* BadassDecay: After dropping the "Dr. of Thuganomics" gimmick.
* BaseBreaker:
** Some kids and women love him, some males hate him. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Cena himself at his "[[TenMinuteRetirement farewell]]" in 2010, when he insisted on one last set of "Let's go Cena!" "Cena sucks!" dueling chants from the appropriate sections of the audience.
** This has become a part of his character in that he really likes the fact he's a BaseBreaker because he gets a reaction from most of the audience, whether it's good or bad.
** The fact that he knows that there will be a lot of people who'll boo him no matter what he does.
** In 2011, WWE finally realized they could make ''more'' money from Cena's base-breaking nature, and has made [[http://shop.wwe.com/Cena-Sucks-T-Shirt/06937,default,pd.html?dwvar_06937_color=Black&start=18&cgid=superstar-current-johncena this shirt]], accordingly.
** And it's returned with a vengeance post-Wrestlemania 30. Was him defeating Bray Wyatt a logical transition point in their feud? Or was this yet another incidence of Cena coming out on top to the benefit of absolutely no one but himself? Go ahead and [[SchmuckBait ask this question online.]] [[InternetBackdraft We'll wait.]]
* ChosenOne: Cena is the WWE's flagship Face and will remain so as long as he sells merchandise by the cartload and draws a reaction good or bad. For better or worse he's the poster boy of the PG-era and the WWE will keep milking his character unless he either suffers a [[GameBreakingInjury career-ending injury]] or runs TripleH over with his car. (It should be noted Jeff Hardy and CM Punk did manage to sell more when they were in the company but Jeff had drug issues and Punk didn't stick around as long)
* CriticalBacklash:
** While Cena's move set is certainly limited and his matches can be formulaic, he's nowhere near as bad as a lot of his detractors will have you believe (at least in comparison with most other WWE main eventers with similar schedules). On the flip side, when he has a good opponent to work with, his psychology and understanding of story can lead to classics such as his ''Money in the Bank'' match against Wrestling/CMPunk. When you've pulled off the first five-star WWE match in fifteen years, you have to have at least ''some'' talent, no matter how much the other guy is carrying the match.
** It varies depending on who's giving out the stars. More liberal sources already gave him one for his Iron Man match with Randy Orton.
*** The reason why the five-star rating is such a big deal is because the guy who gave it is Dave Meltzer, the premier writer of ''Wrestling/TheWrestlingObserverNewsletter'', which is cited as "The Bible" of professional wrestling. The last time Dave Meltzer gave a WWE match a five-star rating was indeed fifteen years ago, and it just so happened to be the first Hell in a Cell match, which was between Wrestling/ShawnMichaels and Wrestling/TheUndertaker, the two top performers in WWE history. That match was one of the three five-star rated matches that Wrestling/ShawnMichaels has ever gotten from Dave Meltzer, and the ''only'' one Wrestling/TheUndertaker has ever managed. In fact, the total amount of five-star ratings Dave Meltzer has given the WWE, including [=MITB=] 2011, is '''''five'''''. Additionally, CMPunk's time limit draw against SamoaJoe in Wrestling/RingOfHonor was the first match in ''the entire United States'' to get five stars from Meltzer in over a decade. The fact that Cena managed to get such a rating for one of his matches from Dave Meltzer indicates that he does have some amount of talent.
* DesignatedHero[=/=]JerkSue: He's booked as the top Face, but with some fueds he can come across as worse than the heel with his antics, [[DisproportionateRetribution excessive retaliation towards slights]], claiming to stand up for the boys in the back while using his status to get handed title matches.
%%Yes, we could list every single incident that would count, but that bloated the page and invited natter.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: From late '03 to late '04. (Basically, during his U.S. Title reign.)
* EvilIsCool: Invoked when he was the Dr. of Thuganomics. [[WeWantOurJerkBack Fans agree]].
* FanHater: A lot of Cena's more rabid supporters will get this in the IWC, mainly because they took Cena's promos (which, after his face turn, more often than not involve him failing to stay in-character while taking shots at his opponents) far too seriously and consequently lost their grips on reality as opposed to kayfabe.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Cena is ''insanely'' popular in South African townships - to the point where small children will greet any white male by waving their hands in front of their faces and screaming, "You can't see me!"
* GrowingTheBeard: Cena's feud with Wrestling/{{Edge}} in 2006. Edge was the first heel challenger to Cena since JBL to consistently get enough heat to put the crowd on Cena's side; at the same time, Cena's in-ring execution improved tremendously. He continued to get mixed reactions afterward, but that feud (along with a concurrent side-feud with Rob Van Dam) convinced many fans that Cena deserved respect, if not cheers.
* HePannedItNowHeSucks: Inverted, lots of internet favorites became a little less so (Kurt Angle, Jim Cornette, The Iron Sheik) for their praise of John Cena while others people were kind of apathetic to (Chavo Guerrero Jr.) became more liked because they do bash John Cena.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Steve Austin giving Cena a stunner at the 2003 Christmas in Iraq show. Only with time did it gain more significance.
** On the February 5, 2004 Smackdown, which was held in UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}, OH, Cena did a rap about Wrestling/PaulHeyman excluding him from the Number One Contender to the [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwe-h.html WWE World Heavyweight Title]] match between Wrestling/KurtAngle and Wrestling/TheBigShow at the No Way Out PPV. Cena said, "Yo! You see, leavin' Cena outta this match is completely insane/That's like cutting ([[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation then-Cleveland Cavaliers basketball sensation) Lebron James]] from The All Star Game." 6 years later, on July 28, 2010, Creator/{{ESPN}} aired an overblown TV special called ''The Decision'' where James announced that he would be ''leaving'' Cleveland to join the Miami Heat, drawing ''very'' negative reactions from Cleveland fans, who likely would not have minded if James was left out of any future All-Star Games.
** A bit of a double whammy. During the peak of the online Cena hatred, it wasn't uncommon to hear the mantra that "The only thing Cena [[NoSell sells]] [[PopularityPower is merchandise.]] During his feud with [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson the Rock]] in 2012, the Rock called him Fruity Pebbles to insult his colorful T-Shirt. [[http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2013/01/08/news/web_photos/FP_CENABOX_V2_LEFT080711--300x450.jpg Guess who is the new Mascot of Fruity Pebbles cereal?]]
* HolyShitQuotient:
** Anytime Cena shows just how physically strong he really is, expect people's jaws to drop. First instance: when he FU'ed the Big Show in Survivor Series 2003 and later in ''[=WrestleMania=] XX''.
** What probably caused the biggest jaw drops is when Cena was about to FU Big Show AND Edge at the same time, having them both on his back. To be clear on how jaw dropping that is, Cena had about ''700 pounds'' on his back and didn't drop either of them.
* HumbleHero: In-character, but also in RealLife, Cena admits that he is nowhere near the most technically skilled performer in the WWE, and doesn't want the top spot that he is usually placed in.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Does the cavalcade of events that have been mentioned and thought of in associating Cena's character with the DesignatedHero and JerkSue tropes match up with his constantly shilled message of "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect", "Rise Above Hate", and even "Be a Star", since he's the guy wearing it on his shirts?
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt:
** Yeah, WWE, as if you're going to fire your #1 merchandise mover and top babyface because of the whims of a heel who previously wanted to destroy the company.
** Like WWE would ever actually draft Cena to [[{{BShow}} Smackdown]]. During the 2011 draft Cena was drafted to Smackdown at the beginning of the episode, but [[HoistByHisOwnPetard/ProfessionalWrestling drafted back to Raw at the end]].
** Like WWE would ever really let Cena legitimately drop the title in an 'I Quit' match - a.k.a. Cena's signature match - of all things. Especially so soon after winning the title in the first place.
** "If Cena wins, we riot" - Other than the initial appearance of this sign at ''ECW One Night Stand 2006'', no-one actually thought the fans would riot in the event of Cena winning; and they never did. Hell, at one point, Cena even took one of these signs and paraded it around the ring after winning his match.
** Subverted with the recent Wrestling/CMPunk angle. [[Wrestling/VinceMcMahon Mr. McMahon]] really was going to fire Cena. In fact, it was the fact that he was going to fire Cena, along with quite a few other things, most of which probably included about half the demands that Punk laid out, that caused the board of directors to give a vote of no-confidence and force him to step down as chairman, consequently saving Cena's job.
** For a lot of people, the title match itself as well. The way WWE tends to book Cena as well as treat departing Superstars, there were a lot of people that didn't think there was any way Cena would be booked to lose the Championship clean to a departing Wrestling/CMPunk (especially when Vince threw in the stipulation that Cena would be fired if he did). Then Cena actually lost the match, and it can be said that the WWE, in and out of {{Kayfabe}}, hasn't really been the same since.
** Like WWE would really have Cena [[FaceHeelTurn "embrace the hate"]] as a result of his feud with Kane, just one month before his match with The Rock, and especially when he's the face of the WWE's Make-A-Wish efforts.
*** He can do charity work and still be a heel! [[Wrestling/BigBossman The Big Bossman]] did it. So has 'Taker.
* {{Misblamed}}:
** While certain criticisms laid towards him, such as his no selling and such, are pretty firmly Cena's fault, he is ''not'' to blame for burying guys on the roster, and is in fact a big supporter of guys like [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]], Wrestling/EvanBourne, and Wrestling/CMPunk.
** And that support - for those three guys in particular - might finally be paying off: as of August 2011, Evan Bourne's currently one-half of the Tag Team Champions, Punk has had a WWE title reign to his credit (making him a Triple Crown Champion - only 18 other guys in the WWE's history have done this) and carries the secondary feud on RAW, and Daniel Bryan (after many had him pegged as one of those guys doomed to languish in the midcard despite his immense talent, because of WWE's apparent bias toward indy standouts) won the Smackdown [=MITB=] Match, and has since gone on to form Team Hell No with Wrestling/{{Kane}}, easily one of the hottest, next to the Shield, and most entertaining tag team acts not only in WWE right now but in YEARS.
** Not to mention he's been going above and beyond the call of duty in trying to get Wrestling/ZackRyder more followers on Twitter.
** Most if not all of them, however, were built up to face John Cena and would subsequently be relegated back to midcard status after they served their purpose. CM Punk ended up booked in one of the least significant title reigns in professional wrestling history as a cowardly heel champion relying on outside interference to keep his title, and it wasn't until the return of the Rock that he got his tough-guy credential back; Daniel Bryan got himself over despite being stuck in a comedy act well past its shelf-life and then hastily thrown into a match against the Wyatt Family. Many others had their kayfabe personas demolished to such a point of non-legitimacy after Cena was done with them that they required repackaging before they could wrestle again- if they wrestled again.
** John Cena can usually be blamed for the bad spots in his matches, such as the finish to the [[http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/441121-chris-jericho-vince-mcmahon-behind-edge-before-first-wwe-championship-win Nexus elimination match]] however there is rarely proof that idea to go over Nexus in the first place was John Cena's idea and probably still remains with creative.(Edge says he did not care at that point since he was out of the match, implying that even though he and Jericho pushed for Barret getting a push, Nexus was losing one way or another by that point)
* MemeticMutation:
** The infamous "IF CENA WINS, WE RIOT" sign at ''ECW One Night Stand 2006''. Became an AscendedMeme for Wrestling/CMPunk where fans brought signs (seen in promotion for [[VideoGame/{{WWE}} WWE 13]]) threatening to riot if he lost. Some fans went further at WrestleMania, hanging a huge banner off a building: ''If Cena wins we jump.''
** The pronunciation of his name by Justin Roberts[[note]]JEEEEEEEEEEEEEYAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHN CEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENAAAAAAAAH!!!![[/note]], which apparently gets longer and longer every week.
** Spoiler: [[spoiler: Cena wins.]], which is the outcome of most of his matches.
* {{Narm}}: Oh god, the [[http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y246/electricpetertork/cenapoop.jpg angry face]] Cena made during the 1-23-12 RAW... especially because Cena's proven more than capable of making a convincing angry face... this was less angry and more 'constipated'...
* NarmCharm: The [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7dfzzq8jO1qj1a3mo1_1280.jpg happy face]] Cena made after winning the 2012 Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship.
* NostalgiaFilter: And how! He is either bashed like "he sucks compared to [[Wrestling/AttitudeEra past wrestlers]]" or/and "he sucks compared to [[PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy his]] [[{{Delinquents}} old]] [[AntiHero self]]".
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap:
** Again, see {{Determinator}}. Even the fans who don't like the character and the booking respect Cena the person.
** The Nexus angle has been helping with this as well. Cena hasn't gotten a vicious booing since it started.
** Really, 2010 as a whole was a massive Scrappy Heap Rescue year for Cena, as, outside of the Summerslam match, his InvincibleHero nature was toned down, he stayed out of the title scene for most of the year, and he helped put over new talent in some damn good matches against the likes of Wrestling/WadeBarrett, Wrestling/DolphZiggler, and others.
** [[StatusQuoIsGod Except now he's back to exactly how he was beforehand, with the "Firing" angle in December being pure concentrate of the problems with his character.]]
** His feud with CM Punk has had this effect for him as well. It's both because Cena treats Punk like a WorthyOpponent and respects him and because Punk is just ''that good'' at attracting heat from the crowd. It also helps that he and Punk had an absolutely ''epic'' match at 2011 Money In The Bank.
** Everytime he comes out as the "Dr. of Thuganomics", as seen in ''[=WrestleMania=] 25'' (entrance at least) and the March 2012 edition of ''Raw''.
** His match against Brock Lesnar in Extreme Rules. For reference, the Chicago crowd was firmly Anti-Cena during the start of the match, but [[SympathyfortheHero even they could not bear to see Lesnar go to town on Cena.]] End result? Cena is cheered loudly by the end of the night.
* RonTheDeathEater:
** According to the HateDumb, all the good matches involving Cena is solely carry jobs by his opponent, regardless if said opponent had a history of having bad matches. All the bad matches involving him is Cena's fault, again regardless if said opponent had a history of having bad matches.
** Taking to hilarious levels on 2-14-2011's edition of Raw. Just earlier in the night, the crowd in Anaheim cheered for Cena. Cue The Rock's return and he starts dissing Cena, the ENTIRE crowd turned on Cena at the drop of a hat.
** John Cena is sometimes accused of being a DesignatedHero and a JerkSue as well as a Smug Super despite his complete loyalty to the WWE product, his frequently documented charity actions including [[FriendtoAllChildren granting 400 wishes to terminally ill children in the Make-A-Wish foundation,]] and overall an extremely altruistic straight up NiceGuy who is always willing to donate much of his free time helping underprivileged people.
*** It should also be noted there that those criticisms are by and large aimed at John Cena the character, not John Cena the man.
* SpotlightStealingSquad:
** Is accused by many detractors of hogging the main event scene. His case isn't helped by the fact that the match involving him ''always'' closes out a PPV, even in favor over the two main-event titles. This is especially glaring when a match like Wrestling/CMPunk vs. [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]] for the WWE Title is second on the card to Cena vs. Wrestling/JohnLaurinaitis or the hundredth case of Cena vs. [[Wrestling/TheBigShow Big Show]].
** There's a radio interview of ChrisJericho and {{Edge}} discussing Cena's victory over WadeBarrett and the Nexus, and though they don't really go into specifics…it's pretty clear they think that Cena evoked some [[ExecutiveMeddling sway]] into ending the match in a way that made him look especially good. [[DemotedToExtra At the expense of Barrett's push.]]
** Strange thing is, WWE seems to ''recognize'' that people feel this way and has worked it into at least three different feuds involving Cena.
* [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks They Changed Him, Now He Sucks]]:
** Cena started to build a fanbase in 2003, well before his rise to main-event status and back when he was technically still supposed to be a heel. When he was playing the "wigger" rapper, fans adored him either for his "don't-take-no-guff-from-nobody" (including Wrestling/KurtAngle and Wrestling/TheUndertaker) attitude or for his {{Narm}}-y "white-boy" rhymes, which were originally intended for comedy but were eventually embraced by the fans. Then, beginning in 2005 and culminating in 2006 with the release of his first movie, ''Film/TheMarine'', Cena transitioned from a rebellious thug to a by-the-book armed-forces recruit who wore paramilitary gear and saluted the audience. Not only did we already get this gimmick with Wrestling/SgtSlaughter (not to mention Wrestling/HulkHogan and other top faces throughout WWE's history), but Cena lost almost all of the "underdog" aura that had up until then sustained much of his popularity.
** CM Punk lampshaded this to hell and back during his feud with Cena, comparing Cena to the perennial contender [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams New York Yankees]]. Obviously, as the show where he did this was in Boston (Cena's de facto 'hometown' arena since he's a Massachusetts native), it was a creative way to draw heat. But the RealitySubtext was obvious, and it's very likely that same statement would have gotten him cheers of agreement anywhere else.
* TearJerker: Cena's farewell promo the Raw after Survivor Series, when he was [[{{Kayfabe}} "fired"]], which ended in him starting a Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks chant.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** John Cena is now a member of Wrestling/TheNexus and is the guest referee for a WWE Championship match between Wrestling/WadeBarrett and Wrestling/RandyOrton with the stipulation that if Barrett does not win the WWE Championship, Cena will be fired! Instead of pulling the trigger on Barrett and letting him win the WWE Championship, with all of the storyline possibilities that would entail... Orton retains and Cena is "fired" with ''Survivor Series 2010'' closing out on a [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt forced]] attempt at making a "moment". The entire "Cena is Fired" angle counts as this too, as the only difference between him being fired and rehired was that he didn't wrestle on TV: WWE still played his theme music to close out ''RAW''!
** This pretty much happens every time Cena teases a heel turn: The above Nexus angle, the angle with Kane. Hell, even the Wrestlemania 28 build with Rock and his subsequent loss.
** His 2012 Money In The Bank win was very obviously just so WWE could say he's won it. He didn't even use the briefcase correctly - [[CallingYourAttacks announcing when he was going to cash in]], first off (although he's [[DanielBryan not the]] [[Wrestling/RobVanDam first person to do that]]. Usually when a face wins the match while there's a face champion, that can either mean that the current champion is dropping the belt, or the contract winner is going to turn heel. Neither one of those happened. Add the fact that the [=MITB=] contract has historically been used as a way to elevate younger superstars that haven't gotten their big break yet (in a straighter example of that, Wrestling/DolphZiggler won the contract on the Smackdown side), and it's not hard to understand why the entire angle wasn't very well received.
* WeWantOurJerkBack:
** There are many fans who are still hoping he'll go back to his "Doctor of Thuganomics" gimmick.
** Even without the "Doctor of Thuganomics" gimmick, most people think that he needs to turn heel or alter his gimmick at some point to breathe some fresh air into his character. (He's been playing essentially the same character since ''The Marine'' was released in 2006, with the only real change being he's dropped some (but not all) of the military overtones. Since wrestling operates on the FleetingDemographicRule, having the same gimmick for seven years is quite a long time.)
*** Except that [[WordOfGod the man himself]] has said that he doesn't actually have a gimmick, that the way people see him on TV is the way he really is.
** This has just been made worse. On the 2-21-11 episode of ''Raw,'' while engaged in a weekly HamToHamCombat with The Rock, for one night, he reverted back to his "Doctor of Thuganomics" and delivered a Battle Rap Beatdown to Rock, and it was awesome.
** He may well be the heel in his upcoming feud with The Rock, since there's no way The Rock is going to be made a heel ''in the Rock's hometown'' at Wrestlemania 28.
** WWE's basically promoting the match as the SpiritualSuccessor to Rock vs Hogan. As such, don't be surprised if his heel turn for the feud lasts about as long as the match does as a call back, as Rock did pretty much the same thing.
*** This didn't really happen. WWE just sort of threw face/heel alignments out of the window, which might have been a good thing - they were probably well aware that some people were going to side with Cena and others with Rock no matter what happened. One could argue that the fact that it fell strictly into "Dream Matchup" territory prevented them from having to think up a convoluted storyline reason for the match to happen (although, technically speaking, Rock ''did'' cost Cena the WWE title at Wrestlemania 27, which is how most feuds tend to start).
*** Interestingly, despite there being no alignment change, Cena still ''wrestled' the match as if he were [[WrestlingPsychology the heel]], with his aggression, use of environment, his [[{{Narm}} oversellous]] reactions, and of course the use of [[BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame the People's Elbow]] that lead to his loss.
* WinBackTheCrowd: A lot of his detractors had been giving him a lot more credit after his absolutely brutal match with Wrestling/BrockLesnar at Extreme Rules, due to the legit punishment he took (such as being busted open hardway (without blading) by Lesnar's elbows and being put in a Kimura lock).
** His feud with Wrestling/CMPunk the previous year also helped Cena in the long run, as it became one of the best feuds of the decade and included in what was arguably the greatest match of Cena's career, along with helping launch Punk into superstardom. Temporarily anyway, Punk would end up DemotedToExtra through a combination of John Cena, Del Rio, Triple H and John Lauranitis but Cena was a little more over for awhile.