Character Development

This past Monday on WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night RAW, we witnessed probably the best 15-20 minutes of captivating television in quite some time; maybe even years. But before I get to that, let me back track a little bit.

Ever since John Cena abandoned his “Thuganomics” gimmick, and thus his heel persona, he has had the same boring character that has bordered on later-years-Hulkamania levels of boring. Being booked as the loathed “Super Cena” character, he has become very stale, and thus the IWC and most adult males have been clamoring for a heel turn of epic proportions.

However, we have never gotten that classic heel turn, because the WWE is afraid to pull the trigger on that turn. There have been a variety of reasons given (unofficially of course), that range from merchandise sales, Cena’s work with the Make-a-Wish Foundations, and all the way to the WWE being afraid that they don’t have the successor to Cena’s spot as the #1 face of the company.

I’m not going to get in to those reasons here, but the reason I bring up the heel turn, is because most people have come to grips with the reality that the heel turn we all are waiting for … will really never happen. At least not in the way we would like it to happen.

Then there was the opening segment on Monday Night RAW, April 28 2014, Episode 1,092. Bray Wyatt continued his mind games with John Cena, and while not a heel turn, we are getting the next best thing. Granted it’s a distant second place, but in a world where second best is going to have to be good enough… this was pretty damn awesome.

The hair on the back of my next stood up, and I got goosebumps when I was talking about it on the A1-Podcast, and this was one of the best segments on WWE Television in quite some time. It was so surreal to see “the children” siding with Bray Wyatt, signing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, and then the children surrounding the ring, and then wearing the sheep masks. It was just brilliant and the exclamation point was the look of sullen defeat on the face of John Cena.

This, my friends, is called character development. If we can’t get a heel John Cena, we instead are getting a vulnerable John Cena, and a John Cena that is in an unfamiliar battle. At WrestleMania it was about Cena’s “legacy”, but as John Cena himself said on RAW, this battle inside a steel cage at Extreme Rules is about stopping the message of Bray Wyatt. According to Mr. Hustle Loyalty and Respect, if Bray Wyatt escapes the cage, his message escapes with him, and it will eventually be Bray Wyatt against The World. By that point, The World won’t stand a chance.

This Sunday at Extreme Rules… neither does John Cena … and I’m loving every minute of the lack of “Super Cena” to save the day. WrestleMania saw the hero win and overcome the odds like usual. At Extreme Rules, the cult leader escapes the cage, and continues to reside in the mind of John Cena.

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