John Cena taking a page out of Hulk Hogan's book
When you talk about yesteryear’s superstars, one name that immediately pops up is of someone who revolutionized professional wrestling. Back when territories existed, and promoters didn’t dare venture beyond the confines of their areas, one promoter had a vision. His vision was to go global – taking his company to other areas in the United States and outside the country. In doing so, he angered a lot of promoters and rasslers, and ultimately succeeded in his plans. Vince McMahon Jr. had a bigger plan, as he wanted to take the World Wrestling Federation outside of its “territory”. But to do that, he needed something phenomenal, someone who could be the face of his organization, and who could captivate the imagination of the fans. He wanted to bring about a revolution in the business, and he found the perfect candidate in Hulk Hogan.
Promoting patriotism and good values, the Hulkster was arguably the biggest sensation in the 1980s. He brought about something known as the “Rock n’ Wrestling connection”, which helped Vince McMahon Jr. in his vision of globalizing his promotion. Soon, World Wrestling Federation became the biggest mainstream promotion in the world, with Hulk Hogan at its helm. While ardent wrestling fans, the NWA faithful and those who had an old – school mindset despised Vince and Hulk Hogan for breaking the territorial rule, the fans – both young and adult were busy caught up in the wave of Hulkamania. Soon, you could hear the same “Whatchu’ gonna do?” and “Take your vitamins and say your prayers” on everyone’s lips, as Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan enjoyed the professional wrestling boom in the 1980s. But like the saying goes, too much of a good thing is bad.
With the same stale act of Hogan, the fans soon lost interest in the Hulkster. While he had his share of Hulkamaniacs and the youngsters who loved to watch him flex, those who were evolving with time saw through the act of Hogan. By mid 90s, the fans began turning on Hogan – The same fans who cheered him during his heyday in the WWF. Hulk Hogan left WWF for WCW, and was met with the same reaction on the “other side” of professional wrestling. Everyone knew that it was time for a change, and what did Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan do? They made the best possible choice, which turned the professional wrestling industry upside – down!
In ’96 at the Bash at the Beach PPV, Hulk Hogan turned on the fans and WCW to join hands with The Outsiders to form the New World Order. This came as a complete shock to the fans and other professional wrestlers, as NWO became a sensation! Hulk Hogan revitalized his career, and WCW overtook the WWF in the ratings war! In the end, Eric Bischoff’s gamble paid off, as Hulk Hogan, along with Nash and Hall ran rampant in WCW, taking over the company.
Nearly 2 decades later, a similar situation persists in the world of professional wrestling. John Cena stands for everything good, very similar to Hulk Hogan’s character back in the 80s and early 90s. Similar to Hogan, Cena is catered to the younger audience and the CeNation faithful, but much like Hogan’s act getting stale, Cena has been doing the same thing for the past 8 years. With the fans turning on the former WWE champion, one has to wonder if it is time John Cena takes a page out of Hulk Hogan’s playbook, and does something to win back the respect and adulation of the WWE Universe.
Although there have been talks about turning Cena heel for many years, one has to believe that this is the perfect time and opportunity for the WWE management to pull the trigger on Cena. With the current story line he is involved in against Bray Wyatt, John Cena can go against the WWE Universe, who’ve been firmly behind Bray Wyatt, and revitalize his own career. If history is any indication, a change in Cena’s character will be welcomed by the WWE fans, as WWE now has the likes of Cesaro and Daniel Bryan who can become the mega faces of the company. Although this is an unlikely scenario, it is a thought worth considering by the WWE management.