When asked about what he believes the current landscape of WWE needs to get over the hump and create the next big wave, John Cena responded with some truth that’s going to hurt the ears of a lot of wrestling fans. “It needs what I’m not sure it can produce,” he responded.
Now, Cena might be a bit biased as arguably the most polarizing figure in WWE history. That said, his point is not lost on this writer. WWE may never again see any one WWE Superstar reach the heights of the popularity of a Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan or Goldberg. That’s because the fans simply won’t allow it.
in speaking with Corey Graves on After the Bell, Cena added, “That’s just a state of where everything is now.”
“It needs a front man or a woman. It needs one, maybe two, definable characters to absolutely be the reason…” Suggesting that the top stars are what will draw fans in and their personality traits create what will be the next big era in wrestling, WWE doesn’t have that. And, it’s not WWE’s fault.
If any one star were to get too big, Cena explained, “If the company puts its faith behind an individual, the knee jerk reaction of the audience, even if they liked the guy last week, is to say f-ck you, you’re not going to tell me who I like.”
Wow… That’s spitting some truth that hurts. Essentially, what Cena is saying, is WWE fans are standing in their own way from letting the business boom again like it did when The Rock, Austin or himself were on their way to the top.
Need proof? We’ve seen it with Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and a host of other talents who fans inexplicably boo because, all of a sudden, they are deemed the “chosen ones.” Lynch is a perfect example because she was never supposed to be a huge star and overcame great odds on her way to winning the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships and headlining WrestleMania 35. She’s now often as booed as she is cheered.
“Universal popularity will never happen,” Cena said. Noting that the minute a certain group of fans notice that someone is getting popular, they are out to stop it, and Corey Grave adds, “We’ve seen it with Rollins.”
The WWE Universe It Too Segmented
Cena said part of the problem is that the audience is so segmented. There is a type of fan for every type of wrestling. He’s added that social media hasn’t helped.
Did Cena admit that not having one top star is not a bad thing. It’s just totally different and it’s going to take some getting used to. “There’s never been more potential under one roof than right now,” he said. If WWE can find a way to combine landing those one or two big stars with the wealth of athletic talent that exists in WWE, it could open up another Golden Era of wrestling.
But, that’s going to take the right set of circumstances. It could explain why he’s so into helping The Fiend. Maybe he sees that trait in him.