Pro Wrestling

A Tale Of Three Cities: John Cena, Edge and CM Punk

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 09:  Wrestler John Cena attends 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on December 9, 2008 in New York City  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for 20th Century Fox)
Chris BrowneCorrespondent IApril 21, 2009

There is perhaps nobody more hated across the WWE for his rise to success than John Cena, hands down. John Cena's rise to fame was the direct result of the fan endorsement, and yet he regularly is criticized for excelling at the very business that called for him.

Now before I begin to look like a giant ad for Cena (I'm Chris Browne and I approved this message), I'd like to compare and contrast for the viewing audience two other superstars who's reigns rival Cena's, yet they get no backlash for their success.

I submit for the court, exhibit A: The Statistics of John Cena.

First televised debut: June 27, 2002
First Minor Title: US Championship, March 14, 2004
First Title: US Championship, March 14, 2004
First Major Title: WWE Championship, April 4, 2005

Overall Title Reigns:

WWE Championship Reigns: 3 (~8 Months, 5 Months, 13 Months)(~26 Months)
World Heavyweight Championship Reigns: 2 (~ 3 Months, Current) (~3+ Months)
World Tag Team Championship Reigns: 2 (~2 Months, 1 Week)(~2 Months, 1 Week)
United States Championship Reigns: 3 (~4 Months, 4 Days, 4 Months)(~8 Months, 4 Days)
2008 Royal Rumble Winner

Estimated time in WWE: 7 Years
Time before first championship: 2 Years
Time before first major championship: 3 Years
Total Championship Reigns: 10
Avg. reign length: 3.95 Months
Titles Per Year Avg: 1.42* (1.00)

Now, if it may appease the court: statistics of one CM Punk:

First televised debut: June 24, 2006
First Minor Title: World Tag Team Championship, October 27, 2008
First Title: ECW Championship, September 1, 2007
First Major Title: ECW Championship, September 1, 2007

Overall Title Reigns:

ECW Championship: 1 (~5 Months)
World Heavyweight Championship Reigns: 1 (~ 3 Months)
World Tag Team Championship Reigns: 1 (~2 Months)
Intercontinental Championship Reigns: 1 (~2 Months)
Money In The Bank Winner: 2 (2008, 2009)

Estimated time in WWE: 3 Years
Time before first championship: 1 Year
Time before first major championship: 1 Year
Total Championship Reigns: 4
Avg. reign length: 3 Months
Titles Per Year Avg: 1.33

Now equating a MITB win to be equal to that of a Royal Rumble win, since there is only one per year, in half the time CM Punk has almost halved Cena's title reigns. Throw in the fact that two of Cena's total reigns were 4 days and 1 week long, and that his current reign factors into the total but is less than a month old, Cena would have about 7 title reigns in 7 years, to Punk's 4 in 3 years.

Cena averages a title per year, where Punk averages 1.33 titles per year.

Now, exhibit C: statistics of Edge:

First televised debut: June 30, 1998
First Minor Title: Intercontinental Championship, July 24, 1999
First Title: Intercontinental Championship, July 24, 1999
First Major Title: WWE Championship, January 8, 2006

Overall Title Reigns:

WWE Championship: 4 (3 Weeks, 2 Months, 3 Weeks, 3 Weeks)(4.5 Months)
World Heavyweight Championship Reigns: 4 (5 Months, 3 Months, 1 Month, 2 Months)(11 Months)
World Tag Team Championship Reigns: 11  (2 Months, 3 Months, 1 Day, 8 Days, 1 Month, 1 Day*, 3 Weeks, 3 Weeks, 1.5 Months, 2 Weeks, 3 Months)(~13 Months)
WWE Tag Team Championship Reigns: 1 (2 Weeks)
United States Championship Reigns: 1 (9 Months)
Intercontinental Championship Reigns: 5  (1 Day, 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 3 Months, 2 Months)(~7 Months)
King Of The Ring: 1 (2001)
Money In The Bank Winner: 2 (2005, 2007*)

Estimated time in WWE: 11 Years
Time before first championship: 1 Year
Time before first major championship: 8 Years
Total Championship Reigns: 26
Avg. reign length: ~1.73 Months
Titles Per Year Avg.: 2.36

In addition to the impressive title reigns, Edge won 3 Major accomplishments whereas Cena has one and Punk has two.

Overall, what do these stats show us?

Cena averages the longest title reign, no doubt. Obviously the company trusts him to be able to keep fresh against more opponents than CM Punk or Edge, since both have a low average title reign.

Edge has more minor title reigns and Tag Title reigns, meaning at least throughout the Attitude Era Edge was absolutely king of the mid card. Cena had two lackluster tag title reigns, both used to hype up another major title feud. 

But as far as achieving success too fast? Only Edge can argue that he ultimately one-up's both Cena and Punk in that category.

Cena took 2 years before achieving his first championship, and 3 years before his first major championship.  CM Punk took one year to achieve both. While it took Edge 8 years to achieve his first Major Championship, it took him 1 year to get his first Minor Championship, also beating out Cena.

While Edge does have the most title reigns, the only X-Factor in the equation is the fact that Edge started the majority of his career in the Attitude Era, where belts were frequently defended. 

But all-in-all, Cena took longer to get his first championship than two of the WWE's biggest stars, and yet he gets criticized for rising to fame too fast?

The stats don't lie.

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