They call him Big Match John, but the Hollywood star doesn't knock the ball out of the park every single time - and he'd probably be the first one to admit to that.
John Cena is a lot of things but one of the most important factors behind his success has been his ability to get fans to tune in. Whether you love him or you hate him, the masses will continue to flock towards whatever he is doing in the name of seeing if he can, in his own words, rise above the hate.
Sometimes, though, it doesn't always pan out that way.
10 Brock Lesnar - Backlash 2003
Many, many years ago, John Cena was just starting his rise through the ranks of WWE. Very few people could’ve imagined just how high up he’d get in the company, and even fewer would’ve believed it upon seeing this match.
Cena and Lesnar went head to head for the WWE Championship, and it was clear to see that John just wasn’t ready for this spot yet. Lesnar was the one doing most of the work, and there’s a reason why it took another two years for Cena to have his crowning moment.
9 The Great Khali - One Night Stand 2007
We don’t think The Great Khali is the worst character in WWE history, because the character itself was actually pretty interesting. Also, let’s face it, the man is an absolute monster of a human being.
Back in 2007, though, his shortcomings in the ring were exposed in a pretty big way when he took on John Cena at One Night Stand.
John wasn’t in a position where he could drag someone like Khali to a great match yet, and unfortunately, that reality played out before our very eyes, and in front of the WWE Universe.
8 Triple H - Night of Champions 2008
Triple H just had to get one back on John Cena, didn’t he?
Two years prior, The Game had come up short against John Cena at WrestleMania 22, but at Night of Champions 2008, the two met in a long-awaited rematch with the WWE Championship being on the line.
It was being billed as one of the biggest title matches in WWE history, but of course, it wasn’t. It wasn’t even close.
The bout itself was okay but it belonged on an episode of Monday Night RAW as opposed to the main event of a show like this.
7 Randy Orton - Bragging Rights 2009
In a very similar manner to the aforementioned Triple H match, John Cena’s showdown with Randy Orton at Bragging Rights was given a whole bunch of hype. The two had traded title wins back and forth for a good few months by this point, with the final meeting being set for an Ironman Match.
It was slow, it was methodical, and it didn’t really look like there was any set plan coming into the match itself. The structure of the contest was all wrong and it just wasn’t a great showcase for either man.
6 The Nexus - SummerSlam 2010
The Nexus’ introduction to the WWE Universe was handled brilliantly back in 2010; at least, for a few weeks.
They were beating up guys left, right, and center, with their primary target being John Cena. It seemed as if this whole thing was setting up a really intriguing Team WWE vs Team Nexus match at SummerSlam, and in some ways, it lived up to that.
Unfortunately, it had absolutely nothing to do with John, who squashed The Nexus by beating them in their first big-time match.
5 The Miz - WrestleMania 27
The real story behind The Miz vs John Cena at WrestleMania 27 wasn’t even the fact that either man was involved in the match. The looming presence of The Rock was always going to be the headline-making story, but at the end of the day, it’s the main event of WrestleMania we’re talking about here.
Miz’s unfortunate concussion clearly put a dampener on what could’ve been a really solid match, but given the position that it was given, this was just never going to live up to the hype.
4 The Rock - WrestleMania 29
The "Once in a Lifetime" match between Cena and Rock at WrestleMania 28 was great. The rematch at WrestleMania 29 was not.
First of all, it just felt like an unnecessary step in the wrong direction for both men, given that this ‘passing of the torch’ moment probably could’ve just gone down in Miami – potentially even with a heel turn thrown in there for good measure.
Beyond that, though, the crowd felt incredibly flat throughout, and it’s not exactly hard to understand the reasoning behind their reaction.
3 The Miz & Maryse - WrestleMania 33
John & Nikki vs Miz & Maryse at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando served one purpose and one purpose only: Set up the proposal which you can either believe is legitimate or not.
The match itself felt like a RAW mixed tag match and one that probably wouldn’t have even closed the show. It was the second time in six years that Cena and Miz just couldn’t put something good together on the grandest stage of them all, and something tells us they aren’t going to get a third go at it.
2 Rusev - Battleground 2017
John Cena vs Rusev was a fun feud back in 2015, but Rusev didn’t exactly come out of it looking all that great. When they went toe to toe a few years later at Battleground, though, the hope was that Cena would put the Bulgarian Brute over clean in their flag match.
That didn’t even remotely happen and instead, we got the kind of encounter you’d expect to see at a live event (and not a very good one at that).
This buried Rusev even further and we will fight anyone that thinks differently.
1 Team RAW - Survivor Series 2017
Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe & Triple H vs. Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura & John Cena.
With all that talent in one ring, this should’ve been an absolutely sensational match, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t even close.
This just felt like another way for WWE to stroke the ego of The Game and we just aren’t okay with that.
Cena barely even featured and the whole saga still angers us when we glance back on it, mainly because of how poorly Nakamura and Roode were made to look.