When Cena Became “The Guy,” I Quit, HHH Doing The Honors, Thoughts On Curtis Axel

Was there one specific moment where it was clear that John Cena became the face of WWE or did it just happen over time?

John Cena’s transition as the “face of WWE” began when he won the WWE title for the first time at Wrestlemania 21. At the time, Triple H was still the “face of the company” but it was this reign that began to establish John as “the guy.” Over the years Cena has taken the spot and ran with it. Leading the company in merchandise sales and popularity, it’s clear Cena is still in the prime of his career. I think some readers get confused when we say “face of WWE.” We aren’t saying that everyone likes him or that he’s the best wrestler, we’re saying he outdraws everyone else and is the clear “go to” guy.

What were your thoughts on the “I Quit” match between Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules?

Right off the bat I thought there was too much Mike Chioda, with him continuously asking Swagger and Del Rio if they quit. I didn’t like the false finish with the white towel and felt the instant replay gimmick was ridiculous. The work wasn’t bad in of itself but the bout was fairly forgettable. I popped for Swagger’s gutwrench powerbomb and do think he’s a better worker than he gets credit for.

Why didn’t Triple H put Curtis Axel over on WWE Raw? Can’t he just put one young worker over for a change?

Triple H “did the honors” at Extreme Rules and a loss on WWE Raw, albeit “not at 100%,” could have been damaging. The fact Hunter wanted to work with Curtis Axel in the Raw main event speaks volumes and in addition to putting the spotlight on Axel, it gave WWE an opportunity to further Hunter’s latest angle (update here). Axel has a lot of potential but it would be extremely risky for Hunter to come out, fresh off a job, and do another one to an unproven talent. I understand some are going to criticize Triple H and his ego and whatever but the fact of the matter is Hunter didn’t have to work him in the first place. I had no problem with the Raw main event and am optimistic about Axel going forward.

Do you see the pairing of Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel being bigger and better than the pairing of Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect?

It’s far too early to make any comparisons like that. While it’s important to give a new worker (and gimmick) a chance before tearing it apart, it’s also important to put the anointing oil away. Curtis Axel has a lot of potential and an extraordinary opportunity as a “Paul Heyman client,” however, we don’t want to put him in the Hall of Fame right out the gate just like we don’t want to dismiss the character. One of the reasons why it would be extremely risky to put Axel over Hunter is what if the gimmick flops? Patience is very important in this business.

Remember questions with proper spelling and grammar standing the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

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  • guest

    i definitely want to see what joe can do on the big stage. it seems a lot of the legends see potential in him, so it would be nice to see him live up to it

  • Xavier

    I remember going into WM22, there was so much backlash aimed at Cena at the time. I thought that it was a forgone conclusion that he was gonna drop the strap to HHH and in doing so ending the John Cena experience. When they put Cena over HHH clean in the main event I knew then & there that Cena had the backing of both HHH/McMahon, that’s when I officially saw Cena as “The Man”. In insight it’s really good that McMahon didn’t panic when half the fans begin turning on him. Had he lost of faith in Cena that may have set the company back a bit.

    It was great to see Curtis Axel paired with Paul Heymen and also great to see him in the main event with HHH. I don’t think there was no need for HHH too put him over on a throw away episode of RAW with no build. Let Axel work his way into the main event and prove his worth before they start putting him over legends. He’s got some rather large shoes too fill being the son of Curt Henning, the charisma, ring work, mic skills have a long way too go before he can catch his old man but only time will tell rather he can fill those shoes or not. It’s interesting that the reader compared Heymen/Axel to Heenan/Perfect because that crossed my mind last night as well. If Heymen adds a few more guys to his stable this could very well be the Hennan Family 2.0

    • JJ

      Or the dangerous alliance wwe style.

  • John

    Why wasn’t Triple H at least counted out? Even a win in that manner would have been a good starting point for Axel.

  • Chris

    Triple H didn’t put him over because he is a douchebag!!!

    • Chalon

      Tunnel vision.

  • Kid

    I know they are going with a concussion angle but they could’ve counted him out. Or while he was sitting with the trainers they could’ve had axel just beat him up get disqualify or something to give him a good heat. Instead of another no contest like the ryback/cena match!

  • Spuddyz

    If HHH did not a a history of not putting new guys over, then it wouldn’t have been that big a deal. But HHH squashed Axel even in the interview segment.

    And the “match” was pretty much all HHH. Horrible way to bring in a new guy you want to build as a big time heel. Should have been about Axel not HHH.

    • Danny_Boy

      Yeah thats right, becuz HHH did a horrible job of putting Batista, Orton, Benoit , Jeff Hardy & Sheamus over smh. you guys crack me up wit all this HHH hate.

      • Smart Mark

        Amen

      • Spuddyz

        I’m not trying to bash HHH, but he certainly didn’t give Axel the rub he could have. Pushing him down and calling him junior isn’t going to get him over as a heel.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anand.vijayakumar.3 Anand Vijayakumar

          A feud with a legend like HHH is a great way to begin your career. Even though he did not technically win or lose the match, the rub he gets out of feuding with HHH will take him to the next step in his career. Remember Sheamus? He lost to Triple H in a PPV but still rose to prominence because of the rub he received due to the feud..

    • http://www.facebook.com/robert.olley.7 Robert Olley

      When was the last time wwe used wins or losses in a way that matters though

  • The Bops

    Good point in that you can’t put a new gimmick over before finding out if it flies. Remember the unstoppable Lord Tensai?

    • http://www.facebook.com/anand.vijayakumar.3 Anand Vijayakumar

      Everyone knew Tensai was albert and WWE or Tensai did not acknowledge it. Plus Tensai’s mike skills were practically non-existent. So, the gimmick failed.

      In this case we have Paul Heyman managing this talented in-ring worker. So, the chances of success are significantly higher