The past few weeks have seen the year-old Rock/Cena feud get far, far more interesting than it ever has been, largely due to the fact that John Cena has finally started landing some verbal body blows on his much more charismatic and beloved rival. That’s led to folks like me praising Cena’s abilities, and folks like some of my more irritable commenters doubling-down on their anti-Cena stances. But if you ask me, by doing either of those things, we’re playing right into WWE’s hands and missing the most interesting part of the feud.
Despite the fact that we live in a day and age where everyone knows that everyone in professional wrestling is a performer, with matches and promos that are both oftentimes heavily scripted, much of the weekly WWE audience has gotten sucked into this feud in spite of themselves. Even more impressive is that it’s a babyface-on-babyface storyline – there’s not even really a bad guy here – but by blurring the lines between fact, rumor and outright fiction, WWE has gotten people to take sides anyway.
This is when wrestling is at its most interesting, when you’re not exactly clear how much you’re being worked (see Montreal Screwjob, CM Punk last summer, etc.). In my most recent Straight Shoot article at UGO.com, I go into more detail and depth about the still-ongoing Rock/Cena storyline, and how it’s become far more interesting than I ever thought it would.