In a lot of ways, John Cena may just be the most successful WWE superstar of all time. Not only has he been a top guy forever; in terms of cumulative merchandise sales, the numbers are unreal. On the big stage, his matches always deliver and wherever he is, in the card, the crowd always has an opinion of him.
While Cena has been able to connect with the younger demographic and is seen as a superhero by them, older fans from the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras don’t really see him as a main event player.
More often than not, even though Cena plays a babyface on screen, he is booed by the ‘smarks’ or smart fans. In today’s article, we analyse why it is so.
So why does the crowd chant ‘Cena Sucks’ and boo the face that runs the place, so much?
#5 Face of the PG Era
Let’s face it, when WWE was going to war; it built the company around Stone Cold Steve Austin, a man who took it to authority and showed them their place. John Cena is the antithesis to Stone Cold. A good looking, clean-cut superstar who does charity events and connects with kids, is not what the more vocal older audience essentially signed up for.
While he may be the perfect face for the more sanitized product of today, older fans miss the old days of sex, blood and gore; and look at John Cena as a symbol for the new era they don’t really connect with. So the very fact which makes him the biggest star today, works against Cena as well.
#4 No change in character
Fans from the Ruthless Aggression Era remember John Cena as the very colorful ‘Professor of Thuganomics’. But ever since he turned babyface and has become a role model for children, Cena has said he’s comfortable in his role and never wants to change.
Which means that Cena will stay the face of the company, and an ambassador for WWE; and never turn heel. In fact, fans have been clamoring for him to turn heel for many years now. A parallel to Cena’s character is Hulk Hogan, yet another role model for children who turned heel (Hollywood Hulk Hogan) to keep his character fresh.
Little wonder then that fans let him know what they think, in a rather vocal manner.
#3 The company guy vs independent stars
Vince McMahon has a type. One with a great build, great promo ability and a marketable look. A type that he likes to push as the top superstar. And John Cena fits the type like maybe nobody in history, at a time when independent superstars such as A.J. Styles and Kevin Owens are world champions on Smackdown and Raw.
In this new era, babyface Cena becomes the heel when compared to these significantly better workers; who aren’t initially seen as top superstars because they don’t have the ‘look’, but rise to the top because of their skill.
If you remember, both C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan had their most memorable moments against John Cena, beating him to earn their upper card spots. So basically, for the fans, Cena is the enemy who is keeping their favourite independent stars from rising to the top of the business.
#2 Booked as being ‘invincible’
It’s common practice for your top superstar to be booked as ‘unbeatable’. However, when it happens for as long as 14 years, it can be a problem for the audience. Fans like to see change, and for the older guys to make way for newer talent.
However, it’s a rare sight to see John Cena take the 3 count (although his recent booking against A.J. Styles proves otherwise). Little wonder then that he’s a 15 time world champion who’s been a top guy for over a decade; and this is something the slightly ‘smarter’ wrestling fans just cannot digest.
#1 Limited in-ring skills
Many wrestling legends have been critical of John Cena’s in-ring skills. Bret Hart has said he can’t throw a punch. Even Kurt Angle has said while Cena is popular, he’s not a very good wrestler per se. Seth Rollins has said he’s not very graceful in the ring.
Cena has improved by leaps and bounds in the ring, but is still nowhere close to the standards set by the talent of today. And he is still almost at Ric Flair’s all time record. This injustice makes fans turn on Cena and boo him consistently.
For latest WWE News, spoilers and rumours visit our Sportskeeda WWE section.