John Cena has been the face of the company for over ten years. He is the most popular wrestler in terms of merchandise sales in the WWE. He has won 15 World Championships and a bevy of others through out is illustrious career. He has won two Royal Rumbles, been named Superstar of the Year on three different occasions and won a Money in the Bank Ladder match. He has been involved in multiple five star and instant classic matches with various opponents throughout his career. Over the last fourteen years he has improved dramatically in the ring and he has very good microphone skills. Those are just his in ring accomplishments.
He's recorded his own rap album which peaked at number fifteen on the billboard chart and rapped on one of the best entrance themes of all times, "Word Life." He has appeared in more than a dozen movies and many more TV shows. He is also the biggest wish granter in Make a Wish history having granted over 500 wishes. He is a role model and someone that children around the world look up to. So with all that going for him Why is it that the Internet Wrestling Community and the SMARKS hate him so much? (we mean besides the rap album of course).
The simple answer is the PG era of professional wrestling. The WWE has started marketing their company to children as the primary audience and with that a set of codes are followed. The number one code is that the good guys always win. He battles against all the evil in the WWE and in true comic book super hero fashion he always comes out on top. Most of the IWC grew up watching Hulk Hogan, so we've already seen this play out and it's boring and overdone. He is an amazing performer and wrestler and, this writer for one, respects all the work he has done in the ring, especially over the last year. However, the IWC is an unforgiving bunch so lets take a look at the top 15 matches where Super John appeared and made us hate him.
15 The Miz - Over the Limit 2011
The Miz was easily the biggest heel in the business in 2011. He took a back seat to John Cena and The Rock at WrestleMania XXVII and was made to look like a joke for this entire feud. In this match, Cena was able to fight off both The Miz and Alex Riley, who delivered more punishment than any one man should ever take, and each time Cena was asked to quit he answered with a calm "no," After nearly 20 minutes of being beaten down by both men and a false finish, John battled back to win the match out of nowhere.
14 Edge and Big Show - WrestleMania XXV
At The Showcase of the Immortals, WrestleMania XXV, John Cena really started to garner some major heat from the crowds. There was a feeling among the fans that Cena was going to be continually taking the spotlight from someone else and it showed by the way he was shoehorned into the rivalry between Edge and Big Show. Going into this match, both Edge and Big Show were considered the heels but Cena clearly got the majority of the boos, as the fans were already starting to not enjoy Cena being in the big matches all the time. Cena getting the win and walking away champ really damaged his relationship with the IWC.
13 Bray Wyatt - Extreme Rules 2014
This entire feud could be highlighted here as the entire three match series did nothing but make John Cena look strong and Bray Wyatt look weak. The final match of the feud would just be an easy way out, but ultimately doesn't qualify because everyone is supposed to look strong in a Last Man Standing match. Instead we are going to look at a match that Cena lost because even in defeat, it took a steel cage, Luke Harper, Eric Rowan and a creepy child to beat him. Bray has never recovered from this feud. as he continues to flounder with out any real direction.
12 Sheamus - TLC 2009
Sheamus was on quite a roll in 2009, having run through the ECW roster on his way to Raw. He won a Breakthrough Battle Royal to gain a shot at WWE Champion John Cena. Sheamus was being billed as an unstoppable force that was a true threat to the main event. In one match, Sheamus was made to look like a joke champion and lost a lot of his credibility. Even though this one is also a loss for Cena, it was done in a way to make it look like Cena slipped and fell through a table. Instead of putting over a credible new threat, Sheamus was made to look lucky to have beat Superman.
11 Alberto Del Rio, Night of Champions 2011
Alberto Del Rio was on the cusp of super stardom having won the 2011 Royal Rumble. He also had won the Money in the Bank ladder match and cashed in the contract on CM Punk, which led to the challenge from John Cena. The feud leading up to their Night of Champions title match saw Cena repeatedly tell Del Rio that he was not worthy to wear the belt and lucky to be champ. Del Rio went on to win the title back from Cena at Hell In a Cell. but by then the damage to his credibility had been done.
10 Brock Lesnar - Extreme Rules 2012
The night after WrestleMania XXVIII, John Cena came out to talk about his "once in a lifetime match" against The Rock (more on that later). When John called The Rock to the ring, Lesnar's music hit and The Beast made his first appearance in a WWE ring in seven years. They'd finally face off at Extreme Rules and not only did Cena get savagely beaten for over 20 minutes with very little offense, he ended the match by hitting Lesnar with a chain and then an Attitude Adjustment for the win. A surprise pin that literally came out of nowhere. .
9 Chris Jericho - Raw 2005
John Cena was on fire going into the the early part of 2005 and that's the year that it all started tumbling down for him with older fans. He won the WWE Championship from JBL at WrestleMania 21 and was the Number one draft pick, coming to Raw, in June. He immediately got into a feud with Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff and Chris Jericho, and started to drop his edgy rapper gimmick for the wholesome goodie two shoes gimmick he currently has. His feud with Chris Jericho culminated in August when he defeated Jericho in a "You're Fired" match. This feud is when fans started to boo Cena during live shows and we really got to see the Superman persona come through.
8 Kurt Angle - Survivor Series 2005
The match itself was very good and one of the best of the night. It was classic good guy vs bad guy and the odds were stacked against John Cena. A very vocal crowd turned on Cena with a "Cena Sucks" chant that went on for minutes, followed by a "Let's Go Angle" chant. The main turning point was midway through the match when John was in an "Angle Lock" for quite a while, the hold was broken, and John jump to his feet to confront the referee Davari (who was Angle's hand picked personal ref). John no sold the Angle Lock by standing in the middle of the ring like nothing happened.
7 Rey Mysterio - Raw 2011
2011 was the summer of Punk. Now we could do a complete article on how the WWE took one of the greatest moments of the past 20 years and squandered it, but that's an article for another time. Prior to a tournament for Punk's stripped WWE Title, Cena outwardly backed him as the legitimate champion and didn't take part in the tournament. After Mysterio won the title. he was challenged by Cena, on the same show he won the title, and John defeated the exhausted champion. Cena seemingly didn't believe in the tournament as he felt Punk was the true champion, challenged a guy who had wrestled a grueling match earlier in the night and defeated the smaller, worn out fan favorite to win a belt. If that had been anyone, but Cena they would be the biggest heel in the business.
6 Seth Rollins - Raw 2015
John Cena won back his US title the night before at Night of Champions against Seth Rollins in a very good match. Rollins got his rematch on Raw and the two put on a stellar match for the second night in a row. The end of the match saw Seth Rollins hit a frog splash and, after a count of two, Cena rolled through and powered Rollins into an Attitude Adjustment for the win. It's bad enough Cena no sold a DDT earlier in the match, but then, in a matter of seconds, Super John was able to make a move used as a finisher by the Legendary Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam look like no big deal.
5 Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania 23
There wasn't a whole lot wrong with this match. In fact, it was very well done. Had this match been original, it never would have made this list. The part that really was offensive was the finish. The finish to this match was an exact duplicate of the match John Cena had the year before with Triple H. Cena had them both in a "STFU" towards the end. Then, miraculously, they reached the ropes to break the hold and would fight for another couple minutes only to have Cena reverse a move into the STFU again causing both men to tap in the same way. The fact that all of Cena's matches followed a formula is one of the major reasons people disliked him at the start..
4 Damien Sandow - Raw 2013
In the eyes of the internet wrestling community. this match is one of the greatest travesties of all time. Damien Sandow was great in the ring and was an absolute dynamo at drawing heel heat. The fans were really getting behind him, especially when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract against an injured John Cena. Even though he was the heel at the time, the fans cheered loudly for him as he attacked John's injured arm before the match started. In true super hero fashion, Cena battled back despite only having one arm to secure the victory.
3 Royal Rumble - 2013
John Cena spent the entire year blaming his loss to the Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII as the reason his life was falling apart. Due to the obvious setup for a Cena vs Rock match up at WrestleMania 29, Cena's involvement in the Royal Rumble match made it entirely too predictable that he would win. Knowing that Cena securing the victory was a forgone conclusion, it also made the outcome of the championship match between The Rock and CM Punk predictable as well. The fans resent this win for a couple of reasons. First of all, it took momentum away from guys that would have benefited by winning the Rumble match. Second, since the WWE felt Rock vs Cena wouldn't sell without a gimmick, CM Punk lost the belt, ending a record setting run as champion.
2 The Rock - WrestleMania 29
John Cena vs The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII was an epic encounter that was billed as "Once in a Lifetime." The fans bought in and came out in droves to see the match that pitted two generational talents against each other. The problem is that a "Once in the Lifetime" encounter ended up being a lie. To make things worse, the WWE decided to derail the momentum of CM Punk by having him drop the belt to The Rock at the Royal Rumble and making this a title match. The match itself became a contest of countering finishers and it was so predictable that Cena was going to win since The Rock was a part timer and Cena needed redemption.
1 Team Cena vs The Nexus - SummerSlam 2010
The Nexus had a ton of momentum and were making the WWE must watch TV again. They were fresh and new, as a group of wrestlers we knew nothing about who were coming in as rookies and tearing through the WWE. In this match, John Cena took a spear of the apron from Edge and the boots from Jericho on the floor. He then spent time getting beaten down by the three remaining members of Nexus. Cena then took a DDT on the floor but was somehow able to beat the remaining members to become the sole survivor by making Wade Barrett Tap out less then one minute later.