It’s hard to understand what the WWE Creative Team was thinking when they scheduled that rambling, nonsensical promo by John Cena at the end of Raw Monday night.
This was supposed to be the go-home show for WWE Royal Rumble 2013, the show that ratchets up excitement for Sunday night’s pay-per-view. And we’re not talking about some second-tier, time-filling PPV like Over the Limit.
It’s the Royal Rumble, for gosh sakes. It’s the starting gate for the road to WrestleMania 29. It’s one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views for WWE.
So why, then, would WWE have its No. 1 star…its company face…its Superman…walk out and sound like a lame wannabe comic on open mic night at the local watering hole?
To quote Daniel Bryan: “No! No! No!”
WWE committed a major violation of what they teach you in Marketing 101: Put your star performer in a situation that plays to his strengths.
And Cena’s strength is how he performs on the mat, not on the mic.
Unless he was hurt in some way that we could not see, WWE should have had Cena in action. They should have put him in the Beat the Clock Challenge series.
He has a good feud going with Dolph Ziggler now. WWE should have made him Ziggler’s opponent instead of The Miz.
Maybe it should have been Cena instead of Sheamus in the match with Wade Barrett. That was the one when Ziggler and his entourage came out and caused enough of a distraction to make Sheamus miss beating Ziggler’s winning time.
Having Cena in some kind of action would have completed a one-two highlight punch for the show. The other highlight, of course, was The Rock’s interaction with CM Punk and his eventual beatdown at the hands of The Shield.
That would have given the WWE Universe something to talk about in a good way instead of leaving it scratching its collective head over Cena’s awful appearance.
On that note, Cena’s rambling and picking on audience members has to have been one of the worst promos ever in WWE. Usually he is decent, but not great, on the mic. But this made Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo look like Masterpiece Theatre.
The only people who got charges out of his monologue were the ones on whom Cena picked. That was the first time in recent memory that a crowd actually sat on its hands for the majority of a Cena appearance.
No wonder Sheamus got such a pop when he came out to stake his claim of winning the Rumble main event. The crowd was actually tired of hearing Cena prattle on and on.
The booking is supposed to be strong as we head into the WrestleMania 29 season. Let’s hope this fiasco was something WWE Creative needed to get out of its system before everyone gets serious about WrestleMania 29.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.