It’s January 30th, 2011. CM Punk and New Nexus have dominated every competitor in the Royal Rumble. Eliminating the likes of Booker T, John Morrison, and Daniel Bryan, CM Punk’s chances of walking out as Rumble winner were off the charts.
That is until John Cena made his extraordinary presence felt.
My anger turned to an extreme showcase of markism when Cena’s entrance music glided throughout the arena. It was as if I was seeing the old John Cena. The memory of Cena’s entrance in the 2005 Rumble echoed through my thoughts:
Cena entered to an explosion of cheers and unlike today, no criticism.
Strangely enough, the first time I witnessed John Cena was during a Royal Rumble. It was 2003, and my satellite company didn’t have the UPN Channel so I missed everything on Smackdown. Cena came out rapping and talking about ruthless aggression along with impressing Vinnie Mac.
I found it extremely funny, wondering “who the hell is this guy with the big pants and weird rapping?”
Nonetheless, RVD ended Cena’s rapping shortly afterwards, and I lost interest in Cena during the match.
The next time I would witness Cena was at Backlash 2003. Everyone knew Brock Lesnar was a big deal at the time and to see this newcomer challenging him for the WWE title was certainly a breath of fresh air. From the pre match promo, I could tell Cena was indeed a formidable opponent for Brock.
He left the Champ in a pool of his own blood and mocked Lesnar’s finisher with his own fireman’s carry finisher.
Throughout the match, I was praying Lesnar would retain the Championship. However, Cena definitely took Lesnar to his limit. Lesnar was bloody, and Cena was slowly picking him apart. But not even a chain shot to the head could stop Lesnar.
Although Cena lay defeated in the ring after a devastating F-5, he left a lasting impression.
Still limited to RAW, ppv was the only place I could witness the Doctor of Thuganomics in action.
Cena delivered strong performances against The Undertaker and Kurt Angle at Vengeance and No Mercy 2003. I believed Cena to be the ultimate heel, because he was great at teasing his opponents with his rhymes and took them to the limit in the ring.
At times, I found Cena to be extremely weird.
I can’t recall the name of which WWE show it was, but I remember Cena walking around his Dad’s house, wearing women’s underwear with a banana lodged in his rectum.
Strange indeed, but I’ll never forget the moment.
I began to witness the evolution of John Cena at Survivor Series 2003. He was a face and surprisingly a part of Kurt Angles team for the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match up. Cena made it to the end and hoisted up the five hundred pound Big Show for an F-U.
The only time I’d ever seen Show manhandled this way was in his matches with Brock Lesnar. Still limited to ppv’s and RAW, I wasn’t surprised to see Cena get eliminated by Big Show. During the elimination, Cena landed awkwardly on his leg.
I missed Cena’s match at that year's WrestleMania, and the next time I saw him was the Smackdown after Eddie Guerrero lost his WWE title to John Bradshaw Layfield.
I’d finally received the UPN Channel, and I was thrilled to view anything besides Triple H winning another World Title. Cena was embroiled in a feud with GM Kurt Angle that would eventually lead to him being stripped of the U.S. title.
As the weeks passed, Angle had screwed Cena and Eddie Guerrero out of titles. When it became public that he faked his paralysis, he was fired by McMahon. Even with Angle gone, Cena had to battle the likes of Booker T to regain his title.
The two entered a best of five series which saw Cena regain his title in the end.
I was shocked to witness the upcoming events on Smackdown. Carlito Cool made his debut and laid John Cena out, setting up a U.S. Title match for later in the evening. Thanks to help from a chain, Cena was defeated by Cool.
This event shook the ground.
Never in a million years did I think Cena would lose the title so swiftly to a newcomer. The next week was no different as we found out that Cena was attacked in a bar and stabbed in his kidney. Long blamed Carlito and his new bodyguard, Jesus, for the attack.
However, Cena made his return as a member of Eddie Guerrero’s Survivor Series team, immediately chased Carlito off and given a U.S. Title match for Smackdown. Cena regained the title easily but was attacked by Carlito’s bodyguard afterwards.
Cena would destroy Jesus in a street, effectively ending his feud with Carlito.
Cena entered the 2005 Rumble as a favorite to win and dominated throughout the match up. Cena’s RAW counterpart, Batista was equally dominant. The ending saw both men fall over the top rope at the same time.
The match was immediately restarted and the Animal bested Cena for the Rumble win.
Cena would enter a tournament to determine who would face the WWE Champion at WrestleMania. Cena defeated Orlando Jordan, Booker T, and Kurt Angle to get a shot at WWE Champion, John Bradshaw Layfield at WrestleMania.
I witnessed all of JBL’s title matches and I didn’t give Cena a chance to win.
To my surprise, Cena defeated JBL and began the John Cena Era we still live in today.
The feud was far from over as the two met in a I Quit match at Judgment Day. Before this, Cena had already transformed the WWE title into the one still used today. If Cena’s match at Judgment Day proves anything it’s that he CAN wrestle.
After defeating JBL, Cena was transferred to RAW in the draft. Starting feuds with Jericho and Christian, Cena proved to be RAW’s top dog by besting both in a triple threat match. As Christian was drafted to Smackdown, Cena continued his feud with Y2J.
Cena defeated Jericho at SummerSlam and the following RAW setting up his feud with Kurt Angle.
I figured John would lose the title because Bischoff backed Angle and if Triple H’s multiple reigns prove anything, if Bischoff is on your side, you’re bound to become Champion multiple times. Cena valiantly fought off Angle and defeated him at Survivor Series to end their feud.
Cena’s next challenge was the structure known as the Elimination Chamber.
Cena proved his worth by winning once again. The Rated R Superstar shocked the World when he cashed in his MITB on Cena. Edge easily defeated John and it was amazing to see the man who had led us since WrestleMania dethroned as Champion.
Edge’s reign proved to be short-lived as Cena shocked the world by ending Edge’s reign at the Royal Rumble. That’s when plans for THE match began. John Cena vs. Triple H was obviously on its way and Cena was the underdog.
Don’t get me wrong, Cena was a monster but Triple H somehow always regained the title.
But it was not meant to be. Despite numerous promos’ about Cena’s inexperience and the rise of his new gimmick, Triple H couldn’t back up his words and tapped out to the STFU at WrestleMania.
Fast forward to ECW One Night Stand
Cena once again had incredible odds vying against him. An ECW arena, full of ECW fans, all wanting to see RVD reach the Promised Land. While Cena was moments away from retaining, Edge assured Rob Van Dam would walk out with the title.
This time was different. Despite our love for John, it was obvious that RVD was going to become WWE Champion.
Edge cost Cena the title in another match with RVD and eventually claimed the title for himself. Despite beating Cena at SummerSlam, Edge would fall to Cena at Unforgiven 2006 (literally).
Edge was F-U’d from a ladder threw two stacked up tables.
When Umaga rose up as John’s next challenger, I believed Umaga was on a rocket ship to the top and even Cena would fail to stop him. At New Year’s Revolution, Cena defeated Umaga with a come from behind roll up.
Once again, Cena had done the impossible.
After defeating Umaga once more at the Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker set their sights on his WWE Championship. We’ll never forget Cena’s face when Undertaker showed up on RAW seemingly from the depths of hell.
We thought Undertaker had made it clear that he was challenging Cena for the WWE title.
The next night’s ECW would prove otherwise.
Undertaker eventually chose Batista and Shawn Michaels became No.1 Contender. While we all love John Cena, all of us wanted HBK to have one more run with the title. From the magnificent pre-match promo to HBK’s surprising SCM on Cena a week before, this match brought a certain “feeling”.
Despite our hopes and dreams, John Cena defeated HBK with the STFU.
But the best was yet to come!
Their next match was on RAW and it’s arguably the greatest of all time. For almost an hour, Cena and HBK went at toe to toe. No titles, no big stages, it was all about determining the better man. Despite the F-U and SCM connecting multiple times, HBK finally defeated Cena after another SCM.
It was the best match in RAW history.
Ending the history lesson there, something changed after that match.
After this match, something went wrong in the Cena fan base. The WWE effectively ruptured his fan base by having him win match after match. Despite taking on the likes of Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, a five way match, and Khali, Cena would always come out on top.
Another trend was that he would get utterly dominated the whole match just too miraculously comeback and win it all.
It’s a trend that still continues to this day.
Despite this, I will always remain a proud member of the Cenation. John Cena has worked his butt off for almost eight years to get where he is. Despite what we may think, Cena does everything for the fans. He’s never abandoned his loyal followers. Even when he gets injured, he works to return as soon as possible. Cena has granted thousands of wishes for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Despite all of our criticism, he obviously values his fans over anything.
John Cena doesn’t deserve the he’s boring, he can’t wrestle, he buries guys, he’s Champion too much.
All of those statements can be disproven. I’m guessing most forget that it’s the decision of the Creative time, not his.
Whether we like it or not, John Cena is the man. He’s become a staple in WWE history and will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest Superstars to every lace up a pair of sneakers. He is the face of the WWE and will be for a long time to come.
While most may disagree, if Cena continues down this current path he will become the Greatest WWE Superstar of all time.
This is just another lesson in Thuganomics from the Doctor as I will always be a proud member of the Chain Gang and the Cenation.