There are plenty of fans who love John Cena and there plenty of fans who hate him. The same can be said for Roman Reigns who in his relatively short WWE career has found himself to be a very polarizing figure. What fans can’t argue is that both of these men have garnered a response from the WWE Universe since almost the day they were introduced.
Cena was a relative unknown when he first appeared on WWE television. After almost being shown the door, a character change skyrocketed his popularity to new heights. Since that day, he’s been the man in WWE. That is, until recently.
Roman Reigns has supplanted Cena as the new leader in WWE. He’s on a pace to outdo Cena’s amazing accomplishments and Reigns is the new chosen one of Vince McMahon. The leader of The Shield, the current Intercontinental Title holder and the younger of the two icons, there is a lot that Reigns has already done that Cena hasn’t and likely never will.
5. Titles Early and Often
John Cena is one of the most decorated champions in WWE history. He stands to break Ric Flair‘s record as the single’s wrestler to the hold the Heavyweight Championship the most times in a single career. That said, he didn’t get off to nearly the hot start Roman Reigns did.
It took Cena two years to get his first title run. It took Reigns five months. Reigns started headlining WrestleMania’s earlier and will likely headline more than Cena, he won the Royal Rumble earlier in his career and amazingly, he’s on pace to hold the title more. If Reigns keep up his run, he’ll be the most decorated WWE Superstar in history by the time he’s finished.
4. Been Suspended
The one thing that could slow Roman Reigns down is himself. Unlike Cena who has never been suspended for a Wellness Violation, Reigns has and it cost him a 30-day suspension. It was a black mark on his career and while embarrassing, it didn’t slow his momentum much.
In a matter of mere weeks, Reigns came back and started dominating the WWE again. He took his lumps (still does in some promos with Cena) and got back on track, likely never to make the same mistake again.
3. Been Part of a Major Faction
If there is one thing that separates Reigns from Cena, and in an obvious way, it’s the fact that Cena has never been part of a faction. Reigns got his start as a part of The Shield and today that group is considered one of the top ten, maybe top five factions of all time.
Cena has been a loner for most of his career. After turning babyface he’s never gone back and not teamed up with any group or started his own group. In that way, he’ll have missed out something that a lot of other wrestlers got to do, which is building a close-knit group of friends you travel up and down the road with and call your clique.
2. More 4-Star Matches
Dave Meltzer has a rating system for matches that are very much the bible to some according to quality scores for wrestlers. If you rate high in his system, you’ve done well. Cena might be underrated as an in-ring performer, but according to Meltzer, the quality of the matches isn’t close.
Cena has ranked a 4.0 only four times. His matches with Kurt Angle, JBL, Edge, and Triple H between 2003 and 2006 got him those distinctions. Meanwhile, Reigns has scored over a 4.0 in 11 matches and with a variety of opponents. The highest score Cena ever achieved was a 4.25. Reigns scored a 4.5 on five separate instances.
1. Been Intercontinental Champion
Considered the second-most prestigious title in WWE, it took Roman Reigns a long time to win the Intercontinental Title. He’s the current champion and might be until the WWE decides to put him back in the heavyweight title picture.
It’s the Intercontinental Title and Cena’s lack of having ever won it that makes a list like this interesting. For all the awards, honors and championships Cena has been given, this was belt was not one of them.
** Note: If The Undertaker doesn’t return to WWE, we can add that Reigns is the man who retired him. Only one person ever gets to say that.
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