Paul O'Brien talks why Cena is on top



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Cena on Top

By

Paul O’Brien

So much more goes into being the face of WWE than a move set. It’s more than a t-shirt or a catchphrase, or match quality or media skills. Sometimes being on top of the tree means that you have to step up when things get strange and unusual. It’s when everyone’s efforts don’t work and silently look to you.

Being the top guy means knowing what to do when no-one else does.  

John Cena proved on Monday night why the WWE puts so much stock in his abilities. Sometimes we get a little peek into why it’s better to have a steady hand on top like Cena. It’s his drive, his will to keep going no matter how busted up or tired he is. It’s the charity work and the clean face on the posters. It’s the routinely good to great PPV matches and his ability to sell merchandise. It’s the political savvy, and the ability to stick to the message. It’s all those things. 

But the last segment on Monday showed me in total why Cena is really number one.

And it was fascinating to watch.

In just a few minutes, he managed to do what Stephanie couldn’t do, what HHH couldn’t do, nor Randy Orton. He turned a crowd that was booing him and rejecting the course of the next PPV and made them come alongside him and made them listen to his pitch.

Instead of trying to shout the audience down or brush them off with a snide comment, he listened to them and what they wanted. He remembered ‘Wrestling Psychology 101’ and what it really means. That it’s not all about taking a stagnant crowd, mobilising them and bringing them with you. Sometimes it’s about grabbing the crowd, as they’re hurtling at a hundred miles an hour the opposite way from where you want them.

With the locker room present and past staring on, Cena took the mic, changed up his delivery and brought the object of everyone’s collective voice front and centre. 

He addressed the issue.

John Cena didn’t see Daniel Bryan’s popularity as a threat. He underscored it and told Bryan’s fans that he would give their hero another re-match. A fair shake.

Before that, Mark Henry tried to suck the air out of the ‘pop’ by raising Bryan’s hand. He was hoping for one big roar to clear the collective Washington lungs. Didn’t work. Orton tried some intensity and anger. A little fire from the Viper did nothing either though. The real-life shot caller, HHH, tried to be flippant, no doubt in his role, and dismissive but even he couldn’t steer this crowd.

All of those approaches failed; some to the delight of the wrestlers in the huddle.

But it was the number one guy, Cena, who got Bret Hart nodding with him. He was the guy who called out Ziggler’s lack of push and Bryan’s lack of clean chances. He did it with one leg in the story and the other backstage. He did it with skill and passion. He did with fire and conviction. He did it like the top guy should have done it.

And he did it whilst pulling the ship around and pointing it back towards the upcoming PPV. 

If you ever want to measure the distance between Cena and his next in line - sometimes it would do well not to check the numbers at the merch stand or the PPV returns. Just look at RAW 12/9 and you’ll see all you need to see.

Masterful. 

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Paul O'Brien is the author of the Blood Red Turns Dollar Green series. They're crime novels set in the 70's pro-wrestling territory days which are officially endorsed by Mick Foley, William Regal and Prince Fergal Devitt. 

"Enthralling. I am in awe. I loved the books." - William Regal

"There's only two great wrestling novels out there and Paul O'Brien has written them both" - Mick Foley

“The research and inside knowledge is amazing. Loved Blood Red.” - Prince Fergal Devitt 

>>XMAS SALE - Both novels are now less than $5 on Amazon in one handy ebook<<

You can also reach Paul on twitter @tweetpaulobrien or visit his site at: www.paulobrien.info


-- 
Paul O'Brien
Website - Twitter - Facebook
On Dec 2, 2013, at 10:44 PM, Paul O'Brien < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote:
Thanks Dave. Here’s something if you’d like to take a look.
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WWE Developmental and the Missing Thing.
by Paul O'Brien
“Talent is the WWE’s only natural resource. Without it we have nothing.” - HHH 
It was to that end that WWE systematically sketched out its future and divided it into key areas. It then apportioned square footage to the importance of those areas and made the call to break ground on their new building.
They settled on seven rings, 25,000 square feet of cutting-edge facilities including a world-class strength and conditioning program, HD production facilities, an on-site doctor, a voice-over room, a character development space and an announcer booth. The center is also to be awash with veteran stars and Hall of Fame mentors. 
With their new Performance Center, WWE has made one giant, wonderful statement towards its future and is trying to finesse the odds of having successful talent as the machine gets bigger and hungrier.
They are hoping for a star factory. Some place where talented, athletic, charismatic people enter and future main roster players might exit. 
They have risen through the territories, nationalisation, boom and near bust, scandal, globalisation, controversy and tragedy to cement themselves, and invest in themselves. And the Performance Center has everything to make sure the juggernaut continues to roll. 
Well, almost everything.
Let's wind it back a little while.
What made Austin v McMahon the best feud in WWE history?
Well, there was Austin and McMahon for a start - both brilliant at their respective roles. And there was the era itself. It was a different, less uptight time in American TV. It was also a time of two huge national companies, both of which were hungry to see the back of the other one.
There was timing. The world was ready to see a Steve "One for the Working Man" Austin smack is uppity, millionaire boss around. The anti-hero was cool and social disobedience was a little more lazy in that it happened in the stands of arenas all around the U.S.
It felt lawless. But something just doesn't feel that way. 
It's written that way. 
Do you remember how long you were waiting for that first Stunner? Or how about the 'Beer Truck Shower?' Or their first match? Austin's first title win. His first title loss? How about his first five challengers and the way he was written in and written out of the feud, health permitting.
What makes an angle and great angle?
McMahon didn't hold his end up because he was capable of five-star matches. He held his end up because of the story. Every facial expression, every tantrum and, every grunt and every twist, turn and swerve. McMahon had story, story, story and more story dripping from his face.
And someone - or many people - put that story together. Week by week, angle by angle, PPV by PPV. There was a direction for the huge talent to follow, disagree with, care about and ultimately, execute.
So where then was the writing programme in the Performance Center? Every great theatre company in the world has one under their roof because they understand that talent isn't just what the audience sees or hears - it's what gives shape to the whole presentation.
Is writing for wrestling an art form? If so, can't it be taught and passed on? Shouldn't WWE be as active scouring the world in search of the best most creative minds as well as bodies?
“Talent is the WWE’s only natural resource. Without it we have nothing.” - HHH
Maybe that talent could be cultivated evenly on both sides of the curtain?
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Paul O'Brien is the author of the Blood Red Turns Dollar Green series. They're crime novels set in the 70's pro-wrestling territory days which are officially endorsed by Mick Foley, William Regal and Prince Fergal Devitt. You can find out more about these #1 Bestselling books here.
"Enthralling. I am in awe. I loved the books." - William Regal
"There's only two great wrestling novels out there and Paul O'Brien has written them both" - Mick Foley
“The research and inside knowledge is amazing. Loved Blood Red.” - Prince Fergal Devitt 
You can also reach Paul on twitter @tweetpaulobrien or visit his site at: www.paulobrien.info


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