Cena! Ryback! Payback! No, That's Next Month! Extreme Rules! That Aren't That Extreme! WWE Championship!
You ever have that one friend in your life, Cagesiders, who constantly tells you how much of a great person they are? Who talks about how much they appreciate women for their souls and would never hurt them? Who doesn't understand why they date such jerks, and if only they had a shot they would make that special lady the happiest woman in the entire world?
And then they actually get into a relationship, they lie and cheat because they're miserable people who just want to take advantage of those who trust them?
That's basically John Cena in a nutshell. Except instead of women, he's a dick to his fellow wrestlers.
Two weeks ago (April 15), Ryback watched from the ramp as The Shield laid out Cena to close the show. Which makes perfect sense, because Ryback is an opportunist. His career has been completely defined as being in the right place at the right time. He was wrecking a string of jobbers before he got a WWE Championship shot against CM Punk at Hell in a Cell 2012 (Oct. 28). A shot he only earned because Cena was recovering from injury.
Now it has happened again. Punk is taking time off to heal. The Rock is getting his intestines pushed back into his body cavity. No one is high enough on the roster to legitimately face the reigning WWE Champion.
So Ryback, ever the opportunist, inserted himself in the title picture and let Cena get wrecked by the unstoppable force known as The Shield.
Simple storytelling is simple.
Then last week (April 22), the roles looked to be reversed. It was Ryback who was in the ring, and John Cena who stood on the ramp, as The NXT Trio descended from the audience. "The Hungry One" would be fed a mouthful of poetic justice, and it would be a meal Ryback wished he could abstain from.
I am not proud about writing that last sentence.
However! The ne'er-do-evil John Cena couldn't sit by and watch this nefarious action commence. He rushed back to save his former friend, and together they pushed back the vested invaders. It was a moment that symbolized all Cena stood for. Even when it's his enemies safety at stake, Cena is willing to push aside differences and do the right thing.
Then Cena handed out an AA to Ryback, because, "[Explicit] that guy!"
For a man who had the motto "Rise Above Hate" plastered on his damn shirt, Cena is the person most likely to succumb to his anger. Much like a Starburst, the character is a walking contradiction. The hypocrisy between always telling people he does the right thing -- and never actually doing the right thing -- would be hilarious if it wasn't so painful to watch.
I really don't ask much from my pro wrestling. I ask to be entertained, and I ask that it attempts to be consistent. Sometimes I will be happy with one of them.
Unfortunately, Cena gives me neither.
You know why I enjoy Ryback? Because he's simple. He is a man who likes to eat, likes to chant, and likes to kick ass. There's no moralistic complications about him. WWE sidestepped the issue of a "heel" turn since Ryback was never really a face to begin with. He squashed jobbers, was willingly inserted into a Hell in a Cell Match against Punk, and engaged in some HOSS FIGHT action with Mark Henry. He wasn't doing it because it was the "right thing" to do.
He was doing it because that's what was in front of him.
In a lot of ways it is an unfair comparison. Cena has over a decade of history to deal with, while Ryback is working off a blank slate. But it doesn't even feel like an attempt is being made with "The Franchise". He's the face of WWE, but allows the character to engage in petty bull[explicit].
For someone who talks so much about loving to help the children, I can't help feel a little bit sad at what a horrible role model John Cena is.
All of this is moot -- at least in terms of the present storyline -- depending on how serious John Cena's injury is. This being WWE, everything is a work until it isn't. And even then it is. Unless it's not.
If you were ever friends with a pathological liar, that actually makes a lot of sense.
Cena is still slated to show up tonight, and will probably face Ryback at Extreme Rules (May 19) unless things are really bad.
At the very least, it gives Triple H a reason to pat himself on the back for booking a dependable main event.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- The Shield continues to own everyone in their path, taking out The Undertaker & Team Hell No last week, and 'Taker on SmackDown (April 26). Although "The Deadman" did make Dean Ambrose tap out to Hell's Gate, I have no problem with the booking. As I said in the reactions, it's The freaking Undertaker. He's not losing to anyone, let alone a rookie. But the abuse he let himself be put through post match is what fans are going to remember. The Shield are WWE's golden boys. Even though they've been doing the same thing since debuting, it's still exciting to see them do it again and again.
- Triple H is "The Ass Kicker!" Brock Lesnar is "The Anomaly!" C.J. Bradford is "Not giving a crap!"
- Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mark Henry, and The Big Show continue to be involved in some type of sexy-time trapezoid. Look for Show to scowl, Henry to scream, Sheamus to fight, fella, and Orton to RKO someone. Rinse, wash, repeat.
- AJ Lee is your NEW #1 Contender to the WWE Divas Championship!
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Monday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT at 8 p.m. ET!