WWE's Lack of Top-Star Power Makes John Cena's Injury Even Worse

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2013

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

John Cena’s injury has likely become old news by this time, as WWE.com reported the story on Sunday, much to the surprise of fans.  And as we look ahead to Raw, there are a thousand questions surrounding John and what will become of his WWE Title defense against Ryback at Extreme Rules.  The sad part is that WWE‘s lack of real star power could make this situation even worse.

Injuries are a part of the business, and anyone who has been a fan for any period of time understands that.  They can happen at any moment, during any peak or valley that a promotion is experiencing, and when they happen, it oftentimes becomes a complication for the company.

And when an injury happens to a top star?  It’s not just a complication, it can become chaos.
The fact is that WWE has been down this road before.  Top guys have been hurt in the past, and the company has had to change, rearrange and rewrite so they can keep moving ahead.

The only problem this time however is, how do you change the plan when there’s no one left?

CM Punk is out of action, Chris Jericho is not working full-time anymore, and The Undertaker—though fans have thoroughly enjoyed having him back—is likely not interested in filling the void on a full-time basis himself.

For me, this is a major problem with WWE.  

At any given time in the past, they have relied on at least two top-level stars to carry the load.  John Cena was once joined by Randy Orton, Edge, Shawn Michaels and Triple H.  Undertaker worked a handful of times per year, plus his usual WrestleMania match, and Chris Jericho would come back occasionally for another run.

But since then we have seen Randy’s star rise, fall, then rise again.  Edge was forced to walk away, and Shawn had his much-deserved retirement.  Triple H has moved up the corporate ladder, Taker is down to one match per year and Chris has found success with Fozzy outside of the business.

And that leaves the company’s No. 1 Superstar, the one who makes the WWE world go round: John Cena.  

John has carried the banner for the better part of 10 years now, so he is very used to the responsibility and pressure that his spot brings.  But the fact is that he can’t do it alone.

I don’t believe that WWE has created enough stars to step into that all-important next level.  They certainly have a wealth of talent at their disposal, and Vince McMahon’s locker room is surely full of guys who want the opportunity. 

But to expect someone to just slide into a main event spot with little to no build up could be a recipe for disaster, not only for WWE but for that guy’s career.


Because fans have to believe what they’re seeing.  Even if a talent like The Miz were to be called and be given that shot, he would not be fully accepted by the crowd.  He has his fans, of course, but he just has not been under that heavy spotlight as of late.

The same could be said about any number of WWE Superstars who are either close to being relevant or have something stopping them from moving to the forefront.  Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are both perennial mid-card stars.  Christian has not yet returned to active competition.  Fandango has gotten hot as of late but is still a heel, and Sheamus is beginning a program against Mark Henry.

Of course, Kane and Daniel Bryan are two of the most entertaining Superstars in WWE, and both are viable options. Perhaps their potential match with The Shield could be moved to the main event spot at Extreme Rules, provided that Cena can’t go.

And therein lies the real point: how much time will John miss?  Will he miss any?

Just because he’s “banged up,” in his words, does not mean that he will be out.  And if the WWE Championship match against Ryback has to be postponed, it’s not the end of the world for the company because John’s presence will surely be felt every week on TV like always.

Love him or hate him, he’s a company guy and will do whatever is necessary to help ensure that the show goes on.  He’s been doing just that for over a decade and there’s no reason to believe he will stop now.

John Cena’s recent Achilles injury during WWE’s European tour could spell big trouble for the company if he has to miss some time.  

WWE’s lack of main event-level star power is very apparent in a situation like this, and for me it is a problem that makes Cena’s injury even worse.  But his dedication to WWE will certainly keep him on the air as long as he can physically be there.  He is the face of the company, after all.

That part is still in perfect health.