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Hulk Holland's midweek meltdown: Fans, as well as Ryback, deserve 'Payback' against John Cena

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Anyone else think Ryback's new outfit (see it here) makes him look like he was kicked out of Aces and 8s?

John Cena is giving you the finger.
John Cena is giving you the finger.
J. Meric

The best part about Ryback's ambulance shtick? Every time I hear the sirens, I invariably think, "Holla! If ya' hear me!"

I know all the cool kids have been rallying for John Cena to turn heel over the past several months and I'm kinda okay with him being the promotion's top babyface. He's the perfect guy for the job and to be honest, he's been on this current path for so long, I'm not convinced he could go back with any degree of success.

The fans who still like him would probably reject it and the smarks would nitpick him to death.

What's frustrating is that John Cena could be a great character if WWE had an inkling of trust. But they don't trust their own creative team, nor do they trust the vaunted "Universe." After all, Vince knows what the fans want better than the fans do.


When I first heard Cena's pre-match bologna for WrestleMania, about the personal and professional crises he had after losing to "The Great One" back in 2011, how his life unraveled and he couldn't win a match, I thought, "Wow, now there is a compelling storyline that would have been a home run."

But it never happened.

That's one of the sacrifices you have to make when your in-ring persona mirrors your public image. Cena is a fixture for Make-a-Wish and a bunch of other feel-good endeavors, so having him be the evil Kal-El from Superman III for an entire year ain't happening.

But to play Superman against Ryback?

No excuses. Maybe WWE thinks the Cena fans will cheer him less if he becomes vulnerable, but I don''t think that's true. They'll probably cheer him more. I used the Superman reference because this reminds me of the early 90s when the Superman comics were bleeding DC dry.

Seriously, you couldn't give them away.

Why? Everyone still loved Superman, but it was the same old story. Clark is dicking around at the Daily Planet, Lois isn't giving it up, something catastrophic happens, Supes flies in -- but wait, oh noes, he's in danger -- oh nevermind, he came back and won because he's Superman.

Repeat ad nauseam.

Then DC went and killed him (War Doomsday!) and the comic was so hot they reprinted the damn thing like three times over and "the man of steel" was back on top. Sure, they eventually bungled it, much like WWE bungled the Invasion, but it proved that people like their heroes vulnerable.

It makes them more relatable and quite frankly, less boring.

Now, I'm not suggesting Ryback kills John Cena at next month's Payback pay-per-view (PPV), but it sure would have been nice to see him lay down for the big galoot when the situation called for it. Why should I care about this feud if you can't convince me that Ryback can actually win?

The ambulance is a great prop when you use it correctly.

At Extreme Rules, it was wasted (see why here) and WWE continues to try to play both sides and book everyone to look strong. It's like that bullshit in my town's junior soccer league, where everyone gets a trophy and everyone is a winner. Why? Because they are scared to death to let anyone feel like a loser.

Losing builds character folks, as does failing.

WWE doesn't trust its audience enough to put John Cena down during a program. I don't care if he comes back and wins, but goddamn it, make him earn it. Make me care. If you don't want to do it for the fans, do it for Ryback. With CM Punk gone, he's the top heel right now, let's keep him there.

He happens to be doing a pretty good job.

Take into consideration how long he's been around and how green he still is. Also consider how rushed his heel turn was due partly to Punk's hiatus. He's definitely trying and I see steady improvements. Ryback can lose and still look strong, but that requires John Cena to meet him halfway.

(cue sirens)

He'll have that chance on June 16, but I'm not getting my hopes up.