Thought of the Day: The Supporting Cast

On the continuing subject of the evolution of Cena’s character.

Something I’ve said many times is that John Cena isn’t going to be fully appreciated until after he’s gone. You hear people complaining about Cena today, but I truly believe those same people will be missing him soon after he’s gone for good. The question is why does Cena not get the recognition that he deserves. While there are other reasons out there, I think a lot of it has to do with the talent around him.

Cena is surrounded by one of the best main event pictures in wrestling history. In the time that Cena has been on top, he’s been surrounded by Undertaker, Edge, HHH, Shawn Michaels, the Rock (kind of), Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, Brock Lesnar and of course his major rival Randy Orton. Compare this to some of the other top stars of all time.

Austin had Rock, HHH, Undertaker, Foley, Angle and then it’s a BIG drop. At the end of the day though, Austin and Rock were miles ahead of everyone else, no matter what HHH would like you to believe.

With Hogan, other than Savage and Warrior, he never really had anyone around him near his level. After that you have guys like DiBiase and Piper but it wasn’t a heel on top company back then. I mean, Paul Orndorff was great back then but he just wasn’t that kind of main event star. Andre was a great monster to beat, but hindsight says that he was never going to be anything more than a featured attraction.

The point of this is simple: the main event scene is so talented in the last ten years that it’s hard for Cena to really show how great he is. It’s not saying that he isn’t great because he certainly is, but when you’re on an all-star team, your top superstar doesn’t shine as bright. That will be a lot more visible once Cena is retired, but for now, just think a bit about how many main event guys Cena has around him to contend with and then look back at how few people like Hogan had around him. It explains a good bit.

9 comments

  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    There is also the fact that Cena has given the likes of Punk, Bryan, Sandow, Miz, Umaga, Lashley, and Probably soon Rusev the best matches of their careers by far.

  2. M.R. says:

    Eh, this post is a bit of a stretch. You have to cut that main event talent list in half due to the brand split and once you do that the main event scene pales in comparison to 97-01.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Pales in comparison is quite a jump.

    M.R. Reply:

    Not really? Austin, Rock, Mankind, Taker, Triple H were all staples. Throw in Shawn Michaels for a portion. Who has Cena worked with better than that? The entire premise of this post is screwy.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Rock, Lesnar, Punk and Angle are good places to start. Also a better version of Shawn and a much more polished HHH.

    M.R. Reply:

    Really?

  3. Killjoy says:

    Something you didn’t mention. He stuck out among many peers with far more experience than him.

  4. deanerandterry says:

    Although Cena has had some talent around him during his time on top but it’s not like he’s had a bunch of big stars to work with either. Cena and Taker were kept pretty far from each other for the most part, Jericho and HBK are floaters, and as good as Randy and Edge are, they weren’t ever near Cena’s level, there was a pretty big gap between. HHH ain’t half the draw he thinks he is and Del Rio had a hard time getting a crowd reaction.

    Personally, I’ll take the guys Austin or Hogan worked with over the guys Cena worked with any day of the week and I think that was Cena’s biggest problem. Outside of Rock and Lesnar Cena didn’t have alot of guys he could have big money matches with. Even with guys like Orndorff Hogan could draw huge, Cena never had that luxury.

  5. desi ishtud says:

    You forgot to mention Punk’s name in there among his rivals. Cena’s longest rival may have been Orton but his best in-ring rival was undoubtedly Punk.

    And of course we are gonna miss Cena. How else are we gonna say “LOLCenaWins” after PPVs. Joking aside, yes we will miss him. Just like we missed Austin and Rock after 2002. Just like there was a drop in interest after 93 when Hogan was gone. But, as time proves, we will move on. Simple as that,