AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!!!! Do Do Do Doooo! Do Do Do Doooo!
Now that you have Cena’s theme song stuck in your head, we can continue on with our “Cena sucks,” and “Let’s Go Cena,” article. Regardless if you hate him, you have to admit that the guy has become a great role model for children and has brought awareness to many situations around the world. Regardless of whether you love him, he’s still only human and can make mistakes just like the rest of us. We can sit here all day and discuss why Cena may be good or not good for professional wrestling, however, his legacy will always be remembered for both inside the ring and outside.
The WWE loves protecting their brand's image, like all companies. Scandals, gossip, and legal disputes have hit the WWE like a German Suplex, but the company keeps on getting up. One of the reasons why they can keep getting up is because they have an excellent man of character who has given his heart and soul to the WWE Universe, John Cena. Even with his squeaky clean character on television, Cena has also shown his more human side and the WWE rather you never see it. Now, let us go beat up John Cena.
15 Approved - Cena's First Championship
John Cena had already won the United States Championship, but one of the main belts (WWE Championship) still eluded him. At WrestleMania 21, Cena was set to face JBL for the biggest title on SmackDown. After 11 minutes, Cena would win the match and it would be the first of his 15 titles. The first is always the most special and this photo will go down in history as very important.
Cena could end up with over 20 title reigns when it’s all said and done, however, the first will always be the most notable. You can tell he’s very happy because he knows his life is forever going to change. You don’t win a championship match at WrestleMania if you're not a hard worker. The nostalgia of this photo will always give fans goosebumps.
14 Disapproved - Cena Proposes
No man is perfect and we’re not saying every marriage is either. What we are saying is the WWE would like you to think Cena is Captain America, Honest Abe Lincoln, and Jesus all rolled up into one juicy burrito. Cena married Elizabeth Huberdeau in July of 2009 and the marriage lasted until May of 2012. However, the white knight or hero of the show isn’t as perfect as the WWE would like you to believe.
We’re pretty sure both the company and Cena would rather you not see any photos of the former couple. What really takes the cake is Cena showing off Huberdeau in an episode of Raw and then divorcing her weeks later. To top it off, Cena and Nikki Bella became a public item just two months after his divorce.
13 Approved - Passing The Torch
It’s a screenshot and not an actual photo, however, there can be a whole list of reasons why the WWE wants you to see this. After Cena made his official WWE debut on SmackDown against Kurt Angle, the first wrestler he met in kayfabe storytelling was The Deadman himself, The Undertaker. At the time, The Undertaker was the top dog and champion on SmackDown.
This image symbolically represents a passing of the torch, as well as letting the world know Cena has the chops to make it in the business. Just as Taker gave Jeff Hardy his blessing, Cena received the same treatment. We doubt both these guys had any idea how popular Cena would become. With plots and storylines starting to move towards WrestleMania 33, it’s very plausible Taker and Cena may steal the show if all the stars align.
12 Disapproved - Breaking Kayfabe
Kayfabe: the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or pre-determined nature of any kind.
Decades ago, wrestlers would be fired if they ever broke kayfabe rules. Even though disciplinary action has loosened since the good old days, wrestlers and other employees can get in some hot water if they decided to break kayfabe. To be fair, in this picture both The Wyatt Family and Cena probably had no idea this photo was being taken.
Both wrestlers are in the first row of the stands, presumably going over their routine for WWE Extreme Rules in 2014. The guy in the photo, Short Sleeve Sampson, was asked by the WWE to take the photo down, which he obliged.
11 Approved - Workout Machine
It’s not about one single picture but the ideology behind the picture. Cena is an absolute monster when it comes to lifting weights. His bodybuilding background and natural talent have blessed him with extraordinary strength and will power. The WWE has a long history of love for weight lifters.
Triple H is known for his late night workouts with Stephanie, Vince McMahon has a passion for weights, and many Superstars have come from a bodybuilding environment. There can be a few messages behind this type of photo. One, work hard and your dreams may come true. Second, if you’re having a tough time going through rehab, maybe Cena can inspire you to do the unthinkable. Third, Cena is the greatest wrestler in the company and these photos give credit to that aura.
10 Disapproved - Cena's Epic Botch
At the 2005 Royal Rumble, it came down to Cena and Batista. At one point in the contest, Cena was on top of Batista’s shoulders and performed a headscissors takedown, launching both wrestlers over the top rope. Chaos began to ensue about whose feet touched the floor first. Many fans thought the event would end like the 1994 Royal Rumble finish when Lex Luger and Bret Hart both won it.
However, Cena had botched the move that sent both wrestlers flying over the top rope. Vince McMahon had to come down to the ring and change the story on the fly. The only hitch was as Vince entered the ring, he tore both quads in his legs and couldn’t walk. The whole ending was a big trainwreck and Batista won in an anti-climatic way.
9 Approved - Global Ambassador
John Cena has been off television a lot in 2016 and for the last quarter of 2015. Besides having movie roles, hosting television shows, and appearing at charity events, Cena has also been learning Mandarin Chinese. It’s no secret the WWE wants to tap into the Chinese entertainment and consumerism. The wrestling industry is pretty much nonexistent there and if the WWE can get in that door, they will have access to a lot of money and eyes.
Vince knows how important this opportunity is and put his best man on the ground to convince the Chinese that professional wrestling is a hot commodity. This summer, the WWE held a historic press conference in China with Cena. Their goal is to capitalize on the Chinese market and they already made steps by starting to develop Chinese athletes.
8 Disapproved - Grinding
The pressure Cena has to not destroy the company’s image as well as his own is astronomical. Jon Jones in the UFC, Alex Rodriguez in the MLB, and Tom Brady in the NFL have all been part of scandals that have rocked their respective sports and companies. Cena is supposed to be the man of the people, by the people, and for the people. He has to be the classiest gentleman in the room on a constant basis.
What the WWE doesn’t want you to see, especially in the PG Era, is an allegedly drunk Cena making out with his former wife, Elizabeth Huberdeau. Maybe a kiss on the cheek wouldn’t turn heads, but a full on softcore image of two adults grinding on each other isn’t very kid-friendly. If little Timmy or Tammy finds this picture and tells mommy, do you think she would still let their child watch the program?
7 Approved - Patriotism
Just like the NFL, the WWE does a lot to make sure the military community gets the respect and honor they deserve, regardless of if you agree with the foreign policies of the United States. In 2003, the WWE started their annual event, Tribute to the Troops, which is to honor the United States Armed Forces members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even former President George W. Bush personally thanked the WWE for providing entertainment for the troops. Cena has been front and center about being as patriotic as you can be. His feud with Rusev is a shining example of his pride for the red, white, and blue. The WWE wants the world to know they support the troops and that their main star won’t pull a Colin Kaepernick.
6 Disapproved - What's That On Your Face?
Cena knows how to get a crowd going. You can hate his in-ring work all you want, but Cena is one of the more talented speakers the wrestling industry has ever seen. He can flip the emotions of a crowd in a heartbeat and the WWE relies on him to push their narratives. The company depends on his ability to sell a story to get those juicy high ratings everyone wants to see.
When the WWE decided to set up an epic feud between The Rock and Cena for WrestleMania XXVIII, they needed a way to get the story rolling. Cena had to find a partner for a Survivor Series tag team match against The Miz and R-Truth. The story went off without a hitch, except for one minor problem. Cena’s spit would fly out of his mouth and land on his chin while saying the name, “The Rock.” It was a pretty horrible look and they had to cut away quickly from his face. Memes and other photo shopped jokes have followed ever since.
5 Approved - Make A Wish Champion
The Make-A-Wish foundation would like to grant a wish to every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. The charity is made up of thousands of volunteers and donors. The WWE has been more hands on with the organization than any other company we can think of and that’s a great thing. In 2015, Cena reached a milestone by becoming the first celebrity to make 500 wishes come true.
The magnitude of this achievement should be covered more because no one is even close to Cena. The closest celebrities are around 200 wishes and this includes Michael Jordan, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Hulk Hogan. You can hate Cena all you want, but there's a reason why he’s beloved by millions.
4 Disapproved - Howard Stern Interview
When you go on The Howard Stern Show, prepare to be asked tough questions about your sexual activity. In 2006, Cena’s demographic of fans were a lot older in comparison to what you see today. He was the guy who would rap, wear cool sports jerseys, and seemed like the broski you want to party with. At the time, it seemed harmless when he went on Stern’s show and was candid about life.
We guarantee if any parent stumbled in on their child listening to this interview today, they would not be happy with Cena or the WWE. So, what did Cena say that would be shocking to the children who probably weren’t even born yet when the interview aired? Cena talks about not enjoying “backdoor sex,” being intimate with a “280-pounder,” and tussling in the bed with two strippers from Louisville. Not exactly the PG language the WWE has indoctrinated into their programming.
3 Approved - Cena & Breast Cancer
As we noted in the intro, the WWE wants great publicity. After many hardships and scandals plaguing the company since its birth, to have the backing of a breast cancer organization is a fresh breath of air. In 2014, Susan G. Komen, the largest non-profit organization for breast cancer research, asked Cena to be their official Grand Marshal to mark their 25 anniversary.
The partnership between the two organizations has helped the “Rise Above Cancer” campaign become prominent for the past two years. When you have millions of eyes on the WWE, it’s always a great thing if they can attract those eyes to causes such as this one. As long as Cena is on top, expect more charities to want a piece of John and the WWE.
2 Disapproved - Bodybuilder Cena
The WWE has always had a special connection between the bodybuilding communities and their product. Superstar Billy Graham, The Ultimate Warrior, and Sting started off as bodybuilders before transitioning into wrestling icons. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a God when it comes to bodybuilding and he’s a WWE Hall of Famer without wrestling one real match in the ring. So, why doesn’t the WWE want you to see this photo of Cena?
Drug testing in bodybuilding competitions can be as inattentive as you can get, especially in the 90s. After college, Cena decided to move to Venice Beach, California, to begin his bodybuilding career. Cena has denied taking steroids, however, the photo gives the impression that he’s not natural. Cena lost the 1999 NPC Ironman Magazine Naturally contest in Los Angeles and began his professional wrestling career shortly after.
1 Approved - Kid Cena
The WWE loves to the let the audience know that a certain wrestler grew up watching the show, just like the young fans who are watching now. It’s a move to create an emotional connection to that wrestler as if they shared the same upbringing. We don’t believe there is anything wrong with that and it’s a great strategic move to get a child to think that they can be in the ring one day. When it comes to Cena, he’s the poster boy of the company.
Children look up to him to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s not at all surprising that they would use this photo of a young Cena holding up a custom made wrestling belt. With the saturation of photos in the world, these days we'll be seeing more photos like this pop up in the next ten to twenty years.