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10 Things To Love About John Cena

Release your inhibitions, feel the rain on your skin!

We're all about celebrating professional wrestling here at Cultaholic, which is why I've taken an unenviable challenge upon myself. By the end of this article, you WILL like John Cena - maybe.

I know you don't like John. I know you're in that half of the audience that chants "John Cena sucks" every single time he makes his way down to the ring. I know you're the type of person who would burn every single item of his merch like Arsenal fans do the jersey of the latest big player to leave their horrible little club - although that would involve you buying all of his merch in the first place which would be a massive waste of your weekly wage. That's not saying your weekly wage is pitiful, of course. It's just that luminous man has a hell of a lot of items for sale.

Don't get me wrong, I was in that half of the audience for a very long time. A part of my soul would die each and every time John would be decimated for long periods of a big match, only for him to come back and win the thing in the end. This is why I am who I am today. That man killed every last part of my being circa 2005-11 - not really, but I'm trying to get you invested in this article, ya dig?

So just like I did a few years ago when it comes to SuperCena, release your inhibitions, feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in, no one else, no one else, can speak the words on your lips, drench yourself in words unspoken, live your life with arms wide open, today is where your book begins - the rest is still unwritten...

10. He's Managed To Achieve So Much In Life With a Chav's Haircut


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He might try and tell you his hairstyle is inspired by the armed forces or something along those lines, but there's no question that John Cena's head wouldn't look out of place in the dark depths of Blyth, Ashington, and other surrounding chav-filled areas. The rest of his body certainly would, just to clarify.

AMERICANS! These are places close to Newcastle - my hometown - where a mystical sub-human race are obliged to wear only tracksuits, have at least seven children by the age of 18, and have an unhealthy penchant for New Monkey. Go listen to New Monkey, by the way, it's a hoot.

John Cena's short back and sides with accompanying cow's lick - I feel your pain, sir - simply should not belong on the shoulders of a man with a massive house and millions of dollars in the bank.

They say you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If this is true, then John Cena wants to throw all of the wrestling, TV presenting and movies away in favour of working night shift stacking shelves at ASDA.


9. His Dedication


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‘If you want to be the best, if you want to beat the rest, dedication’s what you need’. John Cena has it in spades. SPADES! Massive younger talent burying SPADES!

This is something we all should have been recognising long before now, but it feels like certain sections of the WWE Universe are just coming round to the notion that John Cena works really hard. I know all of our favourite WWE Superstars work really hard having to deal with a schedule that can only be described as an absolute bitch, but it just seems that Cena takes things to levels others don't.

This isn't one of those things born out of bravado or corporate image as well, the proof is in the pudding - which is a bit ironic because I don't think John will have enjoyed pudding since about 1999. He's all over the shop now doing many great things after doing many great things for WWE alone for years. Yes, his attention might be spread across many different areas of entertainment these days which means some who don't have access to the internet and only see him on WWE television are like "urgh, he's part-time now. Bet he just sits on his backside when he's not on Raw..." But the fact remains John Cena's dedication to anything he's involved with his unquestionable.

8. His Ego Doesn't Get In The Way Of A Good Show


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SHANE MCMAHON! I'M LOOKING AT YOU, SON!

If you look at the annuls of John Cena's career, there's only one glaring occasion where even he would concede that him losing a match was the best thing... for business. Yes, I'm talking about SummerSlam 2010, the night he defeated The Nexus when he simply shouldn't have.

These days, John's up for a laugh and it's because he's going through a mid-life crisis.

As a man who goes through every inch of WWE's main roster programming with a fine tooth comb, you have no idea how refreshing it is to see a big name not taking themselves as seriously as they probably should. Having to sit through endless promos and segments where the likes of Shane and Stephanie McMahon seemingly get off on belittling others and using talent worthy of the spotlight they're hogging to inflate their own egos is sickening.

Yes, I know there have been occasions down the years where John has been guilty of this himself. But I'm sat here in 2018 writing this article after witnessing a likeable John Cena put his ego to one side in order to have a great laugh and produce entertaining television in 2017 - so there.

(FYI, Not So Serious John was born all the way back in 2014 at SummerSlam, ironically.)

In terms of WWE over the past 13 years, there has been no bigger name than John Cena. In my eyes, at times, his importance to the company superseded that of Shane and Stephanie. I know they're playing different roles these days but if John Cena can set his ego to one side for the sake of a storyline, surely they should be willing to do the same thing too! Goodness knows they'd be liked a lot more within the WWE Universe if they did so.

Good on you John. More of the higher-ups in WWE should be more like John.

7. He Actually Lives Up To His Nickname


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Big Match John.

Large Bout Jonathan.

Sizeable Contest Jon.

Considerable Tie Johnty.

Mammoth Meet Jonny.

Mountainous Duel Johan.

You get the picture.

I don't mean this in terms of John Cena winning many a PREDETERMINED match when the stakes are higher than Rob Van Dam. This is in terms of his performance during these matches, which has come on tenfold over the last few years.

The origins of this point lay at the feet of Baron Corbin, and WWE's treatment of their Lone Wolf. When I see that LONE WOLF not being alone in tag team matches on SmackDown Live, I want to eat my own face. With Big Match John, he does exactly what he says on his tin shaped torso.

For years people would say that John Cena couldn't wrestle - I disagree with those people. I agree that he isn't one of the GOATs in terms of what he's been able to produce from bell-to-bell down the years, but to say he can't wrestle is nothing short of ignorant.

John Cena is unconventional, and has been since he first stepped into a WWE ring way back in 2002 - that's all there is to it.

Thankfully, those chants of "you can't wrestle" have died down thanks to the stellar matches Cena has had with the likes of CM Punk, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles in recent times. Those naysayers have realised that John Cena can actually wrestle, just not in the way the wrestling handbook - if one of those things actually exists - tells you he should.


6. The Chains Are Off


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Sorry, Curtis Axel. This isn't about you - it's never about you, pal.

I'm not sure what it is about John in recent times, but I feel that his part-time status in WWE, coupled with the fact he isn't as important as he once was, has made him way more likeable. I know he's still, by far and away, the biggest male star WWE can call upon these days and is still relied upon for a lot, but the pressure appears to be off. He appears to be way more relaxed these days and I love it, Maggle.

John Cena is middle-aged and enjoying his stuff in WWE - it's as transparent as the patch of hair on top of his head. Gone are the days when it was ALL about the posing and the merch and the posing and the winning and the merch and the winning and the posing and all of the merch. Today, John comes back in when he seemingly wants, does some business that he's comfortable with, and then goes away again to spread not only his but WWE's wings into wider markets.

Just look at the savagery John unleashed upon Roman Reigns last summer. It was both horrible and brilliant to watch in equal measure. THE BIG DOG had his commander pants pulled down in front of the world by a performer who is still streets ahead of him - and my goodness, did John let him know of that in no uncertain terms or what?

Cena is going through a mid-life crisis, it pains me to say it but it's true. Instead of buying a convertible and a leather jacket, however, he's just being more relaxed at work at not taking himself so seriously. Two major feuds of his in 2017 told us that - if you're going to sit there and tell me you didn't enjoy John's rivalries with Miz, Maryse and latterly THE BIG DOG then please, close the door on the way out. 2009 John, for example, wouldn't have been capable of pulling those stories off because those stories wouldn't have been allowed to go to the places they went.

More of this John, please. This John is great.

5. He Openly Lies To Fans Who Unconditionally Adore Him


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I don't know about you but I love a bastard. I love an unassuming, underhanded rapscallion who gets away with things he shouldn't simply because they drive... a JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG. I'm sorry if you're not a fan of Top Gear/The Grand Tour and didn't get that reference.

I'm sorry, but you simply can't tell people you're going to be out for X months, and then return after half of that time as much as John Cena has throughout his career without telling lies to make yourself seem better than you actually are. John has done exactly that and has gotten away with it which is admirable.

Ironically, this has made certain sections of the WWE Universe hate Cena even more than they already did. Those lambasting SuperCena should be lording him, IMHO. He's been pulling the wool over the eyes of sheep all over the world for years and has continued to get away with it. He's been working the marks harder than anyone in history. He's a God among men.

YOU'RE ALL DUMB SHEEP!

4. He's A Wizard


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I love John Cena because he is a wizard. I'd like you to think about this point completely in terms of the kayfabe and riddle me this: how can one man use the same five moves in the same order for around 15 years and still catch his opponents off guard?

The answer is magic. Simples.

Every single time, sometimes more than once during a match, we see a ducked Clothesline, Cena hitting the ropes, one flying shoulder tackle, Cena hitting the opposite ropes, a second flying shoulder tackle, both men getting to their feet, Cena ducking a standing Lariat, that funny side suplex thing, the pose for the Five Knuckle Shuffle HAHA MASTURBATION IS FUNNY before the FKS is deposited right on the face of John's opponent. Hang on...

HOW DOES IT KEEP ON HAPPENING?! WHY ISN'T ANY SUPERSTAR ABLE TO RESIST THE LURE OF THOSE MISSED CLOTHESLINES?! DO THEY NOT HAVE THE WWE NETWORK TO STUDY?!


3. The Doctor Of Thuganomics


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No matter what happens from here on out, we'll always have John Cena, the Doctor of Thuganomics, to cherish forever.

I love this gimmick because Cena was a natural in the role - much like Elias is in his today. Fans often criticise Cena's current schtick of having no real ties to his actual self - WWE Superstars are supposed to be at their best when they're themselves turned up to 11, after all. The dog tags and the salute at the top of the ramp aren't really related to John Felix Anthony Cena in any way, but the good doctor was, in spades.

John loved hip-hop growing up, his first records were Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill and Fat Boys’ Crushin‘. WWE provided him with generic entrance music at the start of his DOT run and he said he could do better, and did. He wanted to release an album with WWE's permission and did. There's so much to like here before you even consider how entertaining the gimmick was.

This is the gimmick that brought John Cena to the dance, if you will. It's staggering to go back and watch WrestleMania XX, the night he won his first WWE Championship (the US Title), and listen to the reception the MSG crowd gave him. He was over as rover, as they say in the trade, with all audiences and not just the kids.

2. He's Making Wrestling Cool Again


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WE'RE ALL GOING TO BE HIPSTERS! GET IN THERE!

You know how 'the hipsters' have that annoying nack of knowing about things just before they become cool? Well, thanks to the likes of John Cena and The Rock we might just be on the brink of becoming hipsters ourselves.

Thanks to these people making their name inside the squared circle before taking their name and shoving it down the throats of more mainstream audiences, the basement dwelling cringe bags known as 'us' are moving up the food chain.

We knew about John Cena before everyone else did. We knew about The Rock before he became the biggest movie star in the world today. We knew these people were great before the rest of the world did and just like the hipsters before us, we should shove that down non-wrestling fans' throats forever more.

Hopefully, John's work for the likes of the Today Show has a knock on effect. Hopefully, people think to themselves 'hey, he's a swell guy. Let's check out that world wrestling fed' and the graps becomes the mainstream behemoth it once was. If it does, we can become hipsters all over again by saying we were on board with the graps before the graps was cool.

Am I giving hipsters too much credit here? All I know is they do my head in, so to be one to other people would be just... too... sweet.

1. He's A Bloody Lovely Bloke





I know every single WWE Superstar does these Make-A-Wish-type things, and the coverage of John Cena's is unfairly proportioned compared to his counterparts on WWE's roster - but videos like the one above just nail you right in the gut, don't they?

Not only does John do so much charitable work, but it appears he's a bloody lovely man behind the scenes too. You never hear any Superstar - apart from Ryback but he'd speak badly of a slice of bread of it meant his name staying slightly relevant - speaking bad of John. It's really rare that somebody who has been at the top of the game for so long hasn't created enemies aplenty down the years. Presumably, John could have been an absolute d*ck to his colleagues because he's John Cena. That fact he hasn't for the large part is certainly admirable indeed.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Presenter over on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]