Sometimes in life, individuals are forced to perform tasks they don’t like, because if they don’t, bad things happen. Wrestling is no different, and we see a classic example unfolding. Currently, the best storyline in all of World Wrestling Entertainment involves their biggest face (fan favorite) star, John Cena. He was forced to join forces with the biggest heel (bad guy) group – the Nexus, and it has made for some very interesting episodes of WWE Monday Night Raw.

In early October, prior to the “Hell in a Cell” pay-per-view, Wade Barrett (the leader of Nexus) issued a challenge to John Cena. He said that if Cena lost the match, he would have to join Nexus. John agreed, but under one condition: If Barrett lost, Nexus would have to disband for good. Unfortunately, the match result did not please fans. With the illegal help of Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty (who were contestants on Season Two of WWE NXT – a show introduced by the company to develop the “next breakout star”), Wade Barrett defeated John Cena. Cena sat in the ring, despondent, fans were shocked, and some children were close to tears, because their hero was now forced to join a group he was fighting against for the entire summer.

The following night on Raw, Nexus was in the ring, gloating about Barrett’s victory. They welcomed their newest member. John Cena slowly and reluctantly walked to the ring. When he entered, Barrett demanded that the newest member read a “prepared statement”, and he did. Later, a tag match occurred where John Cena and Nexus member Michael Tarver, battled Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. Cena and Tarver won, but John took the microphone and stated the he would destroy the Nexus from the inside. So, he attacked and injured Michael Tarver, to the dismay of Barrett and the other members of the group. After the attack, the “Anonymous General Manager” (who sends e-mails to a computer, set up next to the announcer’s table, and the messages are read by Raw commentator, Michael Cole) stated that if Cena does anything to jeopardize the deal with Nexus, he will be fired from the WWE. Cena stood frozen in the ring, because at that point he realized that he had to perform every task the Nexus demanded of him, or else he would be fired from the company. Nexus was happy, and Barrett grinned wickedly, because he knew the announcement meant that they control Cena.

On the same episode of Raw, a battle royal was held to determine who would receive a WWE Championship match at “Bragging Rights” against Randy Orton. Cena and Barrett worked together – if Wade was near elimination, the newest Nexus member would save his leader. The final two participants were Barrett and Cena. The two stood face-to-face in the center of the ring. Cena wanted to attack Barrett, and the fans were encouraging him to do so, even Barrett dared him to. But, John saw the bigger picture – if he hit Wade or didn’t do as he was asked, he would be fired. Wade Barrett then demanded that Cena eliminate himself, so that Barrett would participate in the WWE championship match at “Bragging Rights.”

A tag team match occurred on the October 18 edition of Raw where Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty battled Cena and Randy Orton. After the match, the Nexus attacked Orton. Cena backed away from the beating, and stood at ringside with his back turned. Barrett then ordered John to enter the ring. Cena hesitated. The Nexus leader told his new member to lift up Orton for his “Attitude Adjustment” finishing move. But, after Cena hoisted Orton, Barrett told John to stop and to give the WWE Champion to him. Wade hit Orton with his “Wasteland” finisher to the disapproval of the fans and Cena, who at that point, turned his back on Nexus and walked away while the group celebrated their destruction.

While I don’t approve of Nexus’ bullying tactics towards Cena, it allows the fans to voice their disapproval of the group, which is exactly what the WWE wants. Cena’s facial expressions and actions in the segments are really helping to put the group over as heels to the fans. I am not completely sure what will happen when Barrett battles Orton at “Bragging Rights” for the WWE Championship. I think John Cena will have a role to play that will affect the outcome. I also feel that Cena will get frustrated with Nexus’ bullying tactics, leave the group, and eventually destroy it. Fans know it will happen, based on John’s mannerisms in the segments. How that occurs, is anyone’s guess, because if Cena disobeys the group’s orders, he will be fired from the company (according to the storyline). I am sure fans will be glued and engaged in the storyline until its conclusion to see when and how John Cena leaves Nexus. I hope John sends a message to viewers that bullying is not accepted anywhere, and everyone should stand up to bullying.

The entire acquisition of Cena by Nexus was a clear indication that there is a great deal of bullying taking place. It’s all a show, but the actions of Nexus are not ones that should be adopted by viewers. Trust me, viewers would think that it is acceptable behavior. The young minds see where they have to succumb to others in order to move up, and that in my mind, is wrong. Perhaps WWE organizers should think of other ways to allow the wrestlers to move ahead, ways that reflect positive attributes for viewers to emulate.

Azeem Kayum

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