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Pinfall - A WWE Column #004

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With the Wyatt Family seemingly having targeted John Cena recently, Richard Cosgrove offers a few thoughts on the real face of WWE...

I have to be honest, I’ve never been a big John Cena fan, but just recently I’ve been having a perceptible shift in my opinion towards him. I think it started after I saw him wrestle live for the first time back in November in London, at a WWE house show at the O2 Arena.

He was going one on one for what seemed to be about the hundredth time with Alberto Del Rio, who I have to say I think is duller than dishwater but somebody must see something in him, and while I personally didn’t think the match was anything particularly special, it was his addressing of the crowd afterwards that made me begin my rethink.

I’ll admit that I’ve always been the first to throw accusations at Cena of not being a great wrestler, which may be slightly unfair, and of not knowing how to sell a move or an injury, which I think is still a fair criticism, but since that night he either seems to have gained some charisma, or perhaps I’ve just never noticed it before.

There’s no denying that as a person he’s quite literally the salt of the earth, putting in endless hours of charity work and having recently completed his 400th Make A Wish assignment. To put this into perspective, only half a dozen celebrities have completed more than 200, and nobody but Cena has done more than 300. He even made me grin during the recent Elimination chamber when he took time out from his entrance to give his hat and shirt to a young kid with Downs and spent a few moments with him. Damn you, Cena, how can I dislike you when you do stuff like this?

Just recently, though, he really seems to have stepped things up a gear. He’s apparently mastered the art of performing more than three or four moves, and his mic skills have been both interesting and borderline aggressive, not quite into heel territory (which we all know he’ll never stray into) but certainly with a bit more testicular fortitude than I’ve noticed previously.

It’s his interactions with the Wyatt Family over the last few weeks that have really made me sit up and take notice of the former Doctor of Thuganomics, though. Bray Wyatt’s apparent dominance over him, repeatedly showing up and interfering with his matches and delivering that stunning Sister Abigail at Elimination Chamber, has given the Cena character something new to do, something different to play off, and as with his clashes with the Shield, Bray Wyatt is a convincing and genuinely menacing persona who makes me believe he could be a serious threat to Cena.

Whether WWE’s creative team will have the ability to run with this potentially interesting angle time will tell, as they’re pretty good at the moment at screwing things up, but I have a sneaky suspicion that after Undertaker’s clash with Brock Lesnar, Cena versus Wyatt might just be a contender for best match at Wrestlemania XXX.


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