For the Culture: John Cena

Celebrating John Cena's 20-year anniversary in the WWE

(Courtesy of the WWE)

By: Mihir Kore


For the past 20 years, the wrestling industry has seen some of the biggest names come and go such as Batista, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Triple H and The Undertaker. So many make their impact and entertain the fans with their presence. But one man has always made sure to leave the crowd wanting more and his entrance alone leaves many speechless, when those trumpets hit and he walks out you know you are in for a ride. He is one of the most hardworking and charismatic human beings on earth, and he is none other than the 16-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) World Champion; John Cena.


John Cena is one of the most famous wrestlers in history,alongside the likes of The Rock, Triple H and Randy Orton. He is the wrestler with the most wins in WWE history. Since he made his debut on the June 27, 2002, the industry has not been the same. Over the last 20 years, John Cena has cemented his name as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time.


Cena had a fast rise to the top and won his first World Championship in 2005, he remained at the top for a few years until suffering a torn pectoral muscle in late 2007. He was projected to be out around a year, but he returned after just three months, in January 2008, to win his first Royal Rumble from the number 30 spot. He then remained atop the company for the following years, and at Wrestlemania 28 he had possibly the biggest match of his career against The Rock. This was the highest-grossing Pay-Per-View event in WWE history.


Before his rise to fame and becoming the icon he is now, he had a really rough time in the industry as although his debut match with Kurt Angle gave him recognition, his character was one which did not stand out with the crowd and Cena was on the verge of being fired in his early days. He then came up with a very unique gimmick of a rapper where he would make fun of other wrestlers and that really struck out with the crowd and he soon got a push, leading to his first WWE Championship title wins in, 2005 at Wrestlemania 21 and from there the rest is history.


11 years later, he had one of his best feuds with AJ Styles, which led to a series of entertaining matches between the two over the years. AJ Styles at that time was well liked with the WWE crowd, it had been just a year since he came to WWE from New Japan Pro-Wrestling and his feud with Cena made him that much more popular amongst the masses. Their rivalry ended after a World Championship match in 2017 at the Royal Rumble where both of them had an all time classic, which resulted in Cena winning his record breaking 16th World Championship title tying the record of legendary superstar Ric Flair.


Although this title run was not the longest it was still iconic and historic which just added to John Cena’s list of never ending achievements in the industry.


2010 was the year I was introduced to wrestling and for a while I did not care who was winning or losing I just saw it for the action. This soon changed when I saw John Cena on an episode of RAW and he instantly became my favourite.


Watching him win, lose or just be there on the television would make me forget about the world and just embrace his talent and skill. As I grew up, his message “Never Give Up” really helped me get through an ample amount of personal issues and made me feel like no matter what there is always a reason to keep fighting and in the end everything will be fine. John Cena was always more than just a wrestler, he is a man who cares for the people, having completed more than 650 Make A Wishes; inspiring people to never give up, to keep fighting.


Every match of his is special and now more than ever, people have realized his importance to the sport. Being a part-time wrestler after becoming an A-list Hollywood actor has left the WWE empty which everyone can sense, so when he does return from time to time the crowd gives him the same pop or even louder than what they did back in his prime.