John Cena may be rattled.
Hard to believe, right? I know most of the wrestling "Universe" views the former WWE Champion as someone so self-absorbed, so far above his peers on his professional pedestal, that the entire company could be crumbling around him and he wouldn't even notice.
He'd probably be too busy making dick jokes and saluting the cameras.
Ask any professional interviewer, which is a softer way of saying "interrogator," and the first thing they'll tell you about breaking a suspect is knowing when they're on the ropes. But how do you know? When they stop being themselves and start trying to act like themselves.
It's the first line of defense in protecting the male ego, which is so fragile, it should be sent to the Kremlin Armory to be displayed alongside those Fabergé Eggs. And what would power be without the fear, paranoia and jealousy that accompanied it?
John Cena, last Monday Night on RAW, was trying to be like John Cena.
The problem is, he was trying too hard. His movements were unnatural, his jokes forced and his delivery? Awkwarrrrrd. It was like the "Doctor of Thuganomics" had been transformed from main event superstar to Tough Enough contestant, fumbling his way through an impromptu promo as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin barked at him.
"See uh, on the seventh day, there was uh, rest."
"This kid here, he uh, likes to go out and play on Sunday but I uh, think he goes to bed early, right?"
It was so bad, his own locker room turned on him. But what the hell could have possibly rattled John Cena? Sure, the boo-birds sang before he even had the chance to talk (Lively bunch!), but he's been booed before. So what makes it different this time around?
We don't need him. And he knows it.
Right now, all anyone is talking about is the monster program between The Rock and CM Punk, which culminates this Sunday night (Jan. 27) at the Royal Rumble. That's where The Shield will raise their ugly heads like a paramilitary Hydra.
Don't forget about Lesnar's pending return, too.
After that, we have the delightful Team Hell No getting all the big pops and in words I never thought I would type, Alberto del Rio has been able to turn the corner and become a bona fide babyface in his program against the never-better Big Show.
Somewhere in the back, Cena is jumping up and down, waving his arms. "Hey guys, I'm in the Rumble!"
We know John, and we don't care.
A big deal has been made out of Hulk Hogan's heel turn back in the nineties, when he betrayed WCW and helped create the nWo, but let's be honest, he didn't have a choice. Nobody gave two shits about him and his hero gimmick at that point.
After 10 long years, he finally went from god to fallen angel.
Yet he was still money. A lot of people said a Hogan heel turn would A) never happen and B) never work and well, never say never in this business. Sometimes the business dictates what direction you go, creatively. You know, like when your ratings start here and end here.
Yes, I fully expect Cena to reinsert himself back into the big picture and resurrect a few deceased cheers while stealing the belt from Rocky at WrestleMania, but for a hot minute there, he got a taste of what it was like to lose his spot at the top.
And as you could see from Monday night's promo, he didn't like it.