Why John Cena Actually SUCKS At Promos

Corbin Macklin

Credit: WWE.com

This is no clickbait. Oh no. John Cena really is a terrible promo in my opinion. I just watched his latest terrible promo towards The Undertaker. This dude got on a live microphone and said that the next week determines the legacy of The Deadman. Because, yanno, logically... assuming Taker doesn't respond to these weeks of begging and pleading all those years and championships and the 23-2 at Mania: never happened. That is ludicrous. The primary objective of a promo is you're trying to get the fans excited to see a match. John Cena promos snap me out of my suspension of disbelief because of the disconnect from reality. He cuts what I consider "burial" promos. You can go over in the match but a part of you died when he dropped the mic. That's not good.

I do not think Cena is a bad worker, even though he is not very smooth athletically and pretty much everything he does looks awkward. He is undeniably one of the biggest names in the business today and nothing I say here can take away from that. I just want to make clear: I have never been one of those fans that hated Cena and wanted him to go away. Years ago, I had the realization that fans wanting Cena to turn heel lacked the understanding of how pro wrestling works. Yes, Cena is positioned as a babyface, in that he is booked against heels most of the time. If you listen to the way Cena talks to people in his promos, you realize that he has been a heel for many years. I foresee him officially turning heel at WrestleMania or the night after. Preferably at Mania. I realize that over the years the storyline and the opponent have been perfect to turn him many times over. Maybe I'm being a mark and I'm being worked and Cena is never going to play the bad guy forreal the rest of his career. The story WWE has hammered home over the past few months is the frustration Cena feels at having failed to win the Rumble. Then he failed again in the Chamber, and again at Fast Lane. A common complaint people had about Super Cena over the years was that he'd lose a match and come back the next night with jokes and smiles. Like he didn't really care, like he was above it all. Like this wasn't real to him. See, it's still real to US, dammit! But Cena cut an emotional promo on Raw Talk after losing at the Chamber. It gave people the idea he was going the retire. Come to think of it, when he lost to Roman Reigns, same thing. If Cena does not turn heel after all this failing and frustration because "Never Give Up" remember this rambling paragraph, and that I told you, THIS is why he sucks at promos.

Going into Cena's match with Roman Reigns, by all accounts he murdered him on the stick. If you're "smart" you knew going into that match, Roman was gonna win. And God forbid Roman also looks strong in the verbal jousting. Where Roman is given weak material like calling Cena a bitch and calling him a part timer (sounds mighty similar to his current build up... great creative!) Cena is allowed to point out promos are Roman's biggest weakness, and that Cena is allowed to come on Raw because Roman isn't getting the job done. In a promo you are not supposed to point out your foe's weakness. Even if it has nothing to do with the match itself. I'm not saying go white meat babyface and go all "Oh I really respect my opponent and I know it'll be a tough match I might not win but I'll give it all I got" but at the same time, Cena has a loooooong history of making his opponents look weak in promos. Even AFTER the match, as much as Cena is given credit for "putting people over" it's more like "yeah he lost the match, but you'd never know it from his promo" Examples are how he barely congratulated Randy Orton after losing the unification match at TLC a few years back. He was calling Orton a coward who hid behind The Authority AFTER LOSING CLEAN IN THE MIDDLE. Another fave was the time he lost to Kevin Owens, clean as a whistle, and in defeat he called him a boy, not a man... THEN told him that his son is a Cena fan because he wishes his dad could be a man like him. Again. This is after he lost to the man. Clean. No shenanigans. These are not the words of a babyface. Only a heel could dissemble this skillfully and have people marking out at how good the promo was. Which again, is why Cena's promos suck to me.

I could write all night about times Cena buried someone in a promo after putting them over, or bring up how when he feuded with Reigns, he referenced his biggest win being against a battered old veteran with a bad hip. Now, he's BEGGING that same battered old veteran with a bad hip to give him a match at Mania. IF Cena loses and turns heel afterwards it will make the most logical sense, while I still won't forget all the times he was bending the truth to fit his own personal narrative. If he doesn't, this is just the latest in a long line of times I wonder to myself "Is continuity not a thing?" "Was I supposed to forget he said that or that that happened?" so on and so forth. If Cena is actually the heel in the storylines, then it makes sense that he is wrong but he thinks he is right a la Killmonger. Those are the best villains, the ones who believe they are justified for what they do, and you have to search within yourself where you land: Right? Or wrong? I want Cena to stop being dead wrong and hailed as some hero.