Better Worker – Hulk Hogan or John Cena

Welcome to another new semi regular We Talk Wrestling Blog called Better Worker where we categorize and try to figure out who’s the better in ring performer between 2 superstars. In this inaugural edition we have the man with all the Hulkamaniacs in Hulk Hogan vs the leader of the Cenation in John Cena. Let’s try and figure this out

 

The Basics

 

The basics is things like timing, running the ropes, selling opponents offense, positioning, etc. This is one area where Cena gets a lot of complaints. His most basic offense such as his punches can look awkward and his timing and positioning is often off, especially in his rare multi man matches. Hogan on the other hand is almost always where he needs to be, his basics are solid for the most part, plus he has the advantage of learning this in an older territorial system where greater emphasize was put on the basics. Both men I list as being on the worse end of good selling for being main event stars so long

 

Advantage – Hulk Hogan

 

 Technical Ability

 

This category looks at the variety and effectiveness of the offense both men use. In this case it can be a little difficult to judge because both men are essentially brawlers. Hogan’s offense generally looks more believable, but Cena’s may be more varied. On the occasion I’ve seen both chain wrestle, but it doesn’t happen often. When I see Cena perform technical moves it seems to me he learns it for that match then forgets it, Hogan on the other hand in his early career in Japan used far more technical wrestling on a regular basis, so I lean towards him. We laugh at Hogan’s lame finisher in the massive leg drop, but it’s a billion times more realistic looking than the 5 knuckle shuffle

 

Advantage – Hulk Hogan

 

 

 

 

 

Athleticism

 

These are 2 legit very strong men, both having done some impressive feats of strength, but Cena’s have impressed me far more. Quickness I’d have about even, but conditioning and agility easily favor Cena. His top rope rocker dropper move is one of the problems in his technical ability because it doesn’t look plausible as an actual offensive move, but there’s no doubt only he of the 2 of them could do it

 

Advantage – John Cena

 

 

 

Matches

 

Again this can be a bit difficult to judge because these 2 worked largely in different eras. Hogan didn’t have to do as many main event matches on TV or PPV and working with the likes of One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy puts him at a disadvantage compared to working with Edge, CM Punk or Randy Orton. Both men have pulled off miracle matches with terrible workers, Hogan with the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI and John Cena against Great Khali at One Night Stand in 2007. Hogan’s best matches are really that one against Warrior, Savage at Mania V, Rock at Mania 18, an awesome Smackdown match with Chris Jericho and then I start to struggle. He had some good ones with Paul Orndorff, some decent moments with Piper. The 1st Wrestlemania main event holds up pretty well. Maybe you could put his match with Sting at 2011 Bound for Glory in, but the point is your stretching now. Cena, while we acknowledge he’s had more high profile matches to choose from with better opponents, as well as far more input from the producers helping to put his matches together, and more trickery in gimmicked matches and props to hide his shortcomings, just has way more good matches. I can think of 3 with Edge, 1 with Umaga, that 1 with Khali, 2 with Orton, 2 with Punk, 2 with Triple H, 1 with Batista, 2 with Michaels, 1 with Kurt Angle, 1 with Chris Jericho, the Mania with Rock and the recent Extreme Rules with Brock Lesnar without even trying too hard. Whew! He really has improved from the awful worker he was with JBL when he won the title. No question John Cena wins this hands down.

 

Advantage – John Cena

 

 

Psychology

 

So going into the last category it’s all tied up, just the way it should be. This last category is really about the psychology of understanding why a match works and how to get a crowd to react to it. Obviously both men are very charismatic, Hogan more so mind you. The crowds are really into Cena’s matches with the dueling chants regardless of what’s happening, reacting more to the man than the match. Hogan has an innate ability to command the crowd, knowing just when to play to them for a reaction. His understanding of how to manipulate them to doing what he wants is uncanny, see his match with The Rock at Wrestlemania 18 for example. John Cena can’t even come close to matching Hogan here, if he could he’d do a better job of turning the crowd in his favor when working as a babyface. Hulk Hogan also had a good run as Hollywood Hogan in WCW where he managed to draw the right type of heat as a heel, showing he understands that psychology too which we can’t guarantee Cena does. Hulk was a successful heel and babyface

 

Advantage – Hulk Hogan

 

 

 

 

So Hogan wins the breakdown 3-2, but since it’s my article I reserve the right to supercede that and declare the final winner, but in this case I’m not going to do that as my pick is Hogan. I’m basing this on the fact I believe psychology and the basics are the 2 most important categories both of which I gave Hulk the edge on, and that Hogan’s learning in various territories, especially Japan, served him well. It’s very close but my pick for better worker is

 

Your Winner – Hulk Hogan

 

 

Thanks for joining me, and I invite your comments to be posted below or email me at mo@wetalkpodcasts.com or hit me up on twitter @Mo_WeTalk. This was fun and I plan to do another one on Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels, and maybe my co-host Addie will get inspired here too, so be on the lookout for more Better Worker Blogs

 

 

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