is already.

It's a shame that WWE just ended the feud between John Cena and Wade Barrett in the way they did as i believe Wade Barrett could have been that long term rival over time and i also thought the same when it looked like we were going to see Cena/Punk but WWE threw that one away for Orton/Punk. They have overdone Cena/Orton so much now that the fan's won't accept that feud anymore as seen with their reaction at The Royal Rumble when they had a staredown so that one is now a non starter and even if they had Batista return he is way behind John Cena as well now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

They've pushed Cena so far for so long that he won't have a genuine equal for years and years, untill he's no longer THEE man, WWE's own fault though. Seems WWE had yet another attempt of it which failed miserably in the Cena/Orton staredown at the Rumble which I can only describe in one picture...
I admittedly was always one of the people that believed Cena/Orton would go on to be for this era what Hogan/Andre, Michaels/Hart and Austin/Rock were for their own era but what happened at The Royal Rumble changed that forever and i honestly do not know if the feud between John Cena and Randy Orton can ever be done again now. What happened at The Royal Rumble as absolutely brutal and they say silence can be deafening but this was really uncomfortable to watch, i can imagine Vince McMahon was absolutely furious backstage but then it is down to him that Cena/Orton is now regarded as it is.
 
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