Let me preface this by putting it the way I think it should be asked (I had to rework the title to fit.) The actual question is, "Does John Cena have a legit claim to the title of greatest WWE Superstar in the history of the company?"
I know for a lot of people, the mere thought that John Cena is great at anything is enough to make them reach for their torches and pitchforks and hunt him down, as if he were a slightly smaller Shrek. But for those who look at things from a reasonable standpoint, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Personally, I feel that he does indeed have a legit claim to title (weather or not I think he is is a story for another day). Now, WWE has had a lot of great superstars come through, and many have left a lasting impact on the show we know and love today. The truth is, I think plenty of superstars have a legit claim to the crown of greatest WWE Superstar ever.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Ric Flair, The Rock, (Hollywood) Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Micheals, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane, Edge, Randy Savage, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and Triple H are just a some of the greats that have set foot in the WWE. They've entertained, inspired and made many of us fans of wrestling today. As blasphemous as it may be, I think John Cena has earned his place among these men, many of them current or future Hall of Famers.
This isn't me just singing the praises of one of my favorite wrestlers; it's a serious, thought-filled query that has bugged me for awhile now. However, after a lot of thought, I found it a fair comparison to bring Cena up against some of the names in wrestling history.
With that out of the way, hopefully you'll allow me to defend myself while lowering the torches and pitchforks. A lot goes into making it into the upper echelon of professional wrestling, and few have done it in the WWE. They've been faces of their era, consistent performers, heroic underdogs and everything else you could imagine.
Cena has been many of these. He's put on some great matches, he's gone against the odds (weather created by the WWE or in our own minds) and he's the face of the WWE. John sits atop the WWE right now as its franchise player—even the haters have to admit that.
Oddly enough, Cena wasn't meant to be the man, and that is perhaps one of the most interesting things about him. Many speculate that it was Brock "The Next Big Thing" Lesnar that would usher the WWE into its new era. But after receiving a huge push, Lesnar decided he'd rather be in the UFC, thus dropping the ball for Cena to pick up.
Cena has since made the WWE his top priority. He's done radio, he's done television, he's done movies, he's granted more wishes than anyone in the history of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He's a hero to children around the world, and an overall great role model if I do say so myself. He's one of the most well-known wrestlers today.
Here we are in the year 2012. John Cena, as of September 10th, 2012, has won four Slammy Awards (two of which were for Superstar of the Year,) has won the Royal Rumble, was Mr.Money in The Bank (2012), is a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion, two-time World Tag Team Champion, three-time U.S. Champion, two-time World Heavyweight Champion and a record-breaking 10-time WWE Champion.
Along with that, various media outlets have given John Cena honors: "Most Charismatic," "Match of the Year" participant, "Feud of the Year" participant and "Best Box Office Draw," just to name a few.
Cena has been maligned for years, but I think at the end of the day, Cena will be remembered as one of the greatest WWE Superstars ever. That's my argument. I have to ask, though: Does John Cena have a claim to the title of greatest WWE Superstar ever?