(I’ve been meaning to write a full-blown blog post comparing John Cena’s tenure in WWE to Hulk Hogan’s run from 1984 to 1992, including creating a parallel between Hogan being sat on by Earthquake in 1990 and taking time off to film “Suburban Commando” to Cena possibly needing to vanish from TV for a little while to refresh himself. Now I have a reason to write it, but with a twist.)
(Addendum: When Triple H comes back, he may be tempted to bigfoot this guy, as Jeremy pointed out to me. However, I contest that he is smart enough to wait until WrestleMania 28 to steal Ryan into his own spotlight. Also, there is the remote possibility that WWE called a WrestleMania audible and brought Ryan up from developmental waaay before he was ready. I guess, as the weeks go on, we’ll soon find out!)
WWE debuted Mason Ryan to a worldwide television audience this past Monday night on Raw by having the monster from Florida Championship Wrestling jump the guardrail from the crowd, hop on the apron, kick a security guard, stare down John Cena, and accept CM Punk’s invitation to give him a big boot and then join Nexus.
Congratulations, WWE, you’re on your way to creating a new star.
But let’s look a few months down the road, and let’s do so with a piece of news in mind: Word around the campfire is that Cena is nursing some nagging injuries, including a bad hip and a neck that has (allegedly) been surgically repaired at some point in the past three years. Not good for your No. 1 superstar.
At the same time, WWE is struggling to create a WrestleMania line-up that will set the world on fire, looking toward MMA stars like Brock Lesnar and Kimbo Slice to stir up some real buzz outside the pro wrestling bubble. Because, as Donald Trump’s and Floyd Mayweather’s (and Liberace’s and Susan Saint James’ and Mary Hart’s) appearances have shown over the years, nothing sells WrestleMania like stuff that has nothing to do with wrestling.
Well, maybe they should focus on their roster and not what’s happening on the latest reality show or mixed martial arts tournament.
And while we all know how great the Miz and CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are, WWE is never going to see them as the solution, and neither will most mainstream fans.
They will, though, accept a big, bearded Batista wanna-be as a real star. So it’s time to kill two (or more) birds with one stone: Treat Mason Ryan like a main-eventer, and give your injured top money-maker a chance to rest. And here’s how.
WWE needs John Cena for WrestleMania, so while he and Ryan (or whatever name he’ll be given) might have altercations between now and then, they absolutely must not face each other in any type of match between now and April 3. Not even at the Royal Rumble. In fact, put Ryan in the Rumble match, have him eliminate two or three of the 79 participants, and then have a small gang of wrestlers eliminate him… and 10 seconds later, John Cena’s music kicks on, and they cross paths in the aisle.
Cena can win the biggest Royal Rumble of all time, because why not. Orton can reclaim the WWE Title from Miz, and through mutual babyface respect, Orton and Cena decide they need to wrestle one more time on the biggest stage of them all for the most important of all championships. (Or, if Orton wants to follow through with his “nice guys finish last” statement, he can turn heel, and blah blah blah.)
In the meantime, give Ryan the Earthquake treatment: Squash some jobbers, use your finisher on them multiple times, take them out on a stretcher, and make Punk run around the ring in circles like Jimmy Hart. No need to give away any huge matches; that’ll come. A week before WrestleMania, Ryan qualifies for the Money in the Bank ladder match.
And guess what? At the expense of John Morrison and Alberto del Rio and Dolph Ziggler, Mason Ryan wins MITB.
And cashes in the win that night, murdering John Cena after his hard-fought win over Orton. I’m talking big boots, powerbombs through tables, and all the Rock Bottoms your little hearts desire.
For the next four and a half months, Mason Ryan pulls a Goldberg (maybe even beating Goldberg along the way) and goes undefeated in singles matches against some of the bigger names in the company, like rising star John Morrison, sudden grizzled vet Edge, Cena’s little buddy Evan Bourne, and a brief feud with Orton, who’s back to being a real stand-up guy. All the while, masterful mic manipulator CM Punk does most of the talking for Ryan, taking care of what really is most of the heavy lifting here.
But just before Summerslam, a familiar figure hops out of the crowd, onto the ring apron, kicking a security guard and costing Ryan the fall in a tag team match. Well, you don’t have to be a Mensa member to know I’m talking about John Cena! Summerslam title match, Cena wins, etc.
OK, done with the fantasy booking, onto the important part: Who does this benefit? Why, everyone! It benefits WWE because a new star is born, one who looks, acts, wrestles and beats people up in a way that draws money. It benefits Mason Ryan because he can start lining his pockets. It benefits John Cena because he gets time off to heal and has a fresh main-event opponent upon his return. It benefits CM Punk because he goes from a leader of losers to a leader of men. It even benefits Orton, because when you’re the No. 2 babyface, you can spend your whole life wrestling the No. 1 babyface. (And he can always take solace in being slightly more popular than Cena with the older males and in being a highly-paid fallback plan.) Do a few midcarders take some bumps and bruises along the way? Of course, but smart bookers can rebuild them.
Given his look, the company he keeps, and the machine behind him, Mason Ryan is in the midst of a winning situation for everyone involved. Now give Cena that Rock Bottom!