Induction: Cena vs. Laurinaitis — Ace drops a deuce

36 Submitted by on Thu, 12 June 2014, 20:00

WWE, 2012

We can all pretty much agree that John Cena sucks.

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I mean, what other top star in wrestling could get away with performing signature moves so sloppily? ace00
ace02 And the lax way he puts on the STF is a disgrace to a classic submission hold.
Plus, every one of his matches ends in his Five Moves of Doom: Shoulder block, shoulder block, Protoplex, Five Knuckle Shuffle, Attitude Adjustment. Just pick any match of his at random and it’ll end the exact same way, unless it doesn’t. ace03
ace04 The only time he ever seems to job is due to safety concerns, like when the finish of Wrestlemania 28 was changed at the last minute because this highly influential fan threatened to riot.
And yet, for a guy who is the worst wrestler in history, Cena somehow always ends up in some great matches, managing to have a Match of the Year candidate or three every year and even snagging the Wrestling Observer award in 2011. ace05
ace06 In 2012, Cena was on a roll, working top-ten matches on consecutive pay-per-views, including the uniquely brutal match against Brock Lesnar.
The lucky streak ran out the next month, though, when at Over the Limit, John faced off against this dynamic dude: ace07

Together, Johns Laurinaitis and Cena made history, becoming the first pair of former Observer Match of the Year winners to go one-on-one in the Worst Match of the Year, stinking up the joint in a perfect storm of garbage wrestling, bad storylines, and, as we’ll see, a total disregard for the established characterization of the company’s top star.

John Laurinaitis, as tyrannical General Manager, had booked himself into a match at “The Over Limit” against John Cena, thinking he could rely on outside interference to gain the unfair edge. However, thanks to action by that beloved plot device, the Board of Directors, not only would Laurinaitis be fired if he lost, but any WWE Superstar who interfered on his behalf would also have his contract terminated. ace08 
ace09 That pretty much sealed Johnny’s fate, so Laurinaitis, in a bad mood, humiliated the Big Show into begging for forgiveness (Show having ridiculed his voice), only to fire him anyway. That meant Big Show was no longer a WWE Superstar, and that any fan who watched Raw could guess the outcome of the Over the Limit match six days in advance.
(Although, to be fair, even if Show didn’t have the motive or opportunity to interfere on Johnny’s behalf, there was still a good chance he’d turn heel anyway, given his legendary habit of switching allegiances)
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Move over Maffew, I’ve stolen your joke!

ace11 And so the stage was set for the 49-year-old Johnny Ace’s first wrestling match in twelve years.
Any fans hoping that Ace could pull off a shocking return to the ring like Shawn Michaels, or at least have a few moments to shine in the spotlight like Ricky Steamboat, were quickly brought back to reality when Laurinaitis’s opening offense consisted of running away. ace12
ace13 And as remarkable as the aforementioned comeback matches were, neither of them were the main event. This dud, on the other hand, not only headlined a $45 WWE pay-per-view (with champion CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan on the undercard), but was Johnny’s first-ever U.S. pay-per-view main event. In fact, the last time Johnny had even wrestled on PPV in this country was 1990’s Capital Combat — before his opponent Mark Callous had ever even picked up a shovel.
Cena dealt with his feeble opponent the way a true sportsman would: by pummeling and degrading him. Sure, Laurinaitis had been acting like a bully for months (even fining Sheamus half a million dollars just for kicking a referee full-force in the head), but viewed out of context, this “match” made Cena look like total hypocrite, given his participation in the Be a STAR campaign. WWE and Creative Coalition's "be A STAR" Anti-Bullying Campaign Summer Event - Arrivals
ace15 Scratch that; even in context, Cena looked like a complete jerk, since all he had to do was pin his aged adversary to win the match and kick him out of the company. Instead, he entertained the audience with such tolerant and respectful antics as pulling Johnny’s shirt over his face…
…slapping him bare-backed… ace16
ace17 …airplane-spinning him Fresh Prince-style…
…sounding the ring bell right next to Johnny’s head… ace18
ace19 …and sticking the barely-conscious sap at the announce table for some mock-commentary
…before denying Ace’s plea for mercy like a true champion… ace20
ace21 …rejecting his handshake in favor of physical torture and applying the STF in intervals of ten-seconds on, ten-seconds off.
By the time John retrieved a bottle of water from ringside, fans feared we might see WWE’s first ever water-boarding. ace22
ace23 Instead, John just dumped the contents onto Johnny’s head…
…and crotch, so as to simulate his victim wetting his pants. Didn’t I see that in WWE Studios’ “That’s What I Am”? (No, obviously. No one did) ace24
ace25 Michael Cole, still in heel mode, defended Laurinaitis against ridicule and vowed to stick by him to the bitter end. That loyalty didn’t stop him from laughing at his boss every few minutes, since the WWE announcers these days have the consistency of an Ed Wood film.
(Except Jerry Lawler, who has the consistency of leather) ace26
ace27 Cena continued to stick up for the little, uh, big guy, smothering the 49-year-old with a fire extinguisher…
…then dumping garbage onto him. ace28
ace29 When Laurinaitis finally snuck in some offense, nailing Cena with a steel chair, it was hard not to root for Mr. Excitement.
The big comeback was not meant to be, though, as Cena quickly regained control of the match. ace30
ace31 After what seemed like an eternity of toying around with his opponent and not even attempting to win the match, Cena was taken by surprise when Laurinaitis tried to bail out of the arena and the match instead of taking his never-ending abuse like a man.
Fortunately, the recently fired Big Show was on the scene to throw Johnny right back in. ace32
ace33 Instead of helping John Cena grind Laurinaitis into dust, though, Show knocked out Cena with one punch, allowing Johnny to pick up the win and keep his job. It was all an ingenious plot by the wily GM, albeit one that could only work if Cena bullied him for seventeen minutes rather than just pinning him at the earliest opportunity.
When you think about it, this whole match was a heavy-handed morality play as clear-cut as any of Aesop’s fables, except at least the hare never knocked the tortoise onto his shell and made it looked like he’d pissed himself. ace34
ace35 However, since Ace was the bad guy and Cena the good guy, the only lesson learned was what a jerk the Big Show was.
The next night, Laurinaitis explained Big Show’s actions, claiming to have signed him to a new contract on Saturday. Anybody having paid attention to the match stipulations would have immediately recognized that this meant the Big Show was already a WWE Superstar on Sunday and should have been fired again for interfering. Instead, the announcers soon covered for Johnny’s slip-up, claiming that Big Show had negotiated with the GM the night before the PPV, but didn’t finalize the deal until after he had interfered in the match. ace36
ace37 I’d like to say that this match served no purpose but to advance a storyline, but that wouldn’t be true either. After all, there was little “advancement” made, either, as Cena ended up giving Johnny the boot anyway four weeks later.

And perhaps most embarrassingly, Big Show wound up with an “iron-clad contract” wherein he could not be fired under any circumstances, which certainly complicated things when Show was singled out the very next year by The Authority and threatened with termination on a weekly basis.

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 But after seeing the champion of “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect” spend a whole wrestling match making a far weaker man completely miserable just for the fun of it, we can safely say that storyline continuity is not a major concern for WWE’s writers.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
36 Responses to "Induction: Cena vs. Laurinaitis — Ace drops a deuce"
  1. Doc75 says:

    anytime you put the wordz “Induction” n John Cena in the same title im gonna read it. i can only hope there will be more Cena inductionz in the future.

  2. cavalier says:

    I’m surprised it took this long for the induction.

  3. Adam S. says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, John Cena is the douchbaggiest superhero the world has ever seen.

  4. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    This should’ve won the Gooker. If only it weren’t for Claire Lynch…

  5. E-Squared says:

    Please do an induction on Big Show’s heel character from that year. It seemed like a bad combination of Serious Jericho and “Hall of Pain” Mark Henry. Not to mention Big Show’s stupid “I’m a giant” line.

  6. gutterhippo says:

    Awesome induction! And stickin it to the smarky Cena haters was an awesome way to start the induction.

  7. Cenamark says:

    Putting your anti-Cena bias aside I’ll admit it was a terrible match, but only because Cena lost. This match was to have Laurinitis fired and Cena failed. Cena’s toying with him was justified and he had no idea that The Big Show would interfere.

    • JoeV says:

      Not sure if satire or serious.

    • Oh, Dear. says:

      Er, what the hell are you talking about? Art spent the first section of the induction DEFENDING Cena by dismantling the fatuous criticisms of his detractors, using examples of other wrestlers getting away with the same crap as Cena constantly gets slammed for.

      But of course, because you’re a Cena mark, you can’t be trusted to be any more impartial or unbiased than, well, anybody here. That’s also why you’ve deluded yourself into thinking everybody loves him except a small and vocal minority. I’m a big fan of his and even I can tell this is total and utter bullshit built on fallacious reasoning.

      Not sure why you even bother coming to this site if you can’t tell the difference between obvious satire – so obvious it even had images that pointed out the joke he was making – and an attack. It’s laughable how badly you missed the point, in fact. And not in the ‘deliberately funny’ way that Art managed, but in the “I like turtles” kind of way.

      • Cenamark says:

        Yes, I’m a Cena fan. My user name is a combination of my IRL first name and Cena’s last name.
        I know Cena for the most part is loved because I listen to Michael Cole’s commentary. I know that most of the Wyatt’s fans are only such due to the fact they’ve been brainwashed. Sometimes he’s booed, because he’s controversial.

        • Ed says:

          If Mark really is your name, it sure is accurate…

          I’m pretty sure that no Wyatt fans are “brainwashed”

          They’re rooting for him because:
          1. He’s fighting Cena and they’d pretty much root for anyone who fights Cena.
          2. He’s actually a pretty decent wrestler with a unique look.
          3. He’s done an incredible job with a gimmick that easily could have ended up on the website…

      • C. Peter Roberts says:

        “Not sure why you even bother coming to this site if you can’t tell the difference between obvious satire…”

        Oh, Dear indeed.

  8. Piper's Armpit says:

    Big Show’s iron clad contract is an induction in itself.

    • Guilty Party says:

      CM Punk’s elbow drop is an induction in itself. That thing has me thinking Bill Watts was right.

  9. Jamie says:

    Thank you, Art, for sticking the finger at the idiots who still think it’s 2005 and that aimlessly despising Cena for facile reasons while ignoring examples of people they happen to like more doing the same thing makes them “cool” and makes them non-conformist, even though they’re only doing it because other people are doing so. Legitimate criticisms of Cena (or more specifically his shitty booking) exist, but the hypocrisy of the smarks never ceases to amaze me. I know you’ll never be a big fan of his but it means a lot to see you not fall in line with the dumbasses, all while making a humorous joke out of the whole thing. Possibly the best thing you’ve ever written for that reason, basically managing to mock everyone simultaneously. Good work! Shame some people inevitably didn’t understand what you were going for (e.g. ‘Cenamark’) but you can’t be blamed for the stupidity of others.

  10. The Scanian Maniac says:

    The “superman” John Cena is full of wrestlecrap to write about.

    The Doctor of Thuganomics with the iron chain was so much better.

    • Guest says:

      Why because he lost clean and got his shit wrecked by Brock Lesnar that one time.

      • Craig says:

        Most likely because as the Doctor of Thuganomics he actually had an interesting character. On the other hand, his current character is dull as dishwater and at times so whitebread he makes Mr. Rogers look edgy by comparison.

  11. Brad says:

    I have never had an issue with Cena’s wrestling ability. It’s his tired, generic boring superhero gimmick that makes me cringe.

    • Ed says:

      100% agree – Cena is actually a perfectly decent wrestler – his character is just tired and he is often booked to look like an idiot.

      Take his Wyatt cage match – the cage was supposedly the equalizer to keep the rest of the family out. But rather than just pinning Bray inside the cage, he kept trying to climb out and eventually brought the rest of the family into the cage. I just found it completely idiotic, even though as a fan, I know cage matches pretty much never end in a pinfall…

  12. Chadmw says:

    You mean the same superhero antics, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and every other super over babyface did

    • Ed says:

      Hogan yes….

      Austin and Rock, not so much…

      Hogan’s probably a good model for what they should do with Cena. Already a large portion of fans were booing him in his good-guy WCW run.

      • The Scanian Maniac says:

        Watch Hogan’s entrance in the Royal Rumble 1992.

        People were booing him already back then.

  13. Stephen says:

    I’d be fine with the whole Big Show contract nonsense being inducted but I actually enjoyed this match. For Laurinaitis’ commentary, if nothing else.

  14. Alexandru says:

    It was all an ingenious plot by the wily GM, albeit one that could only work if Cena bullied him for seventeen minutes rather than just pinning him at the earliest opportunity. LOL I love that line as it shows the utter lack of logic to this whole debacle, don’t get me started on the “Iron clad” contract situation. Crap like this is why I barely watch wrestling anymore. I probably should’ve voted this for the Gooker award instead of Claire lynch, now that I think of it

    • AdamX says:

      No, Claire deserved your vote more.

      Cena/Johnny was bad but few things will ever be Claire Lynch bad…well The Authority is treading water in that river as we speak.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Nice induction.

  16. Mister Forth says:

    Until Cena’s feud with CM Punk in August, there was a lot of stupidity.

  17. Down With OPC says:

    It’s interesting to see where we are at now with the Authority/Evolution and whatnot, as the Johnny storyline is sort of a precursor to that. Of course, you wouldn’t know that when WWE just disacknowledges stuff like Big Show’s contract.

  18. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I’m surprised John Cena getting stabbed in 2004 never made it onto this site – it was just awful and an insult to the intelligence of anyone watching…

  19. Unknown says:

    Cena reportedly wanted to turn heel in 2006 to refresh his character, but the higher-ups slapped him down.

  20. 314 says:

    I dislike Cena as much as the next guy…his move set is pretty stale, his character is beyond stale, his jokes are worn out, he hasn’t evolved at all. Now that established: I remember watching this match and knowing about two minutes in that Lauranaitis was winning.

    The thing that bothered me here was: we’ve seen guys get fired on TV, and usually they get embarrassed in some fashion either while being fired, or after said firing. So why didn’t Cena just beat him nice and quickly, THEN do all the embarrassing of Johnny? This match made John Cena look like the world’s dumbest person.

    Also, I found it a bit amusing that you’ll see a lot of Cena matches where he takes loads of punishment, and even kicks out of a finisher (or finishers). Yet…he barely gets hurt here, gets ONE finisher, and is completely out.

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