Monday, April 14, 2014

Instant Feedback: Escalation and Entitlement

Oh God, not with the entitled brat shtick again John
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December 19, 2010 saw John Cena do battle with Wade Barrett one final time in a chairs match. Cena spent the second half of the year battling Barrett's Nexus, and he took his frustrations out in one of the most violent matches that post-Attitude WWE would allow. When Cena triumphed, he found closure by pressing steel to the flesh with high velocity, and so he walked away, victorious but dignified. Haha, nah, just kidding, he dragged Barrett to the stage and dropped a shit ton of chairs on him. The act was pointless escalation at its most egregious. Cena's actions would be like dropping a bomb on an army after it had already signed the terms of surrender.

Effective storytelling requires logic. Why would Cena, a man who had defeated Barrett in a match to end the feud, raise the stakes of violence, other than to prove that he was a sore winner and a massive prick? The counterargument was that Barrett and the Nexus put him through so much over six months that the denouement was warranted. Except Cena swept out at SummerSlam in the elimination match main event and went right to work sabotaging the group once he was made an indentured servant. Cena was never pushed to the brink. He never sold the threat to the point where extracurricular assault felt needed. Yet, he took the final step like he had earned it.

Cena is a fantastic wrestler, and he can be a great character at times, but his persona sometimes acts as if he's the most entitled piece of human garbage in the history of the world. The same flaws in logic that compelled him to drop chairs on Barrett, who has FINALLY found a suitable replacement gimmick that matches the gravitas of leading the Nexus, have pushed him to demand escalation in a battle with the Wyatt Family in which he has an upper hand.

To recap, Cena won his match against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. Sure, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper interfered, but the static didn't affect him at all in the grand scheme of things. Yet, Cena, oblivious to the fact that Wyatt holds a clean victory over Daniel Bryan in the calendar year of 2014 after his minions were sent to the back, demanded another match against Wyatt, this time in a steel cage. See, because Wyatt can't win a match without his Family, and because Cena needs another crack at beating a guy he already beat despite the ineffectual interjection from said cohorts.

What possible goal could Cena have just by going back to the well? From a personal standpoint, he dispatched the Wyatts once. He's ignored chatter before. The Miz chirped and chirped and chirped some more at Cena in 2009, and The Champ had not a problem ignoring him until he physically interjected himself into his proceedings with Big Show. No vendetta should exist, and the only reason Cena would want to go back would be spite.

Entitlement. Superfluous upping of the ante. Spite. Hm, maybe all the commentators out there calling for John Cena to turn heel have already gotten their wish. Times exist within WWE when Cena embodies hustle, loyalty, and respect, but a large percentage of screen time sees him as a humongous dick. Maybe these fans got what they wanted and just haven't updated their definitions of alignment just yet. Maybe they'll get the picture if Cena drops a shit ton of chairs on them too.