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  #11  
Old 10-20-2017, 12:50 PM
HeenanGorilla HeenanGorilla is offline
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Putting aside the mark stuff...actually, let me address it real quick. Most people know the results are predetermined. In my opinion, "marks" are the ones in the crowd who look shocked after a match. The Undertaker losing to Brock is more understandable than other instances; but, in general, these "marks" read spoilers and betting odds and theories and then walk into arenas thinking they know what they are going to see. And then when something goes away from that plan, they are dumbfounded and have their hands on their head like it was an "upset", as opposed to actually being an in-place decision. THAT is a mark.

Ok, so we're all in agreement these results and championships are predetermined. (Are we really still feeling the need to say this in 2017? My God..) Anyway...

It seems to me that people take records very seriously. Hank Aaron or Roger Maris passing Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds passing Hank Aaron--people get very passionate when a record that they care about is about to be broken. I say "they care about" because, more often than not, records mean way more to certain people, many times those who are completely uninvolved. I think people tend to root for records held by people, or set in a time, from an era that meant a lot to them. Personally, I was only a WWF fan growing up, so (if I cared about records) Ric Flair's reigns would be nothing but a number to me. However, even if this had been Hulk Hogan, I still wouldn't care about who held this record. But, I do recognize that, although records don't mean much to me, they do mean a lot to many people. So, I'll objectively look at the Cena title reign record.

The part of this that always stood out to me is that being an X-time champion in wrestling--predetermined or not--is not at all like sports. In sports, you go through a season or a tournament and, at the end, you get a champion. Sportscasters often say things like "the defending champion Cubs..." but the Cubs aren't defending their championship. They won that year's championship. Now, like the other 29 MLB teams, they are playing for the next year's championship. It's not like the Cubs or Patriots or Cavaliers (who, let's be honest, are not even the same roster from year to year) are given a bye to the championship game or series. The other baseball teams are not playing for a chance to face and dethrone the Cubs in the World Series. The Cubs need to make their way back, just like every other team. Wrestling is not broken into seasons. It is one big story. So, if a sports team gets through a certain number of seasons and wins X number of titles, that's one thing. If a wrestler wins X number of titles, that means they also lost X (or X-1) titles. A world champion wrestler can't win another world championship without first losing it.

So, while viewers know the outcomes are predetermined, the marks are the ones who know this, yet still look at it as a sport. It's a story. It is a living thing, meaning the story can be changed at a moment's notice--it's not a set script that has already been written that will unfold over time. It changes and changes and on it will go. Wins, losses, titles, records...they are all plot elements. If the story says Cena wins and then, while flipping back through previous pages, we see that he was given 16 previous title victories, then this is 17. It's a number. It has nothing to do with the part of the story where Ric Flair was winning championships.

It's theater. Wrestler A is not in the gym training right now because he has a big title fight coming up and he really wants to win. Wrestler A is in the gym to make sure he looks good and is getting his conditioning to a point where he can perform the role he is being asked to play.

The ones who can't separate sport from theater--those are the marks.
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2017, 12:52 PM
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John Cena has been the face of WWE for roughly 12 years, and with the company on the active roster for about 15 years, a period in which the WWE has been very profitable, yet extremely unpopular, compared to much of the rest of the company's history. The decline in popularity for pro wrestling in general and the WWE specifically has been happening since at least September of 2002, and you can argue it began even earlier, but the fact is that John Cena has been the leader and the main guy that the company has been built around during most of that time period. He is basically mid-90s Bret Hart, or Shawn Michaels, or Diesel, just with much more impressive longevity.

Much of the WWE's success since 2002 can be attributed to the marketing of Wrestlemania as a stand-alone brand and must-see event that a lot of the casual fans actually come back for, and watch wrestling literally one night per year, with friends or whatever. The other factor has been that in the past 15 years, while Vince McMahon has become much worse as a wrestling "booker," he has become even better as a businessman, cutting expenses across the board, being extremely smart with his decisions on where to spend money and when to invest in celebrities and things like that.

My point in saying all this is that, despite the WWE's profitability, their POPULARITY is at an all-time low, and roughly 75% of the audience has left from the peak of the Monday Night Wars. It's actually worse than that, probably around 90% if you factor in all the fans that have left, and that some kids and their parents are new fans in the past 10-15 years. Vince has simply become an expert at fleecing his remaining 2.5 millions fans as much as possible, but not gaining any new ones, or bringing back casual fans, or really building the business in any measurable way, except for cutting expenses and just running the business much more efficiently.

With all that being said, John Cena has been the face behind this era of WWE, and their lack of popularity, with basically no casual fans watching the shows, and a decline of about 75% in the fanbase compared to 1999. So does John Cena deserve to break the world heavyweight championship record of Ric Flair, one of the greatest draws in wrestling history, a true celebrity like Hogan, Austin, and Rock, who has transcended the business and been at the forefront of several of the most popular eras in modern wrestling history?

HELL NO

P.S. There's been two world titles in the company during just about all of Cena's reigns, making all of these title wins even more meaningless, especially when compared to Ric Flair's title wins/reigns.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2017, 01:35 PM
neildittmar neildittmar is offline
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Cena surpassing Flair's title reigns... lots of problems with this actually and very few of them have to do with Cena being worthy, deserving, et. al.

Cena's title reigns and Flair's title reigns are different... vastly in fact. Even going back to his UPW days, Cena has always been in the WWE system. All of his matches have been within some level of the WWE confine, whether it be in developmental or on the mainline shows and programming. His current number of title reigns speaks to the level of confidence that WWE has in Cena as an entertainer, a money draw, or whatever other mark of success one wishes to apply. Still, those accolades only apply to the WWE brand when it comes to sports entertainment / pro-wrestling.

Compare to Ric Flair, a guy who essentially went everywhere and fought everybody during his active career whether he was the world champion or not. His title reigns are the product of multiple loosely connected at best organizations that had enough confidence in him to put the belt on him. WWF/E was only one stop during his illustrious career as the Nature Boy, a gimmick that persisted throughout his entire active career and still persists to this day. While WWE has officially recognized 16 of Flair's world title reigns, it has been noted by historians and Flair himself that the real number likely lays in the 20's somewhere.

So what it all comes down to is, does marketing Cena as the guy who beat Flair's title record equate to a profitable endeavor for WWE? Honestly, I'm not sure. We know Flair won't say anything against it's legitimacy, but others will. Does that matter? Hard to say without actually pulling the trigger. It probably won't matter to today's fan since Ric Flair is essentially a guy they've seen in video packages, perhaps on the WWE network, and who they know is a legend because WWE tells them he is. In other words, he's "point of reference" only for those folks.

So the question is, do I think Cena deserves to beat Flair's world title record? Well, based on my perspective and what I stated prior, my answer would be it simply doesn't matter. Why? Because Cena holding 17 WWE world titles is simply not the same as Flair holding a world title 16 times. It's apples and oranges.
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2017, 07:55 PM
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He has been the face of the WWE for a long time but this period has arguably been the least popular period in wrestling for over 30 years, If your question relates to him being more deserving than Flair then I don't agree but I guess it all comes down to opinion and to be honest I don't think world titles hold the same prestigue they once did.
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2017, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neildittmar View Post
Cena surpassing Flair's title reigns... lots of problems with this actually and very few of them have to do with Cena being worthy, deserving, et. al.

Cena's title reigns and Flair's title reigns are different... vastly in fact. Even going back to his UPW days, Cena has always been in the WWE system. All of his matches have been within some level of the WWE confine, whether it be in developmental or on the mainline shows and programming. His current number of title reigns speaks to the level of confidence that WWE has in Cena as an entertainer, a money draw, or whatever other mark of success one wishes to apply. Still, those accolades only apply to the WWE brand when it comes to sports entertainment / pro-wrestling.

Compare to Ric Flair, a guy who essentially went everywhere and fought everybody during his active career whether he was the world champion or not. His title reigns are the product of multiple loosely connected at best organizations that had enough confidence in him to put the belt on him. WWF/E was only one stop during his illustrious career as the Nature Boy, a gimmick that persisted throughout his entire active career and still persists to this day. While WWE has officially recognized 16 of Flair's world title reigns, it has been noted by historians and Flair himself that the real number likely lays in the 20's somewhere.

So what it all comes down to is, does marketing Cena as the guy who beat Flair's title record equate to a profitable endeavor for WWE? Honestly, I'm not sure. We know Flair won't say anything against it's legitimacy, but others will. Does that matter? Hard to say without actually pulling the trigger. It probably won't matter to today's fan since Ric Flair is essentially a guy they've seen in video packages, perhaps on the WWE network, and who they know is a legend because WWE tells them he is. In other words, he's "point of reference" only for those folks.

So the question is, do I think Cena deserves to beat Flair's world title record? Well, based on my perspective and what I stated prior, my answer would be it simply doesn't matter. Why? Because Cena holding 17 WWE world titles is simply not the same as Flair holding a world title 16 times. It's apples and oranges.
Do you think if ROH or NJPW or plethora of other independent promotions ever acquire Cena (not that they can), they will not put their world title on him? WWE products have usually done well outside of WWE, so there's no question in my mind that Cena would've had same or more world championships if at any point he had left.

As far as deserving the 17th title reign, it's less about whether Cena deserves it and more about if WWE finds it profitable. If WWE thinks milking Cena's run to the 17th title and the title reign will bring in more money, it will happen.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2017, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberPunk View Post
Do you think if ROH or NJPW or plethora of other independent promotions ever acquire Cena (not that they can), they will not put their world title on him? WWE products have usually done well outside of WWE, so there's no question in my mind that Cena would've had same or more world championships if at any point he had left.

As far as deserving the 17th title reign, it's less about whether Cena deserves it and more about if WWE finds it profitable. If WWE thinks milking Cena's run to the 17th title and the title reign will bring in more money, it will happen.
I don't dispute your point but can ROH or any of the "other independent promotions" realistically claim to have a credible world title? I'm mostly unfamiliar with NJPW, but those others don't seem on the same level as the NWA, WWF or AWA World titles from Flair's glory days. I'd think the ROH World title belt would be closer to a territories top title like the CWA "World" Heavyweight or World Class Texas title-and that's being generous.

Cena has a great look, attitude and enormous popularity so I agree he would be successful no matter what but I doubt he would have anywhere near seventeen reigns had he wrestled at the same time as Flair, or with the same promotions.
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  #17  
Old 10-21-2017, 01:34 AM
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there is no other current world titles that are recognized...

It would be really hard to consider TNA a world championship...

However I do consider the IGWP a world championship.

Didn't lesnar win that?

It would have been interesting to see cena working in Japan.
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  #18  
Old 10-21-2017, 02:16 AM
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John Cena absolutely deserves to beat Flair's World Championship record. He has held the WWE Championship 13 times and the big gold World Heavyweight Championship 3 times. Whether the 17th one comes from the current World Heavyweight Championship or even the Universal Championship, I want to see Cena break the record. I have wanted to see it for quite some time. Say what you will about the brand split(s) or any problems you may have with Cena not going to other federations like Flair did, but he has been the face of the world's biggest wrestling federation for more than a decade. For the passion he has for the pro wrestling industry he deserves it fully to have held more World Championships than anyone. Heck, I want to see him hold the Universal Championship too at some point though it might not happen. He's rumored to be the one to dethrone Jinder and I'm fine with this since Jinder would go down in history as the guy Cena broke the record against. It's been a long time coming and no one deserves this more than Cena.
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  #19  
Old 10-21-2017, 09:01 AM
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Hello Everyone,

I would say yes, John Cena deserves to break the record. He did put the company where it is like Stone Cold, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and yes, The Nature Boy Ric Flair did when they were in the ring but I would say that he has done more. With today's technology and the ever expanding growth the WWE has done in other countires, John has done more for the WWE then those I just mentioned. He has done the Talk Shows (I know he was there to promote his growing Hollywood projects but he did make sure that WWE is involved), he has done the social media and the man is even willing to learn something new to push the WWE to grow. (He learned Mandarin.) He does whatever the WWE asks him to do and it would cement his legacy as the WWE giant that he has become. Love him or hate him, the man is WWE and he deserves to have that record. (How long should he keep it? is a better question because I believe Randy Orton is very close to that record aswell!)

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  #20  
Old 10-21-2017, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sikkbones View Post
there is no other current world titles that are recognized...

It would be really hard to consider TNA a world championship...

However I do consider the IGWP a world championship.

Didn't lesnar win that?

It would have been interesting to see cena working in Japan.
Cena is well known of his work-ethic. If Cody Rhodes can get over to Japan and become one of the big names there and if AJ Styles can become a top name there, then Cena, a guy who would work his ass off to learn Japanese, a guy who would work his off to deliver stellar matches, that guy would definately become THE top guy in an instant, even in NJPW.
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