This year's SummerSlam main event has been set, and to no one's surprise, John Cena is comfortably pencilled in, as he has been for many years. WWE fans have grown to expect that, which contributes to the surging, pulsating bubble of resentment for the leader of the Cenation.
On the other side of the ring, fresh from the upset of the decade, is Paul Heyman's client, who defeated The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30. Prior to WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar had endured a tumultuous WWE stint in which he lost as many matches as he won and fought to balance his credibility with the gaping voids in his appearances.
Post-WrestleMania 30, though, Lesnar is hot property.
This is a very interesting match and feud, mainly due to the interpolation of each character dynamic and the crowd's extremist opinions on both.
Cena has spent over 12 years on the WWE's main roster and been its poster boy since 2005. In this considerable span of time, he has won the championship a whopping 15 times, second only to the wheelin', dealin', stylin' and profilin' Nature Boy, Ric Flair.
There are few applicable words to describe Cena's WWE stint, but "dominant" fits it best. He has dominated the roster and every main event or feud he has been a part of. Aside from the bucket of championship reigns, he has also won the Royal Rumble twice, the Money in the Bank briefcase, multiple Elimination Chambers and hogged the main event scene for most pay-per-views in a year.
He once came back from a major arm injury to trump a WWE star whose only wrestling trait in WWE is weakening his opponent's arm, won the title without a second glance and, on the next night, fell victim to another beatdown to his injured arm, this time by the Money in the Bank holder, who then cashed it in and still lost.
Such is the power of John Cena. This is also why a large portion of the fans hate him. He represents the stereotypical babyface who has been granted opportunities that other, more technically gifted superstars have been denied. He is, as a former WWE wrestler once rightly said, no longer the underdog but rather a dynasty.
Meanwhile, since his return, Lesnar has enjoyed a similar love-hate relationship with the fans. It's a bit different with him, though. The fans all know and respect Cena the person, for the guy is actually a great person to all fans alike, and he has done some great work for WWE and charity organisations. The hate for Cena is more out of frustration with his on-screen character and the reign of dominance in the top spot.
Lesnar, however, has gotten legitimate hatred for not giving any kind of consideration to the fans. He's back in the WWE for the easy money and limelight, and while he has every right to, it still doesn't make him a favourable person in people's eyes.
Fans love and respect a struggling Dolph Ziggler's rise to the top—or a Daniel Bryan's—because they see him labour through the weeks. Lesnar just walks into main event spots, defeats big stars and walks out with fat paychecks.
Of course, he is devotedly loved by people for spicing things up in the WWE, as, deny it or not, he is a beast of a performer with credible MMA skills and carries with him an aura of relevance that other heels lack. He walks around with one of the best mic workers in the WWE in Paul Heyman, which makes him super difficult to dislike for those fans.
Lesnar had his share of love and hate for a few years before WrestleMania 30, where things got serious, and nobody's joking anymore. He was chosen to end Undertaker's highly coveted WrestleMania streak, a streak that had consumed multiple WWE legends in order to validate Undertaker's legacy as one of the best ever.
It was truly a streak of high reverence, beyond the realms of sports entertainment. But Lesnar broke it in the most brutal and blunt manner possible and winked his way out of the arena. Undertaker is still injured and probably done with wrestling forever. No post-Mania SmackDown matches with The Shield this year.
So the crowd right now, as I see it, stands helplessly divided. On one side is a beast who wrecks things and demolishes opponents, which makes you really want to like him. But due to Paul Heyman's constant reminders of his deed at WrestleMania 30, he leaves you outraged.
On the other side is the dynasty of Cena, the man we've hated to see dominate talents who shouldn't lose, that we ravenously want to see get dominated in turn by the same person he defeated at Extreme Rules a few years back when everyone acted like it never happened.
Destroy him this time, Brock, and right the wrongs.