Love him or hate him, John Cena is the most well-known superstar of his era. With a captivating title run in 2013, he has the opportunity to lay his claim as one of the best of all-time.
The ultimate face has a mixed legacy at this point.
Among the younger demographics and women, he's unequivocally everyone's favorite star. The Hulk Hogan of the new generation, he does everything short of telling kids to say their prayers and eat their vitamins. He does all this while winning nearly every big match with the same come-from-behind formula we've seen over and over again.
Among the more hardcore fanbase, well, his character is more than just a little stale. The moves, storyline and success all seem to blend together into one uninteresting plot that has dragged on for much of his 10 years with the company. They want to see something new.
While some fans will argue that Cena is constantly at the center of the WWE universe, the fact remains that we haven't seen him as the WWE champion in over a year. With his WrestleMania 29 win over The Rock, he is now on his 11th run with the championship.
With that championship comes an extra spotlight—even for Cena.
At 35 years old, Cena has been around long enough that we can begin to see how his long-term legacy is going to take shape.
Looking at what he's done so far, there will be no questioning his popularity. He's been the face of the PG-era in WWE and is one of the most widely recognizable names among those who don't follow wrestling.
However, when it comes to securing a place among the all-time greats, it's about the moments that you create in the ring. For Cena, this title reign is another opportunity to create moments that fans will remember him for.
With a roster that provides plenty of intriguing options for him, he has the opportunity to make this one of the most memorable runs of his career.
Potential feuds with Brock Lesnar and The Rock would give fans what they want and allow Cena to expand his popularity outside of the ring as those two have.
A feud with Ryback would tease fans with the ever-elusive heel turn for Cena that will never happen while reasserting his dominance over a superstar who may be the future of the WWE.
Because of his criticized move set and less-than-imaginative booking, there will always be those who dislike Cena. Some won't recognize him as one of the greats unless he eventually turns heel.
As fun as that may be, it's not likely to happen. The WWE has too much invested in Cena as a face for him to make that turn to satisfy their older fanbase.
What Cena can do is put on entertaining feuds against some of the biggest stars in the business. As long as he makes this title reign entertaining and gives us something memorable, he'll be able to add it to his growing list of accomplishments in his storied career.