My last column I answered some questions that you all were thinking (okay they were my questions and I just hoped you guys were thinking them to), and I got great feedback from the column so I decided to do another column the same way. Without further ado answering my own questions volume two which hopefully better than the original. However, it is a sequel and I’ve had the flu for three days, then my kids each got the flu one after another, like some sort of zombie plague but instead of biting and becoming the undead it was just a lot of vomit and crying. Okay, now that I’ve worked vomit into this column away we go with the wrestling.
Is John Cena still the biggest star in the WWE?
For nearly a decade, John Cena was the face of the WWE and sold more shirts, armbands, hats, and other merchandise than anyone else. He was cheered more than booed in every building he entered and he was the babyface the WWE needed to go into the PG Era to survive the recession. There was little resistance to his reign as the biggest and most lucrative person on the WWE roster. That all changed as early as two years ago, well before the Rock started taunting him. Cena’s babyface bubble started to pop when the WWE made him unbeatable and Super Cena wasn’t just a term used by the smarks on the Internet but was openly used by casual fans. Cena is still a bankable star and he still sells merchandise at a high rate. However, Cena has reached his peak with character they have him as today. There is nowhere else for the babyface Cena to go. Now I’m not saying he turns heel like the one everyone is implying online, that’s too obvious of a move, but he needs to change something. He needs his edge back, the WWE can’t have a guy like CM Punk with all his realism and edge, while keeping Cena as a wholesome ah shucks superman. Super Cena can’t work anymore, his sales are down while Punk’s sales sky rocket. This is the perfect time to change Cena’s character while you have the Punk merchandise windfall to fall back on. During Cena’s run, there was no Punk like star to rely on for sales so they were afraid to pull the trigger on a risky Cena character change. Now, because of Punk, they can take that risk, and even if it doesn’t work, they can always bring back Super Cena.
Is WWE marketing “future endeavors” as low as they can get?
Unfortunately, no they have sunk much lower for money, but damn is it low. They are marketing the phrase they use to kill someone’s hopes and dreams in the search for a few bucks off a crappy character named John Laurinaitis. Countless guys with lofty dreams who had the talent to make it had their dreams killed by Laurinaitis and now they have to hear him use it as his catch phrase and read it on t-shirts. Real nice move there WWE, very sensitive to the guys in back who know they are on the butcher’s block next. Also, wasn’t that moment in the ring when Morrison got brought up by Miz and Laureates the perfect opportune time for Punk to be the “voice of the voiceless” and he didn’t say anything? Punk seems tamed over the last month and a half, this is the same guy who stuck his neck out for low carder Vladimir Kozlov and he wont even pipe up a little for a guy of Morrison’s talent, really? Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge Punk fan but that moment was tailor made for a Punk pipe bomb and all he did was make a face at Funkhouser. The WWE has done some low things to make money and the “future endeavors” shirt makes the hall of fame in that category.
Has Randy Orton peaked?
Uh-oh this one might get a few of you pissed but a big part of me says yes. Randy has been very good for a very long time but he has yet to be great. He does so many things so well but there just seems to be something missing from him that won’t allow him to be as big as he should be. I mean with as much talent as he’s shown shouldn’t he have, not Punk, been the one to usurp Cena years ago? He was given every chance to, and was given title after title. Yet, he has always been one ladder wrung below Cena and now Punk. He’s so physically gifted and has great match psychology, but for some odd reason he just hasn’t connected with the fans the way he should have by now. Why is that? Was he given too much too soon? I think that might be a big part of it, but an equally big part of it is he’s just not that interesting. He doesn’t have a catch phrase like The Rock or Miz, and he doesn’t say provocative things like Punk does and Edge did. He isn’t a hero like Cena for kids to latch on to. He’s just Randy Orton, a slightly arrogant guy who looks amazing but doesn’t have much to say. As much as we’d like to think we love wrestlers for their wrestling ability, we also need a character or personality to follow. We want someone with charisma, someone who commands a room, and while Randy is good on the mic, he’s just nothing special. I think he was given too much early on and he never had to work on it too much. I’ve written about how good Randy is and what I’ve written I believe but to be honest I always thought we’d have gotten more from him. He’s like Lebron James, physically no one is better but the clutch gene, the sense of when to seize the moment just isn’t there. Randy should be facing The Rock as the biggest star at Wrestlemania not Cena. The difference is Cena seized his opportunities fully; Randy only met them half way. Still time to turn it around but I think it just isn’t in him to own it.
Should Hollywood go forward with the “Chris Benoit” movie?
Yes, will I watch it? No. What happened is a terrible tragedy but there have been countless movies about people and events much more horrible and horrific than what happened to Benoit’s family. I however will not spend my money on such a movie, unless of course he’s being played by my man crush Jason Statham then I have to see it. All kidding aside though the outrage from the wrestling forums to stop this movie is absurd. I mean they made a movie about the freaking holocaust and lots of movies about serial killers. This movie, if it is made, will reopen old wounds, but its all part of freedom of speech. We can’t stop them from making this movie, what we can do is not pay to see it, which would hurt them the most. On any issue that involves the first amendment, I will always side with the constitution.
All right, that is all for this week folks, thank for reading. Also, if you enjoy my wrestling column then you should check out my new column at filmonair.com. You can reach me to complain, praise, or whatever either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter via @JaredGebhardt.
The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt