And his name is John Cena!
If you’ve caught the good ol’ internet memes and vines, you’ll see how countless folks have made WWE Superstar John Cena a legend both inside and outside of the ring. It makes me wonder why anyone could despise the guy, really.
Even though some people got bored and found his character outdated prior to his shoulder injury which sidelined him for months, Cena still remains the biggest name on the WWE roster and it’s going to stay that way until he retires. Whenever that happens, WWE will be faced with a massive hole to replace.
After the WWE transitioned to The Ruthless Aggression and PG Eras, the company needed somebody who could keep the fans of The Attitude Era interested. Cena has answered the bell and the WWE would see all-time highs in revenue, Pay-Per-View buys, and attendance.
For reasons like this, the WWE Universe and old-timer fans especially need to respect what Cena has done for the company, rather than hate on him. Sure, it’s been the same old gimmick that hasn’t been any different since he won his first WWE Championship in 2005. But if you look beyond that, you’ll see just how important he is to the wrestling industry.
Cena is soon to be 39-years-old and has been sidelined with multiple injuries. We can only hope that he feels he has more than enough left to go on another long-term run as a major Superstar.
If he doesn’t, then you’ll realize how much you miss him. Here are 15 reasons why you need to stop hating on Cena.
15. The Mic Skills
I know wrestling fans from The Attitude Era may cringe at this, but John Cena put himself on the level of The Rock with his hardcore trash-talking skills on the mic and his way of energizing the crowd.
Just how good was he? Leading up to his two WrestleMania showdowns with The Rock, both men simply improvised a large amount of their lines during their segments with one another. That’s how gifted they were. If you hate Cena, you can’t deny how awesome he is when he gets a mic in his hand and starts talking.
Meanwhile, a guy who is supposed to be Cena’s successor at the top of the card doesn’t have mic skills. His name rhymes with Loman Leigns.
14. His Hard Work
In past segments, John Cena always accuses Superstars of doing it for money and fame and he does it because he loves it. Sure, it’s scripted and he’s supposed to say what the writers tell him to, but it’s also true that he does it for the passion of the industry.
Cena appeared at this year’s WrestleMania even though there was supposedly no hope of him getting there. He’s had a few major injuries in his career, but he’s always beaten the timetable doctors have given him to return. That’s hard work, folks. He doesn’t decide to sit back and collect paychecks, but opts to work as hard as he can to get back into it as soon as possible.
13. His Overall Talents
John Cena has already accomplished all you can ask for as a wrestler: He’s won major championship belt many times, he’s appealed to the crowd like crazy, and has scored major revenue for the company with merchandise sales.
If he were to retire today, there’d be nothing about his legacy that was damaged. He’s already wrestled a handful of matches that will go down as some of the best of all time. There’s nothing lacking in his career (except an epic heel run), as most Superstars aren’t the complete package like him.
John Cena could have jumped for TNA to make a lot of cash but wrestle far less shows, but that thought has never seemed to cross his mind. He could have been tempted to jump for Hollywood, seeing how The Rock and Batista have fared.
And again, we mention how hard he fights to be in the ring when he’s sidelined with injuries. He’s shown more than enough times how much he wants it. That’s more than admirable.
11. The Merchandise
Say what you want about his sayings and phrases, but truth be told, every time John Cena brings out a new hat, shirt, or piece of attire, it’s instantly a must-have for fans and is always a huge success.
Though his merchandise sales have taken a bit of a hit in the past year because of his injury and the rise of other stars, nobody has been at the top of the charts for a decade like Cena. Even though I rooted against him for years, I bought his spinner pennant because the time is now. I’ll always be part of Cenation, one way or another.
10. In-Ring Ability
Don’t get me wrong, we all love ourselves The Undertaker, but at this point, he doesn’t have anything more to offer in the ring. Such is life when you’re in your 50s and have been wrestling for nearly 30 years.
Roman Reigns is almost an knock-off of Edge sans mic skills: The screams, incredible speed, and of course The Spear.
But Cena’s just something else in the ring when he wrestles. His acrobatic, speedy yet strong (Brock Lesnar-like) style of wrestling has been one of the most entertaining to watch. The Five Knuckle Shuffle and AA may have grown a little stale, but they’re still somewhat sellable.
9. The Matches
Before Brock Lesnar left WWE the first time, John Cena made a name for himself as a heel who feuded with him for the WWE Championship. It wouldn’t be long after where Cena would have a nice, long run as the United States Champion, paving the path for future mid-card stars to come in.
Cena also embarked on a memorable feud with JBL when he finally ended the loud-mouthed cowboy’s lengthy WWE title run. Ever since, Cena has fought with some of the most memorable stars of his time: Triple H, Randy Orton, Big Show, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Edge, and of course The Rock.
It’s up for debate which match of his was the best, but his first showdown with The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII is the one we would talk about for years. Yet, that was only one of the countless iconic matches he put on.
Alright, so John Cena hasn’t wrestled for 25-plus years like The Undertaker (yet), but he’s already done a lot and accomplished plenty. Actually, he has been around longer than some might know.
Cena made his debut in 2000 in a dark match on SmackDown. He’s been going strong for nearly two decades, and when all is said and done, he’ll probably have had well over 20 years of wrestling supremacy. Look out, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Someone else may have stolen your spotlights while your hair was turning white.
7. Appeals to the Kids
In today’s era that lacks the full-time appearances of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, and other stars, the kids born in the 2000s and 2010s need to be entertained if they’re going to be the next generation of life-long WWE fans.
John Cena has answered the call. There’s no doubt that what he does as a performer has made him iconic to kids. Who else remembers the cameras showing all of those devastated children when Sheamus beat Cena at TLC in 2009 to become the new WWE Champion?
The kids love Cena. He’s a hero, champion, and icon to them. Given how we’re in a very kid-friendly PG Era, Cena’s been able to reach out and appeal to his youngest fans. That’s why kids need to always remember: Hustle. Loyalty. Respect.
6. He’s Actually Entertaining
I just can’t emphasize enough how poor many of the new faces in the past have been when it comes to energizing the crowd and getting them really into it. Sorry Roman Reigns fans, but his “Empire” is falling apart.
Among other faces, Dolph Ziggler only brings half of the energy to fans that Cena has done. Ditto for Dean Ambrose. The Usos aren’t anywhere close to that. Neither is Zack Ryder and we’ll give A.J. Styles more time.
That’s because these characters just aren’t as charismatic and, well, cool like Cena. It takes a lot of time and practice to perfect what Cena has done, but none of these other good-guy wrestlers have come anywhere close to being like him.
5. He Can Actually Play Face
I’m sorry I have to keep bringing this up, but why is Roman Reigns even the new face when the crowd has booed him heavily since last year’s Royal Rumble?
WWE has a problem in replacing John Cena and it’s been a major disaster. Again, there’s plenty of talent in the company, but most of the faces aren’t electrifying the fans like Cena. Go back and see how crazy it is any time Cena makes an entrance, compared to the others.
Maybe Vince McMahon and co. have learned the hard way that there’s no way of replacing Cena: If you try it too soon, the crowd will turn on his successor, like they did with Reigns.
4. He’s Not Selfish
We all know about how selfish Hulk Hogan was backstage and he basically killed WCW because of it. He couldn’t lose to Jeff Jarrett. He couldn’t lose to Shawn Michaels in WWE which gave us an embarrassing SummerSlam 2005 match between the two.
Some wrestlers just have to win every time, with the exception of a few other big-named stars. But what does Cena do? He had no problem last year going on a United States Championship run with mid-card wrestlers. Though he won those matches, they served as a stepping stone for many Superstars.
He does what’s best for business and what they ask of him. He doesn’t use his ego to ruin matches and stipulations. Sorry Hulkster, but you did this too many times (though other stars did the same).
3. Writes His Own Theme Song
You can laugh out loud while I type this, but again, this actually shows how hard John Cena works in the WWE! I am not kidding.
The man has put together his own theme and few songs are better than his “The Time is Now” theme, and yes I even had the DJ at my Grade 12 boat cruise grad event play it. Again, I’m not kidding.
While not the only Superstars to perform his own theme music (Shawn Michaels), Cena’s entrance, with his own voice in the background, always elicits emotions (including a crowd sing-along).
2. Crowd Appeal
So I’ve touched base on how well John Vena appeals to kids, how his merchandise sales are always among the top, and how the crowd loves him and goes bonkers to see him. But we need to summarize all of this one more time.
Hulk Hogan was the biggest star of the ’80s because of how he appealed to the crowd. The Rock, Steve Austin, and others followed suit. You just need to watch anything Cena has done to realize how he’s put himself above the rest.
If Cena wasn’t a big deal to the WWE Universe, where would the company be? Well, at the pace we’ve seen with the new faces, it probably wouldn’t have been pretty. Cena’s been best for the company, plain and simple.
1. Legendary Status
So after the last 14 points, we come to this.
John Cena has won 15 World Championships, five United States Championships, two Royal Rumbles, 10 Slammy Awards, and has twice been named Wrestler of the Year.
His championships and accomplishments back up how successful he’s been. Once again, what has he not done for the company? Huge fan following? Check. Titles? Check. Entertaining performer and hard worker? Check. Lovable outside the ring? Check. Great status? Check.
Cena is a legend and has already made a case for himself as the best ever. Instead of complaining about him, we all need to take a moment or two and actually be thrilled for what he’s done in the WWE.
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