clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Traumatic Changes Reinvigorate John Cena

The Cenaissance is upon us. Plus, Week 3 of the Wrestler Wrankings!

logo via Hollywood Wallace

For most professional wrestlers, a United States Championship reign would be the pinnacle of a distinguished career. For an all-time great and World's Champion many times over, a run with our nation's title might be regarded as a setback. Neither of these is the case for the leader of Cenation.

Last year, John Cena was in the thick of the WWE Championship picture, either holding the belt or challenging for it on multiple occasions. But for all his past success, the results were unanimous. Three matches against Brock Lesnar. Three failures to win the gold.

We all know that Cena is capable of defeating Lesnar. After all, he's one of the few to defeat the new-and-improved Brock that returned to WWE in 2012. So what are the issues here?

As he enters his later 30's John Cena is very much in his prime. Yet, for all his genetic advantages and his detailed knowledge of the human form, he is only human. Cena pushes himself to the limit in the gym and in the ring. He also maximizes opportunities for self-promotion (see his role in the upcoming Amy Schumer flick) and charity (see his ceaseless contributions to Make A Wish). Time marches forever onward, however; and while Cena will no doubt be a continued favorite of Hollywood and the terminally ill alike, names like Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns are incredibly popular with charities, while Randy Orton and Miz continue to grace the silver screen. This progression in public taste will curtail Cena's outside commitments.

Another issue for Cena is the decade of comprehensive game film he has furnished for his opponents via the WWE Network. Anyone who wants to know can dial up endless hours of John Cena matches and while his repertoire has shifted somewhat over the years the pace of change can best be described as glacial.

That is, until recently. Cena has added number of new moves to his repertoire, most notably the "Springboard Stunner" that was unveiled at Wrestlemania 31. Controversy aside, the addition of devastating signature moves such as this, will keep Cena's opponents off balance and squarely in the loss column.

Speaking of Cena's opponents, the "US Open Challenge" format is risky in that he isn't able to prepare specifically for a particular foe. But Cena is used to facing only the very highest ranked contenders, so randomizing his competitors can only serve to reduce the overall level of difficulty. Not facing the #1 contender in every match should allow Cena to breathe a bit during his matches and continue his experimental streak.

As for those of us watching Cena's recent work, it's been a revelation. Most of the time, a wrestler's pure in-ring acumen peaks during their time pursuing and defending a "minor title." Think Randy "Macho Man" Savage with the Intercontinental Title in the 80's or "Stunning" Steve Austin in the early 90's. This trend has been holding true for John Cena as well, but the chronology is reversed. He's a mainstream crossover star who is putting on yeoman's matches rather than the up-and-comer. John Cena's "good old days" are right now.

Make no mistake, John Cena will challenge for a World Championship again. Yet this transitional period, against more malleable competition, and with fewer outside distractions, have translated directly to in-ring success. This will allow Cena to continue to evolve into the type of wrestler that can find success for many years to come.

Kudos to John Cena for recognizing the necessity of change and acting upon it. We all stand to gain from the Cenaissance!









The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!


Monday Night Raw -- 4/13/15

  • Seth Rollins - 2 points (win)
  • John Cena - 3 points (US title bout, win)
  • Bad News Barrett - 1 point (US title bout, no win)
  • Randy Orton - 4 points (win, win)
  • Stardust - 2 points (win)
  • Ryback - 2 points (win)
  • Damien Mizdow - 2 points (win)
  • Dean Ambrose - 2 points (win)
  • Dolph Ziggler - 2 points (win)
  • Main Event-- 4/14/15

  • Rusev - 2 points (win)
  • Bo Dallas - 2 points (win)
  • Jimmy Uso - 2 points (win)
  • Smackdown -- 4/16/15

  • Neville - 2 points (win)
  • Bray Wyatt - 2 points (win)
  • Fandango - 2 points (win)
  • Bad News Barrett - 2 points (win)
  • -----------------------------------


    1. Randy Orton -- 10 points

    2. John Cena -- 9

    3. Neville -- 6

    4. Stardust -- 5

    T5. Bray Wyatt -- 4

    T5. Damien Mizdow -- 4

    T5. Fandango -- 4

    T5. Miz -- 4

    T5. Rusev -- 4

    T5. Ryback -- 4

    T5. Seth Rollins -- 4

    T5. Sheamus -- 4

    Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!

    Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

    A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats