No one in WWE gets a bigger reaction than John Cena! If you watch Raw on a semi-regular basis, then youve heard Michael Cole utter some variation of that sentence while the crowd volleys back and forth chants of Lets go Cena! and Cena sucks! WWE has long acknowledged this division among fans, with Paul Heyman recently emphasizing how pronounced the disparity between pre-pubescent and female supporters and male detractors really is. While on the one hand, its better that WWE acknowledges the boos rather than ignoring them, the company continues to alternate between teasing that Cena will finally give in to the dark side and trying to offset the booing through a variety of means. They play up Cenas charity work (which is truly commendable) and try to cast him as an underdog as much as a 15-time world champion can be an underdog. But another disturbing trend that has emerged more and more through the years is pairing John Cena with other hot acts in WWE in the hopes that some of that persons heat will rub off on him. John Cena might be a hot commodity in terms of merchandise sales, but theres no denying that his act which hasnt changed in nearly a decade is beyond stale. Putting him into angles with other superstars who are getting big reactions is one way of trying to freshen up Cenas character without really having to change him at all. Now obviously as the top guy in the company, John Cena is going to get top storylines with top acts. This isnt about his battles with CM Punk, Edge, Randy Orton (back when that was a fresh matchup) or even the Rock. The examples listed on the following pages are superstars who were hot commodities and their pairing with Cena were an attempt for Mr. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect to siphon some heat from them.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.