WWE might have lost its mind when it learned that John Cena wanted to take some time off to deal with “personal issues” and will not be part of the live events after the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event.
The nerve of some people. All joking aside, the time off requested will directly impact the United States Title and the future plans of the WWE World Title.
Right about now, I have this image of Vince McMahon and Triple H fretting over the idea of having to find someone else to carry the WWE torch, when the flame is flickering ever so weakly.
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The one thing McMahon has never been good at is dealing with the “Next Man Up” theory of wrestling. It was never more evident than when Hulk Hogan was the atlas by which the company rested.
Now, with Cena being that type of team player, and wanting to step away, there isn’t a group of wrestlers who can grab the globe and balance it.
I love the analogy that the NWA and WCW had Sting, Lex Luger and Barry Windham for a time to take the reins from Ric Flair or could substitute Ricky Steamboat or Dusty Rhodes. WWE has talent but not enough trust to make things move forward.
In the end, McMahon is going to ask over and over again, “Can this person make money?”
Jim Ross had a few thoughts of his own on his website, which were discussed on 411mania.com.
Bryan to step in?
Now that Cena appears to be out of action, would the company turn back to Daniel Bryan to save a sinking ship? Ross cautions McMahon and WWE’s hierarchy to tread lightly.
Bryan has been out of action with injuries for an extended period of time and, while he still might be a strong option to fill the Cena role, the fact his injuries have been severe are a huge red flag the company needs to be conscious of.
“Amazing that some people think that Daniel Bryan’s return can cure all WWE TV ratings ills alone. Not true. Bryan should not be considered for a return until he is completely, 100% medically cleared of which WWE will ensure," wrote Ross.
"Ratings go down just like live event tickets sales and for the same reasons.the paying customers are not getting what they feel that they want."
Bryan is easily the best option to move seats and cable and internet buys, but the struggle for the wrestler might be real. And the pressure to perform versus being healthy and able to perform might not be the same.
If there is a plan of action that makes sense in my mind, then Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro become the two likely candidates to take the title off Cena’s hands.
Ziggler’s involvement in a storyline (or real life – however you see it) with Nikki Bella makes him the logical choice and gives him another push.
Cesaro deserves a push more so than any other member of the WWE roster and should be able to capture the title, carry it and gain more fan approval. He is the riskiest wrestler however because he is not as dramatic or personable as Ziggler, but as a champion is more of a throwback to the days of long title reigns.
The other option is to put the strap on Roman Reigns and see how the up and coming Vince McMahon protégé does with gold. It becomes the stepping stone to a heel turn and a world title run.
Whatever the solution, WWE has options. It just needs to decide which one fits best and not make a hasty decision that will hurt the company even further than it is right now.
Cena didn’t help things by asking to take time off, but he sure opened a door the company needs to walk through and see if there is light on the other side.