So who really should have broken the streak? Well before we go further with my picks, we’re going to go through two YouTube videos that tackled this particular subject. We’re looking at two hugely different candidates that have been considered to end the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. Before we go onto the videos, let me ask you guys some questions. Out of all the potential candidates we could choose, who are the guys that needed that win the most? Who are the guys, whose great careers can be turned legendary by having them end one of the biggest streaks in sport? Also, which two guys that are still physically willing and able enough to take this streak to revitalize themselves for years to come? So instead of Brock Lesnar… should the Undertaker’s streak have been broken by John Cena or CM Punk?
Now, I know these candidates are going to get mixed reactions. You may be asking yourselves, “Well, why would Cena or Punk need a win over the Undertaker? They are already established stars.” Fair point, but keep in mind even the biggest of stars need big wins like this. As I pointed out in the last blog post, Brock Lesnar needed to break the Undertaker’s streak to separate himself from everyone else in the WWE and regain his mystique and turn himself into a mega-attraction once again. John Cena and CM Punk, for different reasons, needed a win like this to drastically alter their futures in WWE. Considering they are/were full-time stars with WWE, you could have been able to build the shows around them as they had the star power and they would still be here for the long haul. For CM Punk, if he had broken the streak at Wrestlemania 29, he would also have the right man to emphasize just how big a win this was for Punk… Paul Heyman.
But first, let me draw your attention to videos that discussed both Cena and Punk as wrestlers that maybe should have broken the streak instead of Brock Lesnar. Firstly, we’ll talk about John Cena…
In my nWo series, I pointed out a website called WhatCulture which began posting videos like my blog posts about how they would have booked particular scenarios. It was where I got the idea to do the nWo storyline and… well this one. Adam, who hosts these videos, did this video below.
He nominates John Cena as the man to conquer Undertaker’s undefeated streak. His reasoning is pretty straight forward as he believes that Cena conquering the streak is the best way to not only end the streak, but to turn John Cena heel. Think about it. Out of everyone in WWE, who is the one person you’d NOT want to end the Undertaker’s streak? The majority fans would know doubt utter one name… John Cena. Ending Undertaker’s streak alone would generate Cena more heat than ever, but what if he CHEATED to do it?
The boos reigning onto Cena would be deafening. This would not be like a Bruno Sammartino moment which would leave the audience speechless. The fans would be PISSED at WWE for allowing somebody like Cena to end that streak. Adam does a great job with describing the execution of this shocking moment. In a match that would end the show (apologizes again to Daniel Bryan) Cena challenges Undertaker. As Adam mentions, John Cena would vow to leave WWE for a year if he could not beat the Undertaker. Because if Cena vowed to leave WWE forever or something, nobody is going to buy it. But something like a year could be something that WWE might pull off. OK… WWE would probably never write John Cena off television for a year! But at least this stipulation would raise the stakes. After all, you’d think the Undertaker would have never had his streak broken either. This night would change everything.
With the referee getting taking out somehow, Cena has the Undertaker down. Cena would look around and see a chair. He’d grab a steel chair and put in a BEATING on Undertaker with it. I mean this beating would be like Steve Austin battering The Rock with the chair at Wrestlemania 17. It would be nasty. Cena would wake up the referee and hit one final Attitude Adjustment to pin the Undertaker and initially leave the crowd shocked. Then Cena would simply smile to the crowd, causing outrage among the WWE universe. We’ve gotten two things we’d never expect to see happening at once. John Cena has turned heel and Undertaker’s streak has ended. You see, John Cena turning heel would be a surreal moment in WWE. The fans would probably go nuts if Cena turned heel tomorrow. However, for every yin there’s a yang.
If you want the Cena heel turn to work, you have to give Cena legitimate heat off his turn. And what else would give Cena the necessary heat than taking away something the fans hold dear. Enter the streak. So while you get something you’d “want” to see happen, you also get something you truly don’t want to see happen. Why? Because that’s what being a heel does.
If you want Cena to create legitimate heel heat for himself, you have to give him something to work with that he can shove down your throats for years to come. The Undertaker’s streak breaking in this manner would change Cena’s character in a big way, perhaps forcing him to be heel for the rest of his career. Also, Cena marks all the checkpoints outlined in the first part of this blog. For you see, John Cena… is John Cena. He’s the “franchise” of WWE, the face of the company. He’s been on top of the mountain in WWE for nearly a decade. So to group him among a bunch of other wrestlers by having him lose to the Undertaker takes away the mystique of John Cena. While he’s not the guy with the UFC credentials of Lesnar, he’s still the ONE top guy in WWE.
So while Adam does a good job in executing the ending of the streak, he fails to answer one of the main obstacles outlined in the first post of this series. If John Cena broke the streak, then what happens to him afterwards? At the start of his video, Adam mentions how WWE booked Brock Lesnar after Wrestlemania calling it “OK” and saying he could do it better. However, Adam doesn’t ACTUALLY go into the aftermath of Cena breaking the streak and stops the video at Wrestlemania itself. If you’re going to have the streak end, then you’ve got to have a plan in place for what happens next. For Brock, the plan for him was very simple.
Brock ended the streak and Paul Heyman cut a superb promo for him the next night on RAW which clearly identifies Lesnar as the ONE to beat in WWE. Brock then comes back before Summerslam and is named the number one contender for the WWE World Title. After destroying John Cena at Summerslam, he becomes WWE World Champion. And he doesn’t just beat Cena either. It was a main event so unique that again, it separates a Brock Lesnar match from any other match in the company. Despite awkward bits of booking (like Cena beating Lesnar via DQ) and scheduling issues, Lesnar was still the ONE guy that is so different from the rest, that he becomes a special attraction in WWE once again. Him breaking Undertaker’s streak helped solidify him as a top draw once again.
The thing about Cena though is that with him turning heel, you’ve got a lot of fresh ideas for him to work with and he’s a full-time wrestler. Cena could go on every week how he beat the Undertaker’s streak and you’d all get sick of it. He could break Ric Flair’s title record and bring him even more heat. There’s so much you COULD do with John Cena. The question is, would it all actually work?
Yes, Cena COULD do the heel turn and create a moment. But WWE turning Cena heel at all is a huge risk itself. That’s why for more than decade, WWE have not dared pull the trigger on Cena. If they did that, then they’d have to be somebody as marketable and as dedicated as Cena waiting in the wings to take over as the top face in the company. Daniel Bryan COULD have been that guy as he had the marketable catchphrases and was the most over person in the company at Wrestlemania 30. However, there’s no guarantee that Yes-O-Mania could last. After all, the overness for Bryan kind of died down during his Kane feud. There’s no reason to believe that Daniel could do an even greater job than Cena as far as merchandising and as a draw. Also, there’s always the possibilities of injuries that could hurt the YES-movement needing a draw to take his place. Of course, the only person WWE could turn to at this point… would be Cena.
The point I’m trying to make is that a Cena heel turn would NOT be able to work long term. You’re rarely going to find the right time for Cena to turn heel. You can think of a number of great scenarios for Cena to turn on the WWE universe. No doubt, Adam came up with a beauty of an idea here. But you have to think about how Cena’s turn would be received by the fans. You’d have a lot of adult fans cheering about seeing Cena as a heel, but if that were to happen… what would be the point in Cena turning heel in the first place? If there are people still cheering Cena, then why bother having Cena turn heel?
Granted, Adam’s method involving the streak ending is a great way to help neutralize the cheers and keep the heel heat on Cena. But for how long and for what price? A Cena heel turn would cause a financial disaster for WWE. WWE have gotten themselves to the point where they are dependent on Cena’s merchandise to keep themselves financially strong. You could have the heel turn be a short-term thing, where Cena turns face once again at Summerslam. But would it really be worth ending a 20 year legacy for a short-term heel turn?
As much as I respect the efforts of Adam at WhatCulture, John Cena was just not the right person to end that streak. So if John Cena shouldn’t have broken that streak, than who should? Join me part three, where we talk about another YouTube video providing us with CM Punk being the one to break Undertaker’s streak…