(Doc's Note - This is the finale of the creative writing series that began in 2011. To those that have enjoyed them and stated as much, I have appreciated your feedback. For those that did not, thanks for putting up with them)
Doctor's Orders: April 8, 2013 - "Here lies John Cena circa April 1, 2012-April 7, 2013."
By The Doc
Mar 30, 2013 - 4:15:36 PM
“We reap what we sow” – Galatians 6:7-8
For thousands of years, man has attempted to decipher the word of God to determine the date of the end of the world. The Christian Bible Book of Revelations describes it as “Judgment Day.” The Mayans even have a date for it set on December 21, 2012. How fitting, then, that on a 21st night of a month in 2012, a night after the WWE’s Judgment Day PPV, the sun became as black as sackcloth, the star of our universe fell to the earth, and the sky, along with hope, vanished…God gave us John Cena to remind us of His teachings. Yet, we did not understand.
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John Cena had often been compared to Superman. That was not entirely accurate. A more appropriate comparison in those days would have been Clark Kent, Superman’s private identity. Kent could do all of the same things as he could in the red and blue tights and the “S” on his chest, but tried hard not to be Superman. At Wrestlemania XXVIII and the months since then, all of that changed. Imagine Kent ditching the secret and announcing to the entire world his superhero identity and you have a clear depiction of John Cena circa July 2012. He’s not a villain. Many people still love him, but his decision to wear the public face of the unstoppable force has its own set of consequences that the super hero must deal with on a daily basis.
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“I want you to listen carefully,” Cena stated with the tone of man teaching his child a life lesson. “I will say this ONE TIME and one time only. To every man, woman, and child that ever bought a ticket to see John Cena wrestle, I sincerely thank you. For ten years, I’ve given you everything that I have and you’ve been the reason that I get up and go to work three hundred days a year. One day, when my Hall of Fame induction ticket is punched, I hope you’ll be there to see it. It has been my honor and privilege to represent you as the face of this company and I will continue to do so for as long as I can.”
“NOW, to those of you that hate me, throw trash at me, and spit on me and what I stand for…” Cena continued, changing his tone of voice to that of a football coach scolding his quarterback at the break for three first half interceptions. “Don’t think for one second that YOU’RE about to get what YOU want!”
April 8, 2013
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” - Titus 2:14
The similarities between the most famous hero in comic lore and the key figure in the Christian Bible are striking. Both tell of a savior, misunderstood by the masses, being given to mankind to cleanse it of its sins. He is pure of heart and of spirit, embodying the ideal standard of the human existence, despite not being merely human, himself. In order to combat the cruelty of men who, at some point throughout history, learned to oppress rather than embrace divinity that he did not comprehend, the redeemer was given extraordinary abilities, not just in the physical realm, but in his emotional capacity for sympathy and absolution.
A decade in the past, with intentions of restoring values and principles to a fanbase that had been corrupted by his opposer to appreciate excessive violence, foul language, and crude behavior; and which had been taught to idolize evil men under the guise of being good, God sent us John Cena to give professional wrestling a transparent symbol of purity and to remind its followers that the virtuous road to redemption included an ardent devotion to His Demandments, the modern translations of which were to be Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect. Yet, 371 days ago, just before Wrestlemania XXVIII was set to conclude with a battle between generational icons, the holy cloak was lifted from the man meant to be the savior of the WWE.
The devilish influence on the impious was stronger than God anticipated. We shunned our Lord’s gift and we were led to believe that, as punishment, He unleashed a version of Cena bent on great vengeance and furious anger to all those who had attempted to poison and destroy His bequest. We thought that, perhaps, the Heavenly Spirit turned His back on us. Though it may have seemed as if a mischievous sprite had slipped the figurative red kryptonite ring on the finger of sports entertainment’s Superman, giving him all of the same power but less inhibition, that was never actually the case. Despite Cena’s heinous acts over the last year, it was actually a premeditated act of divinity between Father and Son.
With the people never more ravenously against his teachings, Cena, in an altered state of consciousness, had a dream two days prior to his Wrestlemania match with The Rock. Sent from above, these were the details of his dream:
He was standing on the edge of a cliff with the people in his life that were his biggest supporters; his mother, earth father, brothers, and closest friends. His mom approached him, patted him on the shoulder, and whispered into his ear, “It’s OK, honey. Just go ahead and jump.” She said it with such calm that it caught him off guard. How could the suggestion of jumping off of a cliff be stated in such a collected demeanor?
Upon closer examination, he realized that there was a giant net protecting him from crashing on the earth below, with the face of his true Father, visible only to him, engulfing the mesh. Nevertheless, it was still jumping off of a cliff and he was unsure of the safety of the net. What if it broke?
Cena stood thoughtfully, nervous as could be. Many things ran through his mind. Every instance of fear, terror, panic, and anxiety from his past rushed to the forefront. All the judgment and doubt from his tormentors that had held him hostage and kept him stuck in a rut washed over him like a tidal wave of emotion. He nearly began to shed tears. Those energies were like chains that had wrapped around his entire existence. He felt bogged down and needed to break free. “You can do it, John. Just fall,” said Mrs. Cena.
Noticing his brother’s reluctance, Matt Cena took a running leap and dove off the cliff. John quickly turned his gaze downward, horrified and excited all at once to see what would happen. Matt safely hit the net and bounced up and down until settling, looking up, and giving his brother the same thumbs up that they’d given each other as kids when one was afraid to do something and the other one tried it first to ensure it was OK.
Cena, now assured of his decision, faced away from the cliff, smiled at his friends and family, and simply fell backwards.
As it would turn out, he didn’t even need the net. As Cena turned in midair, he saw the image of his Father morph into a giant eagle, which swooped in and caught him on its back. The dream concluded with him flying without restraints with the weight of the world lifted off his shoulders. As the dream was reaching its conclusion, the view changed to the smiling faces of Cena’s loved ones and millions of others, joyfully weeping at the symbol of freedom.
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of selfish fans and the tyranny of evil critics. The egotism and immorality of the wrestling audience had become too great and something drastic needed to be done to confine their malevolence and spark their celestial rapture. Blessed was he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherded the weak fans through the gorge of darkness, for he was truly his sport's keeper.
On the morning of April 1, 2012, Cena spoke of his dream to God. Willingly and knowingly, he asked for the divine protection to be taken away. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name,” he said. “Remove the shroud of archetypal goodness bestowed upon me. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. But not with such wicked forces turning the universe against you. Give them ‘me’ as an example of dread. Remind them what it means to be forgiven for trespasses, even though they have so vehemently trespassed against us. And I will lead them away from temptation so that you may deliver them from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
Appreciate rather than condemn, for a moment, what John Cena has gone through over the last year since that prayer. For so long, we hated him because he was good. He did not flip us the proverbial bird, purposefully become inebriated in the middle of the ring, or encourage the popularization of the devil’s playground by prompting the people to promote it in unison. Yet, did we celebrate him? No. Did we villainize him for having higher standards and praise the morally fraudulent? “Hell yeah.” Once honorable and incorruptible, Cena asked to be brought down to our level, so that we could look inward to discover our transgression. He set out to redraw the true line of delineation between good and evil by acting in accordance with the conduct becoming of an actual scoundrel. The world is not full of antiheroics heralded as valiance, but rather brave and courageous souls – true champions in the game of life – making the world a better, safer, more enlightened place. We cast aside legitimate protagonistry. So, Cena reminded us of deeds that justly warranted our abhorrence.
Challenging the Undertaker was the final chapter in the story of salvation.
Beneath the guise of ending the vaunted “Streak,” Cena had chosen the Phenom for the specific purpose of ending his own journey. Much of the talk leading up to the match was centered on the distressing premise that one of the most beloved figures in wrestling history would be reduced to mere fodder for the egregiously esoteric egotist, further angering the world with his latest work of malevolent dominance. Never before had the illusive potential blemish on the Taker’s Wrestlemania record seemed more chastised. Such had always been the point of Cena’s antagonistic turn of events – to legitimately bring about feelings of true dread from the basis of true evil. The Book of Austin had told of a dastardly hero, an oxymoron if there ever was one. It was placed in the Holy wrestling tome by the dark lord. In order for Cena to set the wrestling world straight, he had to make us hate him not for being the antithesis of “The” Rattlesnake, but for being what “a” rattlesnake really is – a slithering serpent symbolically linked to all that is wicked. Only then could he lift the veil and show us true good.
On Easter Sunday last week, the celebration of rebirth, the John Cena that we had once known rose from the ashes, granting three wishes for kids in the “Make a Wish Foundation.” He had not been an active part in the organization since before Wrestlemania last year, fully embracing his status as the fallen idol. Seven nights ago on the final RAW before Wrestlemania XXIX, which was also the one year anniversary of Wrestlemania XXVIII, Cena flashed his signature smile for the first time in 365 days. He spoke of how much respect he had for the Undertaker and his undefeated “Streak” and said that, as a man and a competitor, he had to know if he could do what nobody else been had been able to do. Such were not the words of the reprehensible. He even gave the audience a rap, after previously having stated that he never would do so again. It was if it was his confession.
“The Deadman vs. the Superman” happens in six days
Not even Ben Affleck could’ve written a better screenplay
You’ve got the man that at Wrestlemania has never lost
Against the man who won’t accept losing, no matter the cost
Undertaker, get ready for the clash of your life, son
This battle of light versus dark has already been won
I’m in your head, Phenom, and bout to send you to your grave
You want to retire – fine – I’ll give you exactly what you crave
Be sure to get your lighters out, Creatures of the Night
John Cena vs. Undertaker is the Last Outlaw’s final FIGHT
Sunday the Streak adds a dash one to that twenty
Many people will boo me; I’m sure they’ll be plenty
For those that still believe in the H, the L, and the R
I want y’all to know that you’re the real superstars
For those that don’t - we’ve had a year of highs and lows
Look at yourselves in the mirror from your heads to your toes
I’m no different than you guys…
This Sunday at Wrestlemania, John Cena’ll be blazing a trail
Teaching you that when do your best there is no fail
I’m going to the Show to fight and I plan on winning
But it’s not about me and never has been since the beginning
Understand that when Taker’s final curtain calls
It won’t be some Superman that caused him to take the fall
I am you; you are me; it’s always been that way
Good, bad, love, hate – that’s how it’s going to stay.
Real heroes believe in something just. They are unwavering in their principles. Superman is perhaps the most prosaic character even conceived. Jesus’ message bordered on being cliché. So what? It does not make it any less right.
On his way to the ring yesterday, with 80,000 people in Met Life Stadium, Cena thought back to the dream he had last year. He reflected on the decision that he made. He beat Rock in the most hostile environment he’d ever wrestled in, but he gave up the right to enjoy the pinnacle moment of his professional success, instead letting out all the anger that he’d bottled up toward those that had jeered him relentlessly. He did things in the year that followed that he’d never thought himself capable of doing.
He did it for us.
As anticipated, the Wrestlemania match was a classic for the ages and a fitting end to the Deadman’s illustrious career. But that was never what it was about. The Undertaker is a representation of death. Wrestlemania XXIX was to be the Deadman’s “Last Ride.” Having spent the year showing the wrestling world how easy it was to embrace the vices of iniquity, he sacrificed himself on the grandest of stages. The genuine person once known as John Felix Anthony Cena vanished a year ago, replaced by an uncharacteristically vindictive villain with a once huge heart turned hollow. By walking through the valley of the shadow of death, he vanquished the evil. He embraced his dark side so that we could see the light.
In the end, the Tombstone seen round the world symbolically read: “Here lies John Cena circa April 1, 2012-April 7, 2013.”
He did it for us.
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
And now a reading from the wrestling Book of Revelations…