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Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal ??

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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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Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

He had equals. Batista and DX were pretty much as big as him between 2005 - 2007. So was Undertaker. Throughout 2007, it was WWE's own fault for booking him to steamroll everyone while not focusing keeping other stars credibility up. Triple H's absence, Batista's lacklustre booking, and Undertaker's injury combined with Cena's 13 month reign is what allowed Cena to cement himself undisputably at the top. Business began to decline then in 2008 in terms of buyrates and attendance. It's continued since then.

But you're missing the bigger picture anyway. Ratings and buyrates were doing perfectly fine between 2005 - 2007. They increased thanks to a new generation of stars combined with veteran talent finally having someone to work with. How long did you see Austin/Rock at the top? You don't go 6 years and keep on increasing. At best, you get a 3/4 year window to perform your best before it's going to die down and you will need to have new stars.

Cena had his chance. That was his best. His peak. For three years, WWE pulled off a variety of big feuds, fresh match-ups and PPV shows. It's got nothing to do with not having an equal. Stop trying to analyse something which isn't there. Cena is only on one show. This is far cry from the Rock/Austin days with one roster. The mistake was WWE not keeping to the cycle process and creating new supporting characters for Cena and Batista by the time 2008 rolled around. Instead, they began to run the same old crap into the ground from then on (focusing on Triple H/Undertaker/Edge/Orton while relegating Cena/Batista into the background respectively).

The only thing they missed out with Cena and Batista was not having them feud by the time 2007 came around.

That's because they wanted to maximise revenue so they put their second biggest star on Smackdown - Batista. If anything, the only thing they could change is bringing Batista back to Raw in 2007 as a World Champion and starting a Cena/Batista feud leading into Wrestlemania 24. Their big mistake with Batista was not recovering his credibility when having him lose at Wrestlemania 23. While Cena continued to steamroll, Batista was drawing with Undertaker then losing to Edge. That's what hurt his credibility and equalness to Cena. It made him drop in fans eyes.

If anything, they should have simply ended the streak at Wrestlemania 23. Turned Batista heel, and ran with a Cena/Batista feud over the next year culminating at Wrestlemania 24. Undertaker could have easily still had huge match-ups without the streak against Edge and Shawn and Cena in the future. The streak was manufactured so much, they ended up screwing themselves over with it.

This era looks so weird simply because of that latter part. They went from focusing on the new stars (Batista/Cena) to the old stars by the time 2008 rolled around (Triple H/Undertaker). It was a silly mistake.
 

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Re: Have ratings and buyrates gone backwards because John Cena has never had an equal

That is a fair point.

If you combine the 2005 roster, you have something deadly. Batista, Cena, Triple H, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, JBL and Kurt Angle were all main event talent. Then you had the upcoming main event talent like Edge, Orton, Rey and also the established veterans like Booker T, Big Show, Kane, Jericho.

If they had that roster combined, it would have made for awesome television. Lots of starpower.

I think they made a big mistake with moving Cena/Batista around in 2005. They should have kept Batista on Raw and Cena on Smackdown, only shifting the supporting players for them. Then in the 2006 draft after Wrestlemania, they should have brought Cena to Raw and shipped off Triple H to Smackdown (by then, both Cena and Batista would have had over a year to build a good run with their home audiences). Then you could build both Cena and Batista for a big clash at Wrestlemania 23 (provided both men got strong booking into Wrestlemania 22 and beyond). That would be a huge match.

Really, the timing of Cena/Batista was really messed up. That was their Rock/Austin for this generation and they waited on it far too long until they essentially missed the boat.

The hype levels for their encounter in 2006/2007 would be immense considering how strongly booked they were and people were still buzzing off the new era.
 
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