Richard Swann, a championship-holding professional wrestler for a Japanese organization called Dragon Gate, started a topic of discussion this week which I felt deserved to be considered, so I reached out to him and setup a one-on-one to talk through it and get his perspective from inside the business. Here’s our interview:

GuysNation: I saw your question you posed to your friends and followers and I wanted to expound upon that with you as part of my weekly wrestling panel. Simply put, you were wondering why people are hating on John Cena. So just to clarify, you’re not a Cena hater?

Richard Swann: No I’m not. I respect what he is, the role he is given and what he does for the business.

GuysNation: There’s no doubt he works hard outside the ring to be a great company man and to make the business as strong as it is right now, but I’d like to talk about the other part of what you just said, because on those points I don’t necessarily agree. Can you explain for a moment a little more about what you mean when you say “the role he is given”?

Richard Swann: Well there is no doubt to the kids today he’s in the same position that The Rock was when I was a kid. Everyone in this business is given their opportunities, it just matters how long and how far you can run with it. Just so happens that Cena has run with it for almost damn near 10 years.

GuysNation: When I look at the role they’ve built for John Cena, I see a guy who overcomes every obstacle he faces with fairly little resistance. That’s the “Superman” booking, as some like to refer to it. No matter how charismatic Cena is, don’t you think it’s fair that some people can get frustrated with that sort of a character?

Richard Swann: I think it’s very fair but it’s not very fair to hate on the dude for something he’s told to do. What’s he gonna do, tell the writers he doesn’t want to be booked that way? If any of the Indy haters or marks were in his spot, they would be milking it for all it’s worth. I know I would!

GuysNation: So you would tell people not to boo John Cena just because they dislike something that’s being gifted to him in terms of how he’s being booked? Isn’t that the only way people can really voice their opinion on the situation as a whole? There’s no way for most people to boo the people in charge.

Richard Swann: Well I don’t care if people throw acid at the dude. Boo him, cheer him, I just don’t like lame excuses to hate on the guy because what he is “gifted” even though in the public eye he bust his ass harder than anyone in the biz.

GuysNation: Don’t you think there’s a big difference between how John Cena is booked now and how The Rock was booked back in the day? It seems like no matter what the odds are, John Cena is going to overcome it. He beat The Miz despite R-Truth interference, and at the end of the show he was standing tall over both of them. Why not just have the outside interference be too much for him? Why can’t they build him up as the guy who always wins in the end while giving him some obstacles along the way that he can’t overcome? Doesn’t that basically negate his whole “Never Give Up” mantra? If the guy always wins at every step of the way, doesn’t it just seem lame to have him be the one who tells people to keep striving in the face of adversity?

Richard Swann: Good point but, WWE is a business and John Cena brings in the dough. They have to do what’s right for their pockets, and besides, when The Rock was booked, he was booked for the Attitude Era. It’s pg now, the kids feel he’s a super hero and super heroes don’t lose lol.

GuysNation: Even Superman and Batman get beaten down time and again. Wouldn’t more people want to see Cena succeed if he got beaten more frequently with the odds stacked against him? At Survivor Series, do we really have any reason to watch Cena’s match other than to see how he gets along with The Rock? If The Miz and R-Truth had been treated like formidable opponents, or at least got a win over Cena, wouldn’t that give more people a reason to want to buy the pay per view? As it stands, it almost feels like Cena could win the tag match against The Miz & R-Truth by himself, which doesn’t make for a compelling match.

Richard Swann: But we don’t know. I watched RAW, Cena was booed, Rock was loved and the big argument to why Cena can’t turn heel is because there is not a bigger face in the WWE to surpass John, but The Rock is definetley a bigger face without a shadow of a doubt. What if Cena turned his back on the kids and the women and The Rock? I mean no one expected it from Hogan at Bash At The Beach. I’ll never forget that. As a kid it burned me for a long while, haha.

GuysNation: But you don’t actually expect The Rock to keep showing up in WWE, right? The top face in WWE can’t be a guy who does all of his work via satellite. If John Cena turns heel, who does the WWE turn to?

Richard Swann: I think it’s a possibility.

GuysNation: Just to clarify, even though The Rock hasn’t attended a show in six months, you think John Cena will turn heel and suddenly The Rock will start attending shows on a weekly basis? I suppose depending on his film schedule, that could happen, especially to liven up things for Wrestlemania… even if it’s just once a month or twice a month. But assuming The Rock doesn’t become that top face, who are the other options?

Richard Swann: Well there’s CM Punk, there’s HHH – who prob has one more run in him. We got dolph ziggler coming up, who I beleive – with his mic skills – he could get people behind him. There’s always Orton and Daniel Bryan, too. If anyone is given a shot and prove they can deliver like Cena did back in the day, then it’s possible for them.

GuysNation: So what makes John Cena special? I disagree with people who say he can’t wrestle, and although he’s got good mic skills, there are others who are just as good as he is on the mic but haven’t accomplished nearly as much. How did he get to be the top guy who always comes out on top?

Richard Swann: Well I think his crazy passion for the company shines through his work and the fact that he can get peope to cheer for him, boo him, then cheer him again is special. When he broke his neck he busted his ass harder than any wrestler I’ve ever seen to come back to do what he loves. That makes him special.

GuysNation: Special, maybe, but even with all the enthusiasm he gives, why do you think some people still consider him boring? Is it just the fact that he always ends up the winner in the end?

Richard Swann: I can’t argue with that but i think again it’s because people are longing for the attitude ara to spark off again. Also John is booked in feuds that are build with tun of story which is half the reason why people dislike him and that’s not really Cena’s fault. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock… they all got interesting stories and got to wrestle a wide variety of wrestlers. One I think that’s because today there is a lack of star power and the Attitude Era just made it that much easier for the guys to make things more interesting.

GuysNation: Next time around we can discuss whether things are more interesting now – even with TV-PG – than in the attitude era, but that’s a much bigger discussion than we can tackle in this article. Essentially what it boils down to is that you think John Cena should be praised for his efforts, regardless of whether people like how he’s being used. I maintain that booing Cena shows distaste for the decisions by the people in charge of his creative direction, but I will say that I agree that Cena deserves to be put into a situation where we can appreciate all the hard work and he’s really not responsible for the tough situation he’s in with fans who are tired of him.