Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Cena Addresses "Burying" Talent
There was a long period of time when a select group of WWE fans were unhappy to see John Cena because he was always winning and never put anyone over.
This led to a frustration that Cena was going out of his way to bury talent, especially up-and-coming superstars who could have used the push from beating the biggest star in the promotion.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio (h/t Colin Tessier of WrestleZone.com), Cena spoke about the label that he was responsible for burying other wrestlers:
"The reputation I had in the sauce, while I was in it, was I buried talent because I really invest my whole heart in this. I sat with Austin Theory for like 10 hours, invested a day to talk about our why, like what's our story gonna be? I would do that with everyone. I live it. My heart's on the plate. But after they were me, they didn't take that energy with them, but I gave it to the next guy. So who's next? It was, and now it's Kevin Owens. Alright, Kevin, come here, we're gonna sit down for two weeks and just talk about stuff. Then we're gonna go out there and try some crazy stuff, see what works, and put our best foot forward. Kevin's done. Sami, no problem."
There were certainly a lot of questionable booking decisions involving Cena over the course of his career, but it doesn't necessarily mean he was the one in charge.
Vince McMahon was the one who put Cena on top and made sure no one else was at his level. One of the most egregious examples of McMahon's desire to push Cena at the expense of others was at SummerSlam 2010.
The main event on that show was a seven-on-seven elimination tag match with the Nexus group built up of largely new WWE superstars who were trying to establish their names. Cena's team won with him as the sole survivor by defeating Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett.
Barrett and Gabriel had successful runs in WWE, but they never got above the mid-card level. Beating Cena on that show wouldn't have guaranteed they would become main-event stars, but it wouldn't hurt.
Whatever anyone thinks of Cena during his run on top, it was a lot better than when Triple H was being handed the world heavyweight title without having to do anything.
Over the course of his career, Cena has put people over. The 16-time world champion just lost to Austin Theory at WrestleMania. He had memorable losses to Kevin Owens, CM Punk, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan when they needed to win those bouts.
WWE Superstars Getting More Flexibility in Promos
One benefit of Triple H being in charge of WWE creative is the leeway he will give superstars to help build their feuds, including their ability to have input on promos.
Per Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (h/t Felix Upton of RingsideNews.com), several wrestlers "have been given more flexibility in their promos" recently.
Sapp specifically cited the Karrion Kross-Shinsuke Nakamura feud as one program where both superstars have been allowed to do different things on the microphone.
There was a long period when the promos in WWE were awful. They were nothing more than lazy catchphrases and cheap jokes that seemed designed to make Vince McMahon laugh, but were generally not funny to anyone else.
It's undeniable that after Triple H was named chief creative officer that things dramatically improved. There are still some of the old promos that sneak their way, more so lately since McMahon returned to the company, but things are still generally positive.
Allowing the superstars, who presumably put a lot of thought and care into their characters, to say things that sound right for them and where a feud will go is smart business. It becomes much easier for fans to invest in what's happening, as opposed to everyone sounding exactly the same because one group of writers is scripting everything.
Latest WWE Tag-Team Depth Chart Post-Draft
Nearly one month removed from the 2023 draft, WWE had to update its roster depth charts with so many superstars changing brands and being given new positions in the overall roster hierarchy.
Per a leaked depth chart for the tag-team division obtained by PWInsider.com (h/t Upton), Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are the top male babyface duo on Raw, followed by the New Day, Alpha Academy, and Braun Strowman and Ricochet.
Judgment Day, Imperium, The Viking Raiders, Maximum Male Models, Los Lotharios and Indus Sher lead the heel groups for the red brand.
On SmackDown, the top four men's babyface teams are the Brawling Brutes, Latino World Order, Street Profits, and The O.C. The top heel teams are the Usos, Pretty Deadly and Hit Row.
Owens and Zayn are the undisputed tag champs at the moment and one of the top acts on Raw, so it's no surprise they are the No. 1 babyface team on Raw.
It will be interesting to see how much longer Owens and Zayn hold the titles. They are set to defend their championships against Reigns and Solo Sikoa at Night of Champions. One possible solution is Sikoa takes the fall for Owens and Zayn to retain, but WWE doesn't like Roman losing.
The Usos could potentially have some involvement in that match because there have been strong teases they—or at least Jey—are going to be kicked out of the Bloodline soon.
If that happens, it would almost certainly make Jey and Jimmy babyfaces. We don't know how long ago these depth charts were made, and they aren't set in stone, but the Usos potentially turning would heavily skew things for the babyface teams on SmackDown.
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