Many fans may not realize this, and WWE would never admit it, but there is an unwritten rule in the WWE. That rule has taken effect a few times over the last couple years and smart fans can recognize it. The rule I’m talking about is, “No superstar is allowed to become more over than John Cena.”
The first violator of this rule was CM Punk. After Punk dropped his famous “pipebomb” in 2011, he quickly became the hottest topic in WWE in years. He won the WWE championship from Cena a few weeks later, but his reign was shortlived. After that, WWE decided to put him in a boring fued with Kevin Nash. That ended up going nowhere and Punk was put into a match against Triple H. Triple H won, putting a hault to Punk’s momentum. He did recover, winning the WWE championship at Survivor Series 2011, en route to becoming the longest-reigning champion in 25 years, however, his title feuds were overshadowed by whatever feud Cena was involved in. The only time Punk’s feud was in the spotlight was when he was facing Cena, or when he lost the title to The Rock. Punk was also turned heel at this time because he was being cheered more than Cena. He was still over, so it didn’t harm him much, but because he wasn’t Cena, he wasn’t given the respect he deserved.
The next violator was Ryback. The Ryback character debuted in 2012 and quick dominated. He went undefeated for over six months and had the crowd behind him ever step of the way chanting “Feed Me More.” WWE saw this and decided to put him in the main event picture. The thing is, part of that was because Cena was injured at the time and Punk needed a challenger. Ryback failed to capture the title, but was still over. The day after WrestleMania 29, that all changed. That’s the night Ryback, who was out-poping Cena, was turned heel, a cowardly heel at that. He lost the feud to Cena and went down to the mid-card, losing most of his relevancy in the process. He has suffered a great deal, his character has lost what made him popular, and he may not be able to recover. Good job WWE, you blew an opportunity here because you’re so obsessed with protecting Cena.
The most recent violator is Daniel Bryan. In 2013, Bryan was the most popular superstar in the WWE, even winning the Slammy award for “Superstar of the Year.” Fans were chanting “Yes” and “Daniel Bryan” even when he wasn’t involved in what was going on. That just goes to show you over he is. How does WWE decide to end the year with their most popular star? Turn him heel of course by having him join the “Not as over as WWE wants them to be” Wyatt family. There are not enough swear words to describe my disgust for this move. It just goes to show you again, how much WWE wants to protect Cena and can’t stand someone being more popular than him. Bryan is so good, that he should be able to recover from this, however only time will tell.
I know Cena is popular, I get that, but he won’t be around forever, burying and potential ruining anyone who can be the next star of the future because they are getting better reactions that Cena will harm WWE in the long run when the time comes that Cena won’t be around. Cena can become something of a “special attraction” at some point, while the next generation beings to take over. WWE needs to give that a chance to happen.
Until next time, follow the unwritten rules, you don’t have a choice