With a long-spanning WWE career, John Cena has done pretty much everything there is to do. Debuting as the brash young upstart, he quickly morphed into a rap enthusiast, then into the super soldier he stayed as for the rest of his time as the face of Vince McMahon's wrestling company.
He looks to be winding down his career now, and it's safe to say he will go down as one of the best (if not the best) top guys in the company's history. Yet, it wasn't all sunshine and roses with his time on top. Throughout his run, Cena was given quite a few stinkers when it comes to opponents, and even he couldn't save what would happen. Let's celebrate the good and bad of the champ's career, with some of his best (and worst) rivalries ever.
10 Best: JBL
When we look back at John Cena's career, it's hard to overstate how important John Bradshaw Layfield was in cementing the Dr. Of Thugganomics as the ultimate babyface. To do so, we'll need to give a bit of background information that puts everything into context. JBL held onto the WWE Championship for 280 days between 2004 and 2005 after beating Eddie Guerrero, ending the title run of one of the most beloved characters in WWE history.
Following that, he managed to weasel his way to victories over fan favorites like The Undertaker, Booker T, and the aforementioned Guerrero. During that time, Cena began working his way up, gaining popularity with fans. Then, when Cena hit peak popularity, WWE pulled the trigger on a feud with JBL. Over the course of a few months, the two went to war of the WWE Championship, most notably with a bloody "I Quit" Match, and by the end of it all, Cena was the champion, primed to be the next Hulk Hogan for WWE.
9 Forget: Kenzo Suzuki
Kenzo Suzuki had an interesting WWE Career. Most notable as a former tag-team champion alongside Rene Dupree, he enjoyed a short but impactful run. During that time, he picked a fight with John Cena, the United States Champion, and it didn't go well for the Japanese star.
Unfortunately, the only notable part of their feud was a segment that saw Suzuki dress up as Uncle Sam while Cena rapped about the Japanese star's female manager. We'd like to forget this one.
8 Best: Chris Jericho/Eric Bischoff
Once Cena was established as the big dog in WWE, he was quickly moved to WWE's flagship show, Raw, where he sparked a feud with Eric Bischoff. In the story, Bischoff looked to capitalize on having a bright young upstart and wanted to give him preferential treatment.
Ever the boy scout, Cena refused, telling the former WCW GM that he doesn't dabble in backstage politics. Irate, Bischoff enlisted the help of Chris Jericho, and the two put on several solid matches. By the end of it all, Jericho was "fired" and Bischoff was thrown into a garbage truck. Raw was finally saved. Ironic, considering the superstars involved.
7 Forget: The Great Khali
The Great Khali was a very tall man. Unfortunately, that's the most we can really say about the former WWE Superstar. The man was clumsy, slow, and just couldn't put together a match that fans wanted to watch.
So, he was put in a feud with John Cena. Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do. Their matches were just terrible, and the fact that Khali couldn't really talk hurt things too. This was just a bad pairing.
6 Best: Randy Orton
When looking through Cena's old rivals, there is no-one as constant as Randy Orton, and in a way, they were always meant to be enemies on screen. Orton was the son of a beloved heel in Cowboy Bob Orton and was always slated to be the next big thing in the company. Cena, however, had a much longer journey to the top. The two clashed so many times throughout the years, and took part in some extremely personal feuds. Orton even attacked Cena's father in a WWE arena!
It all culminated in a Champion vs Champion ladder match, and in a way, it was a fitting end to their rivalry. The two don't square off against each other much these days, but at one point in time, it was easily WWE's go-to match. Unfortunately, they may have gone to the well one too many times. Still, they never disappointed.
5 Forget: Alberto Del Rio
Hey, look, Alberto Del Rio is a solid wrestler, and outside of WWE, he's put on some great matches. Unfortunately, in WWE, he just didn't have whatever it is that makes someone interesting.
Del Rio shot up the card and quickly targeted Cena and his WWE Championship. The feud just didn't work, despite the fine in-ring work, lacking a general interest from fans. To make things worse, he was the man who ended Cena's legendary United States Championship run with a surprise return.
4 Best: CM Punk
CM Punk is almost the complete antithesis to John Cena. One is a self-made indie darling, who doesn't really look like a typical wrestler, while the other is a WWE-made robot who looks manufactured out of Vince McMahon's dream superstar machine. Still, that juxtaposition is exactly what WWE needed when the two faced off against one another, putting on some classic bouts.
None were more memorable than their WWE Championship Ladder Match at Money In The Bank 2011 as Punk's contract was set to expire. Punk won and disappeared, leaving the audience with a genuine swerve no-one expected. Yet, this couldn't have worked with any other combination of stars.
3 Forget: Kevin Federline
Some of you might be too young to remember Kevin Federline, so let's give you a brief synopsis of who he is. As a backup dancer for Britney Spears, the two developed a relationship and were married for two years. During that time, he capitalized on his popularity, releasing a rap album and even appearing in WWE.
We guess we can't really call this a feud because he only appeared a handful of times, but each appearance included some kind of altercation with Cena. Everything came to a head when K-Fed pinned Cena on an episode of Raw, to the collective groan of everyone watching around the world.
2 Best: Edge
We said earlier that CM Punk was almost the complete antithesis to John Cena. We said 'almost' because the actual opposite of The Face That Runs The Place is Edge. As the Rated R Superstar, the Ultimate Opportunist would do anything it took to get closer to the WWE championship. He'd bend the rules, destroy relationships, and insert himself in any situation possible.
Compare that to Cena, the ultimate good guy who plays by the rules, and you have the perfect feud. The pair put on a number of memorable matches throughout their feuds, but none were quite as good as their TLC Match at Unforgiven 2006 in Toronto.
1 Forget: The Nexus
The thing that makes The Nexus' feud with John Cena frustrating is that it could have put 12 new Superstars on the map in a way that had never been done before. The group debuted in a memorable way, destroying the ring and establishing themselves as the new kids on the block, but by the time they came up to John Cena, everything came to a screeching halt.
At SummerSlam 2010, the champ pretty much single-handedly defeated the group of upstarts, after taking a lot of punishment during the match, taking the wind out of their sails. Edge and Chris Jericho (who were involved in the match) both admitted to advising Cena against the direction he wanted, but there was no deterring the face of the company. This will probably be the biggest black-eye in Cena's career.