Will the AJ Lee Storyline Hurt John Cena in the Long Run?

Bryan HaasFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2012

courtesy of wwe.com
courtesy of wwe.com

Where, oh where has the WWE’s resident savior John Cena gone?

In recent weeks, fans have seen Cena get double crossed by former flame AJ Lee at the TLC pay-per-view and then attacked on more than one occasion by a debuting force named Big E. Langston.

Which begs the question: Is Cena running out of steam?

Involved in nearly every high profile storyline in recent WWE history, Cena is no stranger to the spotlight. But his most recent work has him involved in a convoluted situation with the unstable Lee.

And that storyline may well end up being the beginning of the end of Cena’s reign of glory over the WWE Universe.

While it is quite likely that Cena will again triumph over insurmountable competition (Langston), stick it to a bitter rival (Ziggler) and best a jilted lover (Lee), the fact that he has spent a great deal of time lately in a semi-conscious state with the trio standing over him might be a sign that there may soon be a huge demographic shift within the company.

The storyline with Lee always felt sort of forced and wooden anyway. Lee and Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero always kept things interesting, but Cena’s presence always looked odd. He looked as if he had no desire to be involved, and exhausted to have to be a part of such an odd angle.

Once pictures surfaced of Cena at a function with real life girlfriend and former WWE diva Nikki Bella, the Lee situation took on a completely different tone, as an already unbelievable scenario now took on other implications.

The plan all along might have been to have Lee eventually turn on Cena. But the timing of the turn, at a lower tier pay-per-view, might have been forced, and the rivalry between Cena and Ziggler took on another flavor altogether.

Fans know that Lee can be a volatile person, capable of turning her mood on a dime at any given moment. But turning her into a vindictive character, with the ability to unleash a monster like Langston at any moment on whatever and whomever she wants, gives her a very exciting edge.

Ziggler is one of the best emerging talents on the roster, who has seemingly been mired in a mid-card position for a long time, despite winning Money In the Bank. He is in line for a huge push and a possible run with a world title.

Langston, for his small role at the moment, looks to have a fantastic look, but no one really knows what the level of his potential could be. Based on his brief dominance of Cena, the future looks bright.

But where does this leave Cena?

Once he eventually vanquishes these rivals, then what?

Another feud with WWE Champion CM Punk seems unlikely, as they have had countless encounters in the past, many of which with tepid reactions.

Once Randy Orton returns from a shoulder injury, and makes his long awaited heel turn, would a possible feud with Cena be the spark that both need in order to once again put the crowd members on the edge of their seats?

Cena has been at the forefront of the company for nearly a decade, but an increasingly cold reaction from fans has to be leaving the company brass at a loss for where to go with him from here.

Could the WWE’s resident superhero be losing his power?

And if the answer is yes, who will become the next man to shoulder the load?