By now, most of the WWE Universe has seen or read the results of 2012's Survivor Series. It is safe to say that Survivor Series marked a significant crossroads for the WWE product.
As good ol' JR has often said, "Business has just picked up." It is truly an amazing thing when the vast majority of WWE fans and critics alike can, for the most part, agree that Survivor Series was a definite hit.
Especially when the Pay-Per-View (PPV) did little in the way of promoting itself as a game changer. But in the aftermath of 2012's final big four PPV, these following factors contributed to a successful PPV:
Highly technical wrestling
Competitive Diva wrestling
A huge Dolph Ziggler push
A smartly and effectively built feud between Big Show and Sheamus, that will continue into TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs)
CM Punk makes it to 365 days as champion with a surprise tease at a new regime (NWO? NXT? Punk-tatorship?)
But in the aftermath of these exciting and promising developments, there is one man who has been largely left in the dark—Mr. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect, John Cena. The once king of "thuganomics" and ten-time world champion.
John Cena has continued his losing streak to CM Punk at WWE PPVs. Some could argue that Cena's popularity among a largely loyal fan base has made his losses largely irrelevant. But I'd argue that it is John Cena's character that has largely become irrelevant.
The fact of the matter is that it doesn't even matter anymore if CM Punk can beat John Cena cleanly. The WWE has totally skipped over that minor detail and moved on to bigger and hungrier things—like Ryback and this potential NXT Coup d'etat.
While I'm not saying that John Cena's wrestling days are over, I am saying that the WWE has finally acknowledged that it can improve ratings and generate interest without focusing on John Cena.
In fact, if viewers remember, at the Hell in a Cell 2012 pre-show, John Cena's tease at a Rock versus Cena rematch largely fell on deaf ears. It almost sounded desperate.
Survivor Series' push of various superstars like Dolph Ziggler, Antonio Cesaro, Tyson Kidd and Miz, also suggests a refocus on developing the largely ignored mid-card. Finally. This means more formidable contenders for the US, Intercontinental and World titles.
Furthermore, the current Cena/AJ soap opera storyline not only mimics TNA, but has become a joke within a joke. I often think of the South Park episode, "W.T.F." It is utterly ridiculous and frankly uninteresting. Expect this to be one of the storylines that gets killed with no explanation. This may have already happened with the recent attack on AJ by Tamina Snuka.
Whether this is a direct result of Linda McMahon's failed run for Senate is up for speculation. But the timing of Survivor Series with the recent November election and this drastically different refocus on multiple superstars seems like more than just coincidence.
Triple H once said that he was the measuring stick of the WWE. John Cena, for many years, has also felt like the imposed measuring stick of the WWE. And while Cena has had a successful career with memorable matches, it is long overdue that the WWE realize it is time to think outside the box.
The time is now.
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