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Why everybody hates John Cena.

Updated on October 12, 2014
Sometimes you just wanna adjust this dude's attitude.
Sometimes you just wanna adjust this dude's attitude.

You know the moment...

There's a buzz rushing through the crowd.
The lights are dimmed, everyone in the arena is on their feet, and the suspense is building...
What song is going to play?
Who is going to strut out of the tunnel to perform for the WWE universe?
And then...
The saxophone starts playing, there's a flash of green on the titan-tron, and the word "avenue" is blared over the speakers.
John Cena bursts out of the tunnel! Parents grin as their children jump up and down for joy, the McMahon family chuckles as merchandising sales skyrocket, and...
Everybody else groans.
Chants of "Let's go Cena" are washed out by roars of "Cena Sucks".
But why?
Why is it that people don't like John Cena?

"Well, you know how wrestling is... Is he a bad guy?"
Nope. In fact, in fact he's probably been the WWE's biggest "face" of the last 10 years.

"Well then is he a bad guy in real life?"
You never know with celebrities, but considering that Cena currently has granted more wishes for the amazing Make-A-Wish Foundation than anybody else ever, he's probably high on Santa's nice list.

"Is he a bad sports entertainer?"
Nope. If he were, then he wouldn't be well on his way to breaking Ric Flair's record of 16 world championships.

So then what is it?
Why is that the majority of the WWE Universe has it out for this guy?

Always the Main Event.

Does it feel like John Cena is always in the Main Event of Pay Per Views?
It seems like it doesn't matter if it's Wrestlemania season or Summer Slam, it always seems like Cena is always in the last match of the night.
Well... That's because he almost always is.

And sometimes, that's okay.
I mean, he's been the champ 15 times, he absolutely deserves to be in the main event.
Brock vs Cena?
Wow. That sells itself.
But... Hold on.

If that logic applies, then when he's not the champ, he should be okay with playing second fiddle, right?

That's where you're wrong.
See, John Cena has appeared in the Main Event in 37 out of the last 59 PPV's.
PHEW!
What about, oh, I don't know Survivor Series 2011 through the Royal Rumble 2013?
That seems like a solid 434 day sample.
During that time, John Cena was involved in 10 of 15 main events.
He headlined Survivor Series, the Elimination Chamber, Wrestlemania 28, Extreme Rules, No Way Out, Over the Limit, Money in the Bank, Night of Champions, Survivor Series, and TLC.

Now, since those all happened in a little over a year, obviously, he was the WWE Champion, right?
Nope.
In fact, as I'm sure you realized when I brought up the number, a certain straight-edge superstar was WWE champ for that entire time period.
He was in the Main Event of 14 Pay Per Views... over the course of his entire career.
During his historic championship reign, CM Punk was in 3 main events... and he shared 2 of those with Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Disrespect.

Naturally Cena was fighting in iconic matches though, right?
I mean the WWE is a business and you've gotta put the biggest match in the Main Event right?
Okay, when it comes to Cena vs Rock Pt. 1, even the most bias Smark has to admit it belonged in the Main Event.
But what about the other ones?
Was Rock and Cena vs Miz and R-Truth really more important than Punk becoming WWE Champion?
What about Cena vs. Kane? The feud that PWI called "the worst feud of the year".
Who could forget John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis? That was much better than Ring of Honor legends Daniel Bryan and CM Punk going at it.
And Cena getting revenge on the Big Show was much more important than the triple threat WWE Championship match between Punk, Bryan, and Kane.

"Why are you so mad about it?"
Firstly, it's not just me... Trust me.
Secondly, it's funny you mention that because...

Super-Cena is Super-Stale.

Stop me if you've heard this one before.
The match starts off, and Cena is red hot.
He gets a clothes line in, he's throwing a few punches, and somehow, he ends up on his back. The other guy starts really beating the hell out of Cena and common sense says the match is over.
Heck, the other guy might even get a finisher or two in!
But as always, good ol' Cena will kick out at two.
And then, off an irish whip into the ropes, they follow this script.
Shoulder block, shoulder block, side slam, the ridiculous five knuckle shuffle, and then the STF... I mean, the Attitude Adjustment.
Hey... You were supposed to stop me.

Look, I get the idea.
I really do.
You put him in a dangerous situation against seemingly insurmountable odds, and then somehow he overcomes adversity and saves the day.
He's Superman!
Yeah! The kids love Superman!

But here's the thing.
There's a reason that Superman movies typically flop while Batman movies soar.
You just can't relate to a guy who can't lose.
Where's the danger or excitement?
If I know that Clark Kent is going to land the lamest finisher in the WWE and win the match at some point, I might as well rewind and watch the Shield guys duke it out again. Even at Summer Slam, when Brock was beating the German hell out of Cena, I kept waiting for him to turn it around and win the damn title somehow.
The worst part?
Even on the rare occasion that he does lose... It's almost never clean.
Seth Rollins attacked at Night of Champions, Randy Orton busted out the handcuffs at TLC, the Shield attacked at Survivor Series, the Big Show attacked at Over the Limit, hell, even at Money in the Bank against CM Punk, he was distracted by Vince McMahon.
Daniel Bryan at Summer Slam and Brock Lesnar at Summer Slam are the only matches I can think of that the creative team just let the damn guy get beat fair and square.

The definition of Monotony is "a lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine."
Monotony Cena.
Jonotonena?
I don't know.
You get it.

Speaking of which...
And I don't mean to be your typical Smark here...
But we're two or three years away from Roman Reigns becoming the new John Cena. It's a ridiculous thought at first.
Until you realize that Reigns hasn't lost clean since he was a heel, he busts out the Superman Punch (should've been a red flag) and the Spear a little too often, and he isn't going to light the internet on fire with a promo any time soon...


The Opposite of Attitude.

Skip to @10:47... Or enjoy 10 minutes of Punk vs. McMahon

Tough Guy Cena

The Most Realistic Cartoon...

I was going to just slip this section in with the last but...
I had to clarify.

Let me break down John Cena's character.
"I'm a silly, kid-friendly goofball, who's going to come out and be goofy and make poop jokes about my opponents"
"I'm very serious, and nothing means more to me than Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect. I have been the same ever since I got here and nothing is ever going to change that because I love my fans"
And, my personal favorite, "I'm angry, and I'm going to kick your butt and I might even tease my heel persona!"

I'm serious, I'll find a promo that fits each of those and put them on the side.
See them?
Great! Now you have everything you'll need to recreate John Cena's PG WWE.
Yup.
That's it. There's literally nothing more to his character than that.

Of course, this is done intentionally.
Cena is the Children's Champion.
He's silly, he always triumphs over evil, and he never does anything wrong.
He's a great role model.

But honestly, this John Cena would fit in a lot better on Saturday morning than on Monday night.
He's a watered down Hulk Hogan who is struggling to carry the torch that he took from the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock.
Hell, he's a far cry from one of his first rivals, Edge.
Don't get me wrong, he's carried the company well.
There was not and there will never be a better guy to wave the PG WWE flag for the low, low price of 9.99.
But in the process of becoming more kid-friendly, they have alienated the 18-35 year old demographic that made them so successful during the "Monday Night Wars".
Now adult fans cling to rare appearances by 90's stars and the occasional unicorn like CM Punk or Dean Ambrose who capture that "attitude" that is so sorely missed.
The worst thing about John Cena is that they just refuse to turn him Heel.
Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, HBK, Triple H, and anyone else you can possibly consider one of the best ever did solid time as a Heel.
The closest thing to a heel you get out of Cena is a wannabe K-Fed, and you need to dig deep into the YouTube archives for that one.

Look, John Cena isn't who I want the face of the company to be, but he is exactly who Vince McMahon wants representing his company, and just because I believe my opinion is right, that doesn't necessarily mean it is.
I can't harbor any resentment for John Cena because I'd rather have somebody edgier in the spotlight, that's like me saying I resent the Seahawks because I want my Raiders to be in the Super Bowl.

Let me tell you why John Cena is not "best for business".

Master of the Shovel.

John Cena buries talent.
Yeah, you heard me.
"Well what about those guys you mentioned earlier? What about CM Punk? Daniel Bryan? Brock Lesnar?!"
You're absolutely right.
John Cena did drop the title to those guys.
But I don't think he had much to do with it.
Punk getting to win the title at Money in the Bank was a clause in his very, verrrrrrrry lucrative contract.
Cena was hurt before his match with Bryan at Summer Slam... Unless you believe he lost the title and got hurt conveniently over the course of 24 hours...
And Brock...
Brock was going to win the title at Summer Slam before the Authority even knew that John Cena would be holding it.
Whaaaa?
Yeaaaah! Unless you believe that Brock was going to end the Undertaker's streak and then lose a title in his first match back...
Originally, they assumed that Daniel Bryan was still going to be around and WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It didn't work that way so championship #15 went to Cena because they knew Ol' Reliable could handle it.
Those three were lucky...
There have been many who got some momentum... Who got some heat...
And then Cena extinguished it.

Don't think so?
Allow me to list a few names.

The Wyatt Family.
Don't think this is true?
Think back to how hot the Wyatts were before they went after Cena.
Everyone in the crowd sang along to "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", the crowd marked out every time that they interrupted a match. Remember how good those Shield vs. Wyatt matches were?
So... Naturally... Cena should've come out, acted intimidated by the Wyatts, given his "I'll never give up" speech and lost a close match to Bray, right?
Yeahhhh no.
That's not what happened.
Instead, John Came out and cut them down. Belittled them.
Completely neutered one of the most intriguing factions in the WWE.
If you don't believe me, just watch the attached video.
Then! As if the promos weren't bad enough, he went on to beat them at Wrestlemania 30 and Payback.
Did the Wyatts ever recover?
I don't know, tell it to the IC Champion Bray Wyatt and his Tag-Team partner pals.
Hmm? They never got those rumored pushes?
What's that? Cena beat the Wyatts by himself on the Raw after Summer Slam?
Huh...

Zack Ryder.
But Ryan! He didn't even fight against Cena!
No... That might have been better.
Remember the push Ryder got in late 2011?
He got over organically and the WWE rewarded him with the US title.
Then what happened?
He was put in a storyline with Cena, where he became bait for Kane, had his girlfriend cheat on him, and was made to look like a wuss in a wheelchair, while the president of the Cenation would resist the terrible urges to embrace hate and look tough versus Hell's favorite demon.
That's not a burial?
Tell me about all the title shots he's had.
How about wins?
How about merchandise on the WWE website.
Go look. I'll wait...

Ryback.
This might be the worst offense on here.
Do you remember the roll that Ryback was on in 2012 and very early 2013?
He was in half of Punk's championship main events, and even then, he was protected by the Shield's interference and a dirty ref, and he was just Goldberg-ing his way through the WWE roster.
He was a monster face, and the "Feed Me More" chants were way over with the WWE universe.
Dominant guy.
Over.
Stagnant World Heavyweight Championship picture.
YES!
YES!
YES!
NO!
Cena needed to face the Rock!
Because CM Punk versus the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar versus Triple H weren't good enough to be the main event!
It's not like he had to beat CM Punk to qualify in a number one contenders match anyway!
Nope.
When it came down to Ryback versus Cena at the end of the 2012 Royal Rumble, Cena had to come out on top.
He went on to beat an injured Dwayne Johnson at Mania, and Ryback went on to...
Uh...
Is Rybaxel still a thing?

The Nexus.
Does anybody else ever look at what the Shield became and think that the Nexus could've been that?
It seems like a stretch now, but when you look at all the talent the Nexus had when they were tearing through the WWE... It's scary to think of what they could have become.
Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, Justin Gabriel, Curtis Axel, David Otunga, and Heath Slater were all part of one of the more dominant factions in recent memory.
They tore through the WWE, much like the Shield did...
Until Cena decided that getting DDT'd onto the concrete by Wade Barrett wasn't worth selling and he was capable of wiping them out by himself.
Now, Barrett and Bryan are over, Bray has been repackaged, and the rest of those extremely talented wrestlers are either in NXT or have become jobbers.

Alberto Del Rio.
I'm not saying that John Cena is the reason that Del Rio got fired.
That was all on Del Rio and some chump backstage.
But John Cena was the driving force behind pushing Del Rio back to the midcard.
Remember when Del Rio seemed to always be the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship during 2012 and 2013?
If he wasn't beating up Sheamus or Randy Orton, he was lurking somewhere in the background.
But then...
Late in 2013...
Cena returned and was inexplicably rewarded with a championship match for a title he hadn't held since 2009, which of course, he won.
He went on to drop the belt to Randy Orton in the unification match at TLC, and re-gain it at Money in the Bank. Yawn-Sammich.
Meanwhile, what happened to Del Rio?
He became a Heel jobber and the closest he ever got to another title chance of any kind was being the odd man out in the Money in the Bank ladder match.

The Fans.
For the most part, the creative team just kinda throw Cena wherever they have heat.
CM Punk vs John Laurinaitis had heat for months before Cena was plugged in and finished the era of "People Power".
Daniel Bryan vs the Authority was the best storyline of 2013 and it just kept getting better at Mania... until John Cena became the main face to fill for Bryan's injury.
And now... I fear he may strike again.
So far, the break-up of the Shield has been a highlight.
Ambrose versus Rollins was and still is an incredible match-up, and they've handled it perfectly.
Every time Ambrose gets close to exacting his revenge, Rollins slips away.
But...
Now "Cena has decided" that "Rollins costing him his title" is more important than "Rollins attempting to take Ambrose's life"
That's a real quote.
The winner of the Ambrose vs. Cena fight at Hell in a Cell gets a cage match with Seth Rollins in the main event.
While karma and common sense say that a cell-match would be a perfect way to complete an amazing rivalry between Ambrose and Rollins, seeing as that would give him two huge wins and propel him into any direction that the WWE want, odds are they'll let Cena cut in so he can grab another main event on the way to another match with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.
Does it matter that a loss would seriously hamper Amrose and neglect all the love that the WWE universe is giving him while a loss wouldn't affect Cena at all?
Not to Triple H.
Not to Vince McMahon.
And not to John Cena.
After all, they don't care about what the fans want, only what's "best for business".

And here's the bottom line...

None of this is John Cena's fault.
Is the Superman act stale?
YES!
Is he in too many Main Events?
YES!
Does the WWE make protecting him more important than nursing younger talent?
YES!
Is his whole character stale?
YES!

But beyond all of that, none of it is his fault.
I have never once read a negative article about who Cena is as a person.
He does an incredible amount of work for various charities and is great with his fans.
You could argue that CM Punk was the perfect champion for wrestling fans.
He had face turns and heel turns, was a great wrestler, was amazing on the microphone, and had no problem putting people over.
But when the business got too hard for him, he quit. He walked out on all of his fans and never looked back. When the WWE tried to put him in WWE2k15, he sued them.
A little money is more important to him than his fans or the business.
John Cena would never do that. He's never even teased doing that.
He's not the best wrestler on the roster, and most of his fans swim in kiddie pools deeper than his character, but at the end of the day, he plays that character well enough that he'll retire with more world championships than I have digits.

This article was all about why people hate John Cena, but what I've written here will hopefully convince you that you shouldn't.

Also, Go Ambrose.

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