There is no doubt that John Cena is the epitome of contradiction amongst pro wrestling lovers. While the majority of the 7-13 year old audience treat him as their hero, to many older fans he is viewed as stale and played out. Many ‘smarks’ would call him ‘green’ and talk about his lack of wrestling acumen and only his physique getting him where he is. As a result, we see the constant “let’s go Cena –Cena sucks” chants whenever Cena enters the squared circle.
However, one simply cannot ignore the fact that Cena is among the most dedicated wrestlers in the WWE locker room. As gruelling as the WWE schedule is with TV tapings, live events and other promotional appearances that lead to a pro wrestler being on the road 5 days a week, Cena also makes time for being an integral part of the Make-a-Wish foundation. He is the highest wish granter with over 350 wishes and his appearance on last week’s Raw on World Wish Day with the three kids getting a chance to experience the event live, give them a WWE Superstar name each, and allow them to receive the adulation from the fans, made for a great moment.
Later in the night, we saw Cena compete in the main event teaming up with team Hell No against the Shield. It’s clear that Cena had suffered a legitimate injury with a ruptured Achilles tendon on his right leg during the European Tour, but he marshalled on to complete the match without any hiccups. Yes, it’s true that Cena did not have to do much of the heavy lifting during the match because of the 6 man tag format, but competing with an injury of this nature speaks volumes about Cena’s durability and his dedication.
Many athletes take not just weeks, but months off to recover from an injury of such magnitude. But as Cena has shown, he is willing to go the extra yard and as a result put his health and long term career on the line to appease his fans, or his ‘Cenation’, as he likes to call it. So maybe, after seeing his performance last Raw, with the injury added to the mix, his detractors might stop booing him as much as they have in the past. This fortunately also adds some much needed vulnerability to his character, which was not taking his opponent for Extreme Rules (Ryback) seriously and gives him an out for losing the championship match that night, if they choose to go along that route.
So all in all, Cena’s injury could not have come at a better time given his numerous previous title runs and opponents faced. There really is nothing new left for Cena to do, so perhaps the timing and the injury is a blessing in disguise.