With SummerSlam right around the corner and approaching fast, the WWE Universe is both excited as well as concerned about the matches that are set to take place. One of the most talked about matches on the bill is, of course, John Cena's match against AJ Styles. There is a large group of people who think AJ will take the win, but just as large of a group is betting on Cena. Although there are no titles on the line, nor are there any stipulations about one having to quit if the other wins, it seems as if this is the match that has the most on the line. Whatever it is that WWE has planned for us could have a major impact on the futures of both Superstars. So we are left uninformed, unsure, and very very nervous.
When it comes to Cena, the WWE Universe finds themselves in a constant divide that is emphasized with the "Let's go Cena! Cena sucks!" chants that ring out every time he appears on TV. Those who are wholeheartedly cheering their superhero on don't understand why he gets the hate he does, while the anti-Cena brigade cannot fathom why he is so loved. This misunderstanding has set the stage for one of the biggest debates between WWE fans, with neither side taking the time to really hear the other out. It's understandable considering the fact that both arguments hold valid points as well as points that are reaching, at best. It makes it difficult to get down to the nitty gritty of whether or not Cena is someone we should worship or someone we should dismiss. Therefore, in order to come to a logical conclusion, we have to look at the arguments that hold the most water. This list takes a peek at those arguments and although it may not change your position in the Cena debate, it might at least offer some clarity and understanding about the other side.
16 Love - Doctor of Thuganomics
This gimmick is one of the best things that John Cena has ever given the WWE Universe. It was original, hilarious, and it is actually something that most of the Cena haters will, to this day, talk about with smiles on their faces. Cena accomplished a lot with this gimmick by bringing pop culture into the show in a way that no one else had ever been able to do. He stood out to us and even when we were supposed to hate him, we loved him. We were drawn to his shocking freestyles that had us laughing so hard that our stomachs hurt.
15 Hate - Super (Boring) Cena
Even though we get these momentary reminders of who he used to be, the bottom line is that Cena's current character isn't The Doctor of Thuganomics that we used to know. 'Word life' is a thing of the past and it has been replaced by a stale superhero knock off who rarely offers us anything new and refreshing. While we are all very aware that just about every WWE Superstar has a '5 moves of doom' combination, Cena's can be underwhelming and we're tired of seeing it at times. Some of his matches have become predictable and what is the point in investing time and energy into something when we already know the outcome? Even in the case that we aren't 100% sure who is going to win the match, we know that Cena isn't going to lose clean.
14 Love - Has Put Other Wrestlers Over
Cena may not lose clean very often, but on the rare occasion that he does, we're usually thrilled about it. A few examples are the triple threat match at the 2008 Royal Rumble against Randy Orton and Triple H, when he faced CM Punk at Money in the Bank in 2011, the "once in a lifetime" (which was a lie) match against The Rock at WrestleMania 28, Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2013, Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in 2014, and Kevin Owens at Elimination Chamber 2015.
13 Hate - Plague To Other Wrestlers' Careers
Is it enough for Cena to only put over one wrestler per year when he's buried the careers of just as many? Damien Sandow lost to Cena when he was not only beaten brutally, but with one arm that wasn't in working condition. Sandow's career as a singles competitor was destroyed after that. Bray Wyatt has found himself stuck in the mid-card ever since he went against (and lost to) Cena at WrestleMania XXX. SummerSlam 2010 featured Cena having his head driven in concrete multiple times, yet he overcame it to defeat The Nexus, who were the strongest force in WWE at the time.
12 Love - Passionate And Hard-Working
If there is one thing we know about John Cena, it is the fact that he works harder than probably anyone in the WWE. He's booked on so many shows for the company and that takes up so much of his time, but even with all of this work, Cena lives, eats, and breathes for WWE.
11 Hate - Sets Unreasonable Standards For The Rest Of the Wrestlers
While being driven towards success is a great quality to have, there is a limit that should be had as well. For example, when you have to have surgery due to a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery and a seven month to one year rehab time, coming back three months later is an awful idea. This moment is something that he is actively praised for, but think about what it does. It gives WWE this idea that if John Cena can recover after three months when it was expected he'd be out for up to a year, then everyone else should be able to do the same thing.
It's unrealistic and honestly unfair. It's also extremely unsafe for Cena himself, as he's not giving his body the time to fully recover the way it should. This is not the only time this has happened. In August of 2013, Cena announced he needed surgery for his left elbow and that he'd be out for four to six months, but two months later he was back. He had a herniated disk in his neck in 2008, in 2012 he required surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow, he suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon in 2013, and just seven months ago he had surgery on his shoulder.
10 Love - He's Humble
Anyone who has seen John Cena come down to the ring within the past decade can see that he gets an almost unrealistic amount of hate. Where anyone else would eventually let it get to them (Roman Reings), Cena takes it stride. He doesn't act like he's an all important person who deserves to be loved, but rather preaches that he respects the opinions of those who are constantly booing him and telling him that they hate him. Now, that's part of his gimmick in the ring, but in interviews outside the ring, where he can express frustration, he refuses to do so.
9 Hate - Nothing More Than A Big Ol' Babyface
Aside from the literal heel turn that Cena gave us on an episode of Raw, we will never see John Cena play the role of a heel in the near future. That is not something that sits well with the majority of the older WWE Universe, who love a good swerve and a darker character.
8 Love - Great Talker
In the 16 years since John has been wrestling for the WWE (starting with his time spent in OVW), he has cut some seriously impressive promos. The hilarity of them are typically what we love the most. Head over to YouTube and type in "John Cena best promo" and you'll likely find video upon video of pure gold that will have you rolling on the floor, laughing your butt off.
7 Hate - He's Gotten Lazy
As great as he is at cutting promos, there have been plenty of times more recently that Cena's mic skills have been mediocre at best. Of course, it can't be easy to go out week after week and cut these promos like Cena does, but over the past few years it seems as if he just isn't trying as hard as he used to during his Doctor of Thuganomics days.
6 Love - He's a Draw
The PG Era is not something that many WWE fans are particularly fond of (we will cover that in a minute), but it definitely expanded WWE's audience. John Cena has attracted many new fans and the more popular the show is, the more the show will give us. It's also really nice to be able to walk into stores and see WWE merchandise all over the place. As fans, I'm sure we can all agree that we have gotten our fair share of teasing for being a fan of the show, but with this new found popularity, it gives us a chance to be proud of it because it has actually become a widely accepted "thing".
5 Hate - Represents Everything Wrong With The WWE
As wonderful as it is that Cena brought a new crowd into the WWE, what wasn't so great is the way WWE reacted to it. The younger crowds were catered to and WWE suddenly slipped into the PG Era. Blood and cursing became a thing of the past and, as a result, a lot of the older fans were not too thrilled about it.
4 Love - Charity Work
John Cena has granted over 500 Make-A-Wishes. He has participated in 10 of the 13 Tribute to the Troops shows that the WWE has put on. His rise above hate shirts actively promote WWE's "Be a Star" anti-bullying campaign. This man is one of the most charitable celebrities in the world. He uses his popularity to support those who need it the most and regardless of how anyone may feel about him, it is hard to deny that he does great things in an otherwise ugly world.
3 Hate - WWE Created Robot
2 Love - The Man Is A Great Role Model
We've already talked about his charity work and the fact that he supports our troops as well as the message of anti-bullying. We have also mentioned (not so happily) that he appeals to children in his promos and although they aren't as funny to the older audience, kids eat this stuff up. He's shown us how dedicated he is to his work and he's constantly encouraging people to never give up, no matter what it is that they're aiming to do.
1 Hate - The Character is Arguably Horrible Role Model
On the other side of the argument, WWE is targeting children when their entire existence revolves around fighting. This isn't something we should be teaching children, regardless of whether or not the actual fighting is scripted. Looking past that, the way Cena's character reacts to situations is something that should not happen if the WWE is going to continue targeting children in his fan base as the primary audience. How many times has he referred to women as a derogatory comment because he didn't like them?
On the January 29th, 2015 episode of SmackDown, Cena called Lana "Ho-sie O'Donnell." This is a female manager who has never had any sort of slut-like gimmick and because he's angry about what Rusev said, he referred to Lana as a ho. Let us also not forget that one time on a Raw that took place on December 20th, 2010 when John Cena and Jerry Lawler went back and forth doing nothing but referring to Vickie Guerrero as fat. He's also called Eve Torres a skank, a "hoeski", a bi***, then hinted at the fact that she had sexually transmitted diseases all in one segment. So much for that "respect" thing that he preaches so often. How is this okay coming from someone that kids look up to?
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