During a recent episode of ARN, Arn Anderson spoke on why the WWE booking of John Cena ultimately turned many fans against him. Here’s what he had to say:
They have to play out, and you can’t bum-rush them. You’ve gotta devote enough time to get something over. You can’t start something, and then a third of the way or a quarter of the way through it, start to back off and go a different direction. Cena was in an impossible situation – he was established to the point now that people believed in him, the kids loved him, and he was their hero. You could’ve taken Cena out in a very ugly way and put him on the sidelines for four or five months and just piled the heat on the Nexus – just like you were gonna groom a new top heel like you were gonna do Evolution or whatever. You piled heat on those guys week after week, month after month. It got to the point where, without taking too long, ‘Somebody’s gotta put a stop to these guys, this is just too much.’
That’s what we do. Bad guys are supposed to pile the heat up on television, and it was hit and miss. A lot of time Cena would become Godzilla and he would beat up three or four guys. To John’s defense, that’s what turns the audience off on a babyface. If you get shoved too hard down the audience’s throat, they’re gonna spit you out. They know what is plausible and believable, and they will accept that if it’s done well. But you can’t just hit and miss and half-ass it. Those guys would’ve all, for the most part, really become incredible characters for the company and would’ve grown in their character and got more confidence and got over individually if you would’ve just left it alone. The company had a really good thing going. They just didn’t pull the trigger all the way on it.
Regurgitation. Too much, unbelievable, no “S” on his chest, odds were too great, too many opportunities – it just went against everything reasonable. Any reasonable person would’ve told you, ‘Why don’t you do this, or why don’t you do that? Why couldn’t you have done this?’ For me, it just was too much, and it was the thing we talked about earlier. It’s shoving somebody to the point to where it’s to their detriment, and I think it was.
I never failed to give John my honest opinion on everything, right up until the last time I worked with him. He will tell you that. In a lot of things, I’d see him go, ‘Wow, I didn’t think of that, but the old man is already dead set on doing this.’ Kibosh. I never failed to tell him what I thought and when something was too much and, ‘I think we’re making a mistake here.’ If it was already settled and it had already been discussed, I had very, very little control over that. As the years crept by, less and less, and John took more control over what he felt he should do in his angles, and 9 times out of 10, Vince would go right along with him. And I understand – he’s selling a lot of merchandise, and even when business is down, most of them are there to see John. So, I get that whole thing. But I think you could’ve spread that wealth around and got some of these heels with some heat on him, and let’s take a John Morrison and some of those guys and up their game and up their positioning on some of these shows and not have to put the burden on Cena.
You can listen HERE.
Credit: ARN. H/T 411Mania.