In yesterday’s Teacher’s Lounge, I tried to answer the question “Why do we hate John Cena?” Today, I have a little fun playing fantasy booker and I come up with a way that instantly makes John Cena more popular with the older WWE crowd, or at the very least, more interesting.
John Cena and Brock Lesnar are in the middle of an epic battle for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H is, as usual, seated at ringside. Paul Heyman stalks around outside, making faces that rival only William Regal and Vince McMahon for their storytelling ability.
As the match reaches its climax, we see Lesnar kick out of the Attitude Adjustment, while Cena barely manages to escape the F-5. Michael Cole has let us know we have seen “the turning point” in the match 319 times, JBL continues to laud the skills of these athletes, while Lawler says this is the best match he’s ever seen over and over again.
After many, MANY close counts, Cena locks Brock in the STF, right in the middle of the ring. Triple H screams for Heyman to do something, so uncharacteristically for The One Behind The One, Paul climbs up onto the apron, distracting the referee. Cena breaks the hold, rising to grab Heyman by his jacket, fully intent on making him pay for his vicious words with a massive right hand. The referee, while trying to restore order, gets in the way of the blow, knocking him to the ground and Heyman to the arena floor.
The COO springs into action, reaching underneath the ring and pulling out his trusty sledgehammer. Cena turns to Hunter, beckoning him into the ring, the champion not backing down from anybody or anything. Triple H slowly makes his way up the stairs, but hesitates. You can tell by the fire in Cena’s eyes that there’s no stopping him. Except he’s forgotten about his opponent.
Brock spins him around, kicks him in the mid-section and Cena is once again hoisted in the air for an F-5. Michael Cole reminds us that this is the move that broke the Streak; this is the move that possibly ended The Undertaker’s career.
Triple H, who has entered the ring by this point, roots on The Beast, telling him to put the champion out of his and everybody else’s misery. Brock turns to the camera, smiling as he is seconds away from conquering yet another mountain. . .
And Triple H nails him in the kidneys with the hammer. Brock staggers, but amazingly, is not felled. He turns, Cena still on his shoulders. Triple H hits him again, this time right in the head. Brock crumples to the ground, Cena landing on his feet. The champion, dazed, looks at HHH in confused wonder. Both men face off with one another, everyone completely stunned.
Triple H begins to slowly smile. Amazingly enough, Cena smiles back. The crowd comes alive as they realize what has transpired. Michael Cole sums it up best.
“Oh. Oh my God. It can’t be. Plan C is. . . Plan Cena?”
Triple H gestures to the fallen conqueror before exiting the ring, leaving Cena there, still smiling at the crowd, which has begun booing in earnest. The champ gets ready for another 5-Knuckle Shuffle, only this time, rather than telling Brock that he can’t be seen, he gives it to the crowd instead. He drops the fist, covering the already unconscious Lesnar, and the referee comes to his senses just in time to administer the 3-count.
Triple H snatches the belt from the ringside official and enters the ring, while Heyman, still seated on the floor, looks on in horror. Cena and HHH embrance in the center of the ring before Trips raises Cena’s hand in victory, both of them sneering at the crowd. Summer Slam ends with this image, while Cole says “What will happen to the WWE now that John Cena. . . Has joined The Authority?”
RAW, the next night
Triple H and Stephanie are in the ring as the show opens the ring laid out in red carpet, the brand new WWE title on a pedestal in the middle of the ring. The announcers still in complete shock at what happened the previous night.
Triple H: Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great honor and deep personal pleasure that I present the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, our champion, a champion the WWE Universe can be proud of, John Cena!
Cena’s music hits, and the crowd goes nuts. The kids boo him mercilessly, but even louder are the older fans, so grateful for something new and different in Cena’s character that they’ll jeer him now and cheer him later.
Cena enters the ring, hugs Stephanie, shakes Triple H’s hand, and then does his signature pose to the crowd, soaking in the negative reaction with a giant smile on his face. He is presented the new title by The Authority, who then exit the ring, giving Cena the floor to address his fans, who are all wondering (likely thanks to pumped in audio), “Why, Cena, Why?”
Cena: (after milking the reaction for a while):
I hear you. I have always heard you.
You all want to know Why I did what I did last night. You want to know Why I shook hands with the devil, why I joined the Authority. You want to know WHY. . . The Champ. Is. Here.
(Cena holds up the belt, posing in front of the growing jeers)
That’s the same question I’ve been asking myself for the better part of the last decade.
You know, I take pride in the fact that what you see is what you get. I am, and have always been, me. I don’t pretend to be something that I’m not. I don’t tilt at the windmills of the WWE Universe. I won’t back down from a challenge, I won’t be afraid to speak my mind and I never. Give. Up.
(Pause, focus on Cena’s emotional eyes as he looks out at the fans)
So why don’t you like me?
Ever since I won this title for the first time back in 2005, there has always been a group of fans who has cheered for anybody but me. At first, I didn’t mind; you are free to cheer for who you want to cheer for and I understood that I wasn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea. That was OK by me.
Then the boos got louder. More and more people seemed to take great pleasure in knocking me down, no matter how many battles I fought, no matter how many championships I won, no matter how many obstacles I overcame. All of which, I might add, I did. . .For you.
Still, I tried not to let it get to me. Many of you rooted against me because it was the “cool” thing to do, it’s what everybody on social media told you to do. No big deal. I’d just keep going, offering up hustle, loyalty and respect. You’d come around.
But you didn’t come around, did you? No, whether it was Ryback, The Shield, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, any opponent I faced, you wanted to see me get my ass kicked, didn’t you?
See, for you, it’s not about working hard every day.
It’s not about granting over 450 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the number one individual in history.
It wasn’t about being a 15 time World Heavyweight Champion and the best wrestler in the world!
It was to The Authority, though. The Authority, they know the truth.
The truth is that I’m the one selling the merchandise you’re buying, that I’m the one who’s making all those movies you’re watching, that I’m the one you’re paying your hard earned money to see.
I am what is best for business. The Authority appreciates me for who I am, which is not something I can say about most of you.
So you can keep asking why, Cena, why? But that’s not the question you should be asking. What you should be doing, WWE Universe, is standing up right now, going to the nearest mirror, looking yourself in the eye and asking yourself, “Why?”
Why do you hate somebody just for being themselves? Why would you rather be a sheep than an individual? Why do you admire those who have such a low regard for you?
Why, fans, why?
(Cena pauses for a few beats)
For those of you who have always stood by me, who recognize and respect the code I have been and always will live by, then we’re good. I’m still me. The Champ is Here, and he always will be.
As for the rest of you?
(Cena holds his hand out)
You can’t see me. And I’m done caring about you.
(Cena drops the mic)