Crocker! The Nice Guy vs. The Jerk - A WrestleMania Breakdown
By Dan Crocker Mar 22, 2012 - 4:23 PM
So I was watching RAW a few weeks ago when my woman happened to walk through the living room and see the above. She laughed, looked at me like I was an idiot for watching wrestling and asked, "That guy knows he's like fifty right?" She didn't think it was funny. She didn't think it was clever, and she had a point. I mean nuts, Cleveland Steamers, etc, Cena is supposed to be done with that stuff. I know. I know. He was going back to his old ways for a segment. It's just that his old ways sucked, which leads us to a bigger problem.
I was talking to a few of my friends who watch wrestling the other day and we couldn't really put our fingers on why we don't care about Cena. He seems like a genuine and nice guy. He can have a good to great match with the right opponent and once he got past the poop jokes, he can be pretty good on the mic. So why don't we hate him like we do HHH (which isn't a bad thing when it comes to getting invested in a wrestling match) or love him like we do HBK? We all agreed that we should be more interested in him, but we're not.
It could be the way he started. The Cena from this video. The rapping, etc. I know that I just never found that interesting at all. But when he started moving away from that, were did he go? He basically just became a pretty nice guy who often happens to be the champion. That's great in real life. He sounds like a great guy to have a beer with, but it doesn’t make an interesting character. Even when The Rock or Stone Cold were on the side of the "good guys" they had an edge to them. They were often conflicted, etc. In other words, they were just well-rounded characters. Cena really isn't.
The only way I can see to fix this is to have Rock beat him at WM, let Cena take some off and have him come back as a heel.
I know WWE probably won't do that because Cena is a cash cow, but it's what they should do.
Now let's compare that to Rock's promo:
If I had to hang out with the Rock (or his character at least), I'd be pretty annoyed after an hour or two. Too loud. Too full of himself. He's the kind of guy you wouldn't trust as far as you could throw him. On TV though, as a character, that stuff is interesting. I mean his promo while just as immature as Cena's, but it came across as frankly rather charming. Some of that is just because he's laughing at his own jokes throughout the song, so it doesn't seem like he's taking himself too seriously (unlike Cena's rap) but mostly it's because we feel like we know the Rock. I still don't really feel like I know Cena even after all of these years. It's not that I don't think Cena could have a lot of charisma and be an interesting character, I just think WWE tries to hard to make him vanilla, or the everyman, at best and a version of the 80s Hogan at worst.
I'll leave it at that for this week and I hope to hear what you all have to say on the subject. Perhaps you are invested in Cena's character. If so, I'd like to hear why. Maybe there is something I'm missing. Maybe I'm just old and cynical.