Jon Cena: Reaching New Heights in His Time

By Korbid Thompson
Updated: June 7, 2005

NEW JERSEY—It’s been a while since we had a major shakeup in the WWE, but as of the Monday Night Raw draft lottery, the shakeup is now official. WWE Champion Jon Cena is now a part of Raw, coming over from Smackdown.

Cena’s hip-hop appeal has apparently reached heights to where the WWE feels comfortable featuring him on their flagship show. Since being flashed all over TV and radio stations, Cena has really gone beyond expectations, at least way beyond what I ever expected. Jon surely had the potential to be a player in this business, but what he has done exceeds that. While he isn’t on the level of a Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock, the champ has carved a nice little spot for himself.

While Shelton Benjamin is still the Intercontinental champ, and Orlando Jordan is Smackdown’s United States champ – and it is the first time in recent memory(or any other) that you have two African-Americans as the secondary title holders at the same time, you do have to wonder if either one of these two will ever get a taste of the top in Vince’s money making machine known as the WWE? History and circumstances would say no.

Where do you draw the line between giving credit, and passing blame? After watching some of Vince McMahon’s antics involving African-American wrestlers over the past 20 years, even I don’t know the answer to that one. There is a strong argument that Jon Cena’s success comes from stepping on the backs of wrestlers such as Benjamin and Jordan. Let’s not forget about Viscera and a few other Black wrestlers who have been just that – forgotten. There is also a strong argument for Benjamin’s and Jordan’s successes were pioneered by the likes of The Rock, his father Rocky Johnson, Tony Atlas, and so on down the line, all the way to Bearcat Brown and Thunderbolt Patterson.

In any event, how long will Jon Cena reign? Unknown. How much longer will Benjamin and Jordan have to wait? Unknown. WIll there be another Black star to emerge after Rock has taken off for Hollywood? Also unknown. Lots of unknowns, and no answers. The clock is running. Then again, it always has been.