For WWE programming this has serious implications. As the face of the company, Cena simply carries a heavier weight than all other wrestlers. Until this week, all of the WWE Universe assumed he would remain exclusively with SmackDown. Now that his status is officially fluid, the internet has flooded with reaction.
Of all the opinions, few are as qualified as former WCW president Eric Bischoff. On the latest episode of his podcast, Bischoff on Wrestling, the former WWE talent attacked the concept of Cena bouncing between both Raw and SmackDown.
"I don't dig it. I've said from the very beginning on this podcast that I predicted that it'll become almost a non-issue at some point unless they really commit to making those brands feel different and unique. Like two different companies. If all you're going to do is paint one red and paint one blue and talent is going to transition back and forth on a regular basis you're calling it a brand split but it's not. It's just two different shows."
It looks like Bischoff's prediction has come to light. With the Superstar Shake Up and now Cena claiming dual citizenship, the wall of separation between Raw and SmackDown is nearly nonexistent.
For WWE, they may think that adding Cena to RAW could drag the show out of its historically low ratings slump. But it's this kind of reliance on Cena that is cause for concern.
Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer, when asked if WWE could create another Cena, has this response:
"You think that they can make another John Cena? They have been trying for years and they got nobody. Even if WWE had the ability to do so, and they sure don't, they don't got the guy. Who's the guy out there?" I think that this was a pretty interesting and sad discussion. With the numbers falling like they are, WWE could be in trouble in a few years."
Circumstances may not be as dire as Meltzer insists, but, there's no doubting that WWE is a little slump. It's worth reiterating that post-WrestleMania is always a tough time for the company, but things feel a little more serious this time. Regardless of how great Cena is, he's getting older and his schedule is becoming more sporadic. At some point, WWE is going to have to wean themselves off of the Cena teet.
For now, putting Cena on both shows seems logical. However, it's just a band-aid. WWE's top priority not just finding one replacement for Cena, but several.0comments