|IMAGE CREDIT: WWE.com|
But, in a moment of self awareness, I stopped because I realise that I've covered that ground several times. Many people have. And I know that as wrestling fans, we get away with making the same point x number of times before a wave of retorts come back: “if you don't like (insert annoying thing here), just ignore him/her/them/it.” I've seen that argument used against people complaining about John Cena's character recently. Plus, I don't want to come across as the guy who's always complaining.
Here's the problem: while your overall aim with wrestling should be to focus on enjoying more of what entertains you than what doesn't, that doesn't mean you shouldn't complain.
But it depends why you're complaining. Complaining is fine as long as it's not just a case of you hating something and not wanting to see anything but the negative. If you're complaining because you expect better out of your wrestling, that's fine. And I feel the complaints levied against John Cena's character come from a place of the latter, not the former.
I get that WWE's realised that John Cena's demographic is females and children. They need characters at all levels targeting all demographics. I'm not even against having top shelf characters on the show aimed at children, because I don't believe certain types should be reserved for the Santino-level character.
But even if Cena wasn't designed to be this eras Hulk Hogan superhero, as a supposed protagonist, his character is still insulting and infuriating on almost every level. No-one should want to cheer a guy who drops faeces on people just because he doesn't like them, uses homophobic slurs against males as if homosexuality is the worst thing since the finger poke of doom, and treats women like second-class citizens who's only use (or tool for success) is what's situated between their legs. Moreover, WWE shouldn't expect them to.
As a character who's supposed to be a “good guy” he's atrocious anyway, but as the ultimate white knight role model for children John Cena is supposed to be, he's literally the worst example you should hope to set. Honestly, right now, John Cena's whole ass backwards good guy persona has become one of the reasons I'm ashamed to tell people I watch wrestling.
But again, these complaints don't come from a place of bitterness or undue hatred against John Cena. I actually used to like John Cena, and I want to be able to do more than just argue as to why John Cena is not a bad wrestler by any means, which is right now the only argument I have in his favour. I don't enjoy kvetching about John Cena. But I also don't enjoy watching him and feeling outright insulted by his character in almost every direction. But I expect better out of wrestling and its characters, no matter if they're characters aimed at adult males like me, adult women, the “casual fan”, or children.
The point I'm getting at is that, sometimes, it's not wrong to complain about that which doesn't entertain you, if you're complaining for the right reasons. And complaints levied at John Cena's character as he stands now are perfectly justified. So I won't be bowing to that pressure to ignore John Cena because I've already made my point. All the time he is like he is and I feel bitching about him is justified, I'll continue. We all should.