Beauty in Wrestling: Burying the Problem

E-mail any comments, questions, or random thoughts about this column or my random question to Trophar@Lycos.com and I will post some of your letters in the mailbag section of the next column. Don’t be shy. I appreciate any and all intelligent critiques whether positive or negative.

Read the archives of Beauty in Wrestling from 2003 - 2005 at LeonThomas.Net The website will be updated in full soon.

Random Question: Will NWA-TNA survive this year?

-----------------------------------------


null

BURYING THE PROBLEM

I once heard of a custom. In order to move past a particular incident or problem or issue with someone, a man writes down his grievances on a piece of paper, perhaps boxes it up, digs a small hole and buries the paper. Symbolically burying the problem. Odd, you say? Indeed it is. However, there may be some merit to this unusual act. At its core, it is an attempt to remove a problem from one's mind and move on. To give the offending person or negative issue a fresh start. I wish to do this today.

The offender? John Cena.

Oh, how he annoys me. Practically everything this man does makes me roll my eyes. I have compiled quite a list. In fact, when I look over the World Wrestling Entertainment roster, there is no man or woman who annoys me more. No wrestler who gets under my skin and makes it crawl like our doctor of thugonomics, John Cena. I cannot stand him in the least. Now, recently, I watched an interview by one of my favorite wrestlers, Samoa Joe. In it, Joe speaks of Cena highly and has nothing but good to say of him. I imagine if I met John Cena and got to know him, I would find him to be an agreeable fellow. However, simply as someone who watches his personae on television every week, he makes ill.

I would rather not hate him, though. Popular wisdom says that Cena will capture the WWE Championship from John Bradshaw Layfield tomorrow night at Wrestlemania. Even if WWE holds off on Cena's championship win (I doubt it), he will have it soon enough. Meaning he may up his game in the ring and perhaps even become not so repulsive to me. His WWE Championship reign could be a fresh start for him, and if it is, I want to witness it without the blind hate in my eyes. That way, should he improve and no longer make me gag on my own phlegm, I may be able to enjoy his matches and promos. If he does not improve, at least I can say that I tried to give him a second chance. It's win-win.

So, here I go. A dozen things I hate about John Cena. I could list twenty or so, but I would be beating a dead horse around that point. I should note two things before I begin. 1) Not everything I hate about Cena is his fault. A lot is but not everything. Some has to do with the way his material is written. 2) These are not solely things only I hate about Cena but also facets of the man that I have noticed others hate as well. He is a common topic in the Smackdown forum thread in which I participate. With that aside, away we go....

You Can't See Me. Cena's catch phrase makes Steve Austin's cringe-worthy "What?" appear clever by comparison. Add to it those foam hands and you've got yourself a pile of crap that not only stinks but empties your wallet when your wrestling fan son who thinks he's really "street" wants one. Cena, I can see you, and that is the problem.

The Pinky Hand Symbol. See "You Can't See Me!" (if, in fact, you can see it)

The Spinning United States Championship Belt. One day, WWE decided to let John Cena and Booker T compete in a series of matches to determine the new United States Champion. The midcard Smackdown title was not held in high regard at the time, and it seemed like a good way to make it seem prestigious and important. Eventually, Cena managed to capture the gold. So, what happened to it? It was transformed into the most over-the-top, ostentacious championship belt of all time. It spun around and made Cena look like even more of a goofball. Worse still, some people thought it was "cool." I'm sure Sting, Dustin Rhodes, Vader and the plethora of other former United States Champions were real proud. Thankfully, the belt has been returned to its previous design.


null

The Wimpification of Rap. What do I mean? Well, look at Cena's raps when he was a heel...

I'll break down
watch you drown
not throw you a rope
This is jail, Brock
we're inmates
and you just dropped the soap

Murder and prison rape. A little obsene? Yes. Good promo? Hell yes. Here's Cena as a babyface...

Looks like Fifi did a wee-wee on your head

The Franchise. John Cena wears so many WWE logos on his body that he can officially double as a commercial. Want to show a rough and rowdy rapper who thumbs his nose at authority? Put him in gear with the corporate logo all over it. Don't tell me it's "Wordlife" gear. It's WWE gear. He may as well tattoo a big ol' "W" on his forehead. You're not the franchise, Cena. Shane Douglas was the Franchise and even he wasn't.

Ruck Fules. Oh my goodness. Watered-down profanity. Way to make Cena look edgy. Pretending that UPN won't air it and fake blurring it did not work either. We figured it out. It isn't obsene or controversial. It's just dumb. Ruck you.


null

The Pump. Pumping up his shoes before a big move? Cute the first time he did. Now? It rivals the bronco buster in being played-out. Enough already.

The Five Knuckle Shuffle. One day, John Cena was backstage practicing a new move: the five knuckle shuffle. It was just a punch, but it had a ridiculous set-up in an attempt to look cool. In the next room, Scotty 2 Hotty was finishing practicing his move, the Worm. When he was done, he opened the door, saw Cena's knuckle shuffle and said "That is the dumbest shit I have ever seen. Seriously, Cena. You should be ashamed of yourself."

The F-U Finisher. It's just a death valley driver. You're not Tommy Dreamer, this isn't ten years ago, and you shouldn't be able to get away with something like that being your signature move.


null

Ca-Caw. That obnoxious squeel he cries at the end of some of his promos. Sounds like somebody opened a window in the Pepsi Arena and a crow flew in.

The Chain Gang. You know what's sad? Cena can say "I'm one of you" and the audience goes wild. That's the cheapest pop one can receive without saying "Right here in Chicago!" If the main event was Cena taking an hour long dump on a cracker, the chain gang would be in attendance with front row tickets, cameras and a brown paper bag.

The Sign on the Marquee. John Cena is a so-so wrestler. He's average. Not great. Not terrible. Just...okay. I have seen every last one of his WWE televised matches. From Smackdown to Velocity to Pay-Per-View. He has put on two great matches in the past three years. Both were against Kurt Angle, and I think it is fairly obvious the Olympic medalist carried those matches. Yet, he is over, so he is about to be WWE Champion. This Sunday, from one so-so worker to another, Bradshaw hands over Smackdown to John Cena.

That's it. Consider the problems buried. John Cena will likely walk into Wrestlemania the challenger and walk out with the strap. Am I happy? No. Definately not. Will I put these grievances aside and try to give him a chance once his reign begins? Yes, I will. Of course, if he begins his WWE Championship reign by saying "ruck" or "chain gang" or "ca-caw" or heavens forbid, "wee-wee," all bets are off.

-------------------------------------

MAILBAG -- THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

Future of WWE, none of those guys. Cena to me is like when Booker T was emulating the rock in WCW. Sure, great worker, great potential, but not packaged properly, and stuck into a role he wasnt good at. Despite Booker's lackluster push's, or lack thereof in WWE, hes become his own man. Cena couldnt hang with a version of Booker T 5 years from now on his BEST day, so whats gonna heppn if hes injured, or just totally starts sucking?
Batista? 36 years old, no charisma, no mike skills, just a glorified Lesnar/Heidenreich. Better than those 2, but not a guy to sell tshirts or videogames.
Orton to me is like an uncharismatic Edge, POST injury. Edge post injury still has a lot in the tank, but whats gonna happen to Orton's crappy in-ring work WHEN hes injured again?
to ME, the future of the WWE right now are these 5 guys, in no particular order:
Hassan - As soon as he does at least a temporary face turn and drops this iron sheik version 1.0 gimmick, he'll be huge. Needs a new gimmick and DESPERATELY needs to drop the "New WWE star shiny half-tights" and the"sabu" entrance attire.
Paul London - Might not be today, or tommorow, but if WWE's smart, it WILL happen.
Aj Styles - They need to sign him first, but TNA probably only has another 2 years left at best.
Tajiri - Might be just naive optimism by me, but he, hurricane, and London are my favorite 3 WWE workers right now. Maybe he can't speak well, but he has a ton of charisma, and is simply amazing in the ring wrestling ANY style.
RVD - Only going to happen if someone gets it through Vinnie Mac's head that this guy is phenomenal, and that his non-WWE origin shouldnt mean squat, it didnt stop them from hyping up stacy kiebler, and heck, HHH himself was in WCW first...
Honorable mention - Chris Jericho. I didnt include him on the list, because hes not getting any younger, but his in-ring work, though a slower paced style now, is much better suited to him. can have a great match with anyone, and still has a great look, and incredible charisma. He needs a defining moment, ala HBK "Sknning the cat" in the final two of the rumble agaisnt bulldog.

- Jason Martin

I think (if the WWE signs him) AJ Styles could be the future of the WWE. Let me list the reasons why before I explain why I say could be.
First, the reason is he has mic skills unlike guys that got a lot of exposure (Snitsky, Heidenreich).
Second, AJ Styles can go a long time in the ring. (See the 30 minute iron man X-division match from Destination X. If you don't want to buy it you can get it off pwtorrents.net).
Third, AJ Styles is very versatile in the ring. He has proven he is a good tag wrestler, a good X-division wrestler and a good heavyweight champion (he had the NWA world title twice I believe). There has been occasions where AJ Styles defended the tag titles and the X division title on the same night.
Now here's why I say could be. As we all know, Vince thinks you have to be a certain height and weight to be a good wrestler. As Benoit, Guerrero, Styles and countless others have proved that is false. Because AJ Styles doesn't meet Vince's requirements for a good world champ, because NWA TNA put AJ Styles on the map and because AJ Styles main claim to fame right now is that he is the poster boy for the X-division, I would put significant amounts of money on the likelihood that if Vince gets AJ, he will bury him or in a best case scenario he will give AJ the cruiserweight championship and make him abandon the high flying stuff that made his rep.
Now in the random ? you mentioned Cena, Orton, Batista as possibly being the future of this business. I seriously don't think anybody can get the proper push if HHH does not quit. I don't know if your a HHH supporter or not but HHH takes up a lot of time on RAW that could be used to push another wrestler, his opponents have to put him over as the top guy, the announcers can't talk about the fact that he's missing the spark to make him a great wrestler, etc etc. If you watched the March 21st edition of RAW you will see that HHH put Smackdown's champion JBL down. Previously JBL has said he is the wrestling god (as ridiculous as that sounds) and HHH said no that he (HHH) is the number one guy.

- John Lay