Column – An Inconvenient Truth: John Cena and Randy Orton
Dec 5, 2013 - by Atlee Greene
Wrestling Soap Box – An Inconvenient Truth: John Cena and Randy Orton
There is an inconvenient truth when it comes wrestlers in the WWE. It doesn’t matter how good their matches are, how hard they work, how loud the audience cheers for them, how good they make the company look in the media, or how much merchandise they sell. In the end, it’s all about John Cena and Randy Orton. It’s always been about them and until a new era is ushered in, nothing will ever change that. For the last eight years, no one has been booked stronger or protected more than Cena and Orton. They are the two performers that the company has put their faith in to lead them to the promised land because more than anyone else on the roster, they embody what it means to be a sports entertainer and not a professional wrestler.
The 27th annual Survivor Series ended with the all too familiar sight of John Cena and Randy Orton, taking center stage, which teased a future showdown between the two superstars. The next night on Monday Night Raw, the tease turned into reality as they will headline the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view event with both the WWE title and World Heavyweight title on the line.
Fans have seen enough Cena vs. Orton matches to last three life times. The WWE knows this all too well and yet, we’re being treated to it again. Logic dictates that Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, who hear anything but boo birds and boring chants in their matches, should be pushed as legitimate main event attractions. However, WWE creative is anything but logical.
Last year, Randy Orton was suspended for another Wellness Policy violation and he is one strike away from automatic termination. Orton’s role was slightly reduced from the main event to the upper mid-card. Once his sentence was served, he was immediately given the WWE title. Any other wrestler in the same situation would have paid a higher penance. However, in the company’s eyes, Orton is one half of the big picture and they waited with bated breath until they could thrust him back into the spotlight.
Daniel Bryan is currently the most popular wrestler in the WWE. When John Cena went down with a tricep injury, Daniel Bryan should have been pushed to the moon. Instead, his role was fashioned to keep the seat warm until Cena returned. CM Punk had several dances with being “the guy” but when push came to shove, John Cena was still the man.
In a perfect world, WrestleMania would have been, or will be, headlined by John Cena vs. Randy Orton. This almost happened at WrestleMania 24, but Triple H got involved making it a triple threat match. After a several year period where the two didn’t touch each other, they tried it again at the 2011 Royal Rumble. Cena and Orton stood face to face with each other and then dramatically turned to the giant WrestleMania banner hanging from the rafters. Such a moment usually brings about some level of excitement but nothing happened this time around. It was pin drop silent in the TD Bank Garden and the idea was quickly abandoned. Now, they are back to main eventing a pay-per-view event and they are the focal points of the 2014 Royal Rumble promotional poster which serves somewhat of a spoiler of things to come.
I love the idea of unifying the titles. With the brand split dead, there is no need for two champions. The WWE had been careful in not using the word unification when promoting this match until this past Monday on Raw. It makes me wonder if this is just a roundabout way of putting the WWE belt back on Cena without Orton losing in the process. Perhaps, this is the beginning of a much larger storyline. No matter which road to WrestleMania the company decides to take, the only guarantee is that John Cena and Randy Orton will be in the driver’s seat. That is an inconvenience for die hard wrestling fans who are craving something different.