Two nights ago at Hell in a Cell, John Cena lost the WWE Championship in the main event to Alberto Del Rio.
The villain was able to lock Cena outside of the cage -- perfectly legal in this match -- after the 10-time champion made his way to the entrance area to attack Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio's personal ring announcer. Unable to get back inside the Cell, Cena was helpless to prevent Del Rio recapture the WWE Championship by pinning the third man in the triple threat match, CM Punk.
What did the man who promotes "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect" and the motto "Never Give Up" do? Did he accept the loss graciously and vow to meet the new champion in the ring on another day to take back what was his? Did he acknowledge that the rules in this particular match are such that a bit of craftiness could go a long way?
No. As soon as the bell rang and the cage began to raise, he slid back into the ring and attacked the new champion after the match was officially over. It was the act of a sore loser, plain and simple. And this is the posterboy of the WWE? This is the big babyface that kids are supposed to look up to?
John Cena's character is the biggest bully in all of WWE, worse than any heel on the roster. It's no secret that the Cena character is geared and marketed mostly towards children. They are the ones who will take their cues from Cena since they are still impressionable. And that makes WWE's recently launched anti-bullying campaign, Be a STAR, an absolute joke.
More examples of Cena's bullying after the jump.
Several weeks ago Del Rio was unable to perform on RAW due to legitimate visa issues. His absence was explained on-camera by his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. Now Rodriguez -- real first name Jesus -- is a trained wrestler. He has been cutting his teeth in Florida Championship Wrestling for almost a year now.
But his character -- simply that of an announcer -- is not portrayed in the slightest as a wrestler. But that didn't stop Cena from attacking him when he realized Del Rio wouldn't be around that week. That's behavior in keeping with what a villain would do. A heel attacks those they are stronger than, those they can easily beat up, and we rightfully boo them for that. That's the behavior of a bully.
Going further back, during Cena's feud with Nexus, he made several jokes at the expense of Justin Gabriel and his hairstyle at the time. Not exactly the master of subtlety, it was obvious that Cena was mocking Gabriel's masculinity and alluded to what Cena perceived as homosexuality.
Bullying has become a huge political issue lately, especially that against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) community. How in the world can we take WWE's anti-bullying campaign seriously when the face of their company is on their flagship television show basically saying that another wrestler is gay because of how his hair is cut?
I recently became a father which is simultaneously the most rewarding and frightening experience. It can sometimes be overwhelming since I want to raise my daughter to be a tolerant, accepting person who doesn't mock, ridicule, or judge people who are different from her. But at the same time, I also want her to be a wrestling fan. I want to be able to take her to a WWE show, buy her a t-shirt, and cheer along with her after the opening pyrotechnics go off. I want to be a part of that experience with her and know that she'll be entertained while not getting mixed messages.
John Cena is supposed to be a good guy but he's attacking people weaker than him and making fun of others who look different. John Cena is supposed to be a good guy but he acts exactly like someone I don't want my daughter to grow up to be.
I don't expect Cena to be a squeaky clean babyface with absolutely no edge to him, that's simply unrealistic in this day and age. What I do expect is the WWE to take their Be a STAR campaign seriously and present their top face as an honorable character. A character that I would have no problem with my daughter looking up to.
Having Rey Mysterio go to elementary schools to talk to kids about putting a stop to bullying and leading them in some chants is all well and good but the vast majority of children who are WWE fans won't get that luxury.
They will instead watch RAW every Monday and see Cena acting like everything the Be a STAR campaign is supposed to be against.
As of press time, the official Twitter account -- @beaSTAR2011 -- has yet to respond to my question: How can you justify this campaign when the @JohnCena character is the biggest bully in the WWE?