----
* BadassDecay
** After dropping the "Dr. of Thuganomics" gimmick.
** Hell in a Cell was suppose to be a gimmick match that laid feuds to rest, but John Cena refused to take a break from pursuing Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio after losing to them in the Cell, killing off some of its appeal.
* BaseBreaker:
** Cena's character is a face to kids... and a heel to everyone else. [[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.
** 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.]] [[note]]Subsequent events that made this victory [[PyrrhicVictory utterly hollow]] have rendered that last one kind of moot.[[/note]]
*** A year later, and the same thing happened with [[Wrestling/AlexanderRusev Rusev]].
** His 2015 US Title run. Never mind the people that don't appreciate his going over Rusev at [=WM31=] (see above), but he's been holding an 'open challenge' [[OnceAnEpisode weekly]] on RAW since he won the belt. Some people believe that the whole point is to establish a new precedent for the US Title (perhaps as more of a 'television' title that sees the bulk of its defenses on TV programming moreso than the other titles) and restore some of its prestige and visibility. Others think it's just an excuse to have Cena steamroll a bunch of up-and-comers. The thing is, these two opinions wouldn't be mutually exclusive, either.
** The few times he loses clean, with no cheating or bad officiating or outside tomfoolery involved, tend to become this as well. On the one hand, John Cena losing clean almost never happens, so whenever it does it should be a massive boost to the character that beats him. On the other hand, Cena has a tendency to come back in promos after the fact by either subtly highlighting some injury[[note]][[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]]—golf ball elbow[[/note]] or circumstance[[note]][[Wrestling/KevinSteen Kevin Owens]]—wrestled so much he was bound to lose once[[/note]] or outright excusing the loss[[note]][[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]]—got cocky and went for a [[BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame People's Elbow]][[/note]][[labelnote:also]]'''''Wrestling/BrockLesnar—he wasn't fully focused/motivated when he took that NoHoldsBarredBeatdown'''''[[/labelnote]], often without the other guy ever getting to retort to this—which in many's eyes reduces the impact of the victory just to protect Cena's image as the #1 guy.
*** The Kevin Owens incident is particularly controversial, as it also included some peppering of the issue with how WWE treats Cena's charity as special (see CreatorsPet below). Some saw Cena as being a class act through putting over Owens one night, then having a great moment with a cancer survivor the next, while others saw Cena taking a clean loss to get attention for the Network only to come back and cut down Owens by taking credit for inspiring not only the young cancer survivor, but Owens himself, with the girl's happiness at the moment put forth as a shield to shame detractors.
* CounterpartComparison: He's been called his generation's Wrestling/HulkHogan. This description, like everything else about him, is controversial to say the least.
* CreatorsPet: Much like Wrestling/HulkHogan and Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin before him, Cena is seen as WWE's number one Superstar, so much so that he has pretty much main evented most [=PPVs=].
** WWE's marketing of their charity efforts tends to leave the impression that all the other superstars sit on their asses and eat Doritos all weekend--or do charity in required group efforts--while Cena is the only one who goes out of his way to do it and more. This runs contrary to despite numerous accounts from both current and former WWE Superstars insisting that the majority of the roster is just as active with charity but [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg don't get the publicity for it]]. The fact that Cena himself references his charity causes in the occasional "I-do-this-for-[X]" promo only adds to the controversy, with certain fans feeling that WWE is outright exploiting what Cena does for charity to try to get his character universally over.
* 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.
* DesignatedHero[=/=]JerkSue: He's booked as the top face and centerpiece of a promotion which relies on a family-friendly image, has the gimmick to match, and is [[CharacterShilling routinely shilled]] as the poster boy for every charity effort the WWE undertakes, but with some feuds he can come across as worse than the heel with his antics, including [[DisproportionateRetribution excessive retaliation towards slights]], claiming to stand up for the boys in the back while using his status to get handed title matches, [[{{Hypocrite}} blatant contradiction of his positions from one storyline to the next]] or even from one point to the next ''within the same'' storyline, etc.
%%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.)
** Surpisingly enough, he's also this in Series/TotalDivas, where he's the OnlySaneMan to his girlfriend [[Wrestling/BellaTwins Nikki Bella]].
* 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 general pro-wrestling fandom, 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 started attacking other wrestlers- the real-life men, ''not'' just the characters- ''and'' their fans in real-life.
* FanNickname: Superman Cena, or more often just [=SuperCena=], due to his propensity to effortlessly win a feud barring outside interference, injuries, and his own ''lapse of judgment''- with the third factor often being more reliable than the other two- and to outright no-sell most feuds that he is in.
* 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.
** The US Open Challenge has been the best thing to happen to Cena in years. After winning the US Title at WrestleMania 31, Cena has evolved into a workhorse fighting champion, putting on PPV-quality matches nearly every week on RAW against the likes of Cesaro, Neville and Sami Zayn. His in-ring ability has been a renaissance in 2015, and he's even won over some smarky fans who were getting tired of him.
* HealingFactor: In-character, Cena almost never shows any kind of lingering injuries no matter how bad of a beating he takes in the ring, often returning within a week or a month at the latest. In real life, Cena has a reputation of healing up from legitimate injuries in about half the time it should take.
* 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.
* 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 a 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.
** So in conclusion: do we turn him heel, or do we ''not'' turn him heel? At a certain point, you have to ask yourself: '''[[CreatorKiller At what cost?]]'''
* MagnumOpus: It is almost universally agreed that the best match Cena has ever had was with Wrestling/CMPunk at the 2011 edition of ''Wrestling/MoneyInTheBank''. The match was so good that it even eclipsed his two matches with '''Wrestling/ShawnMichaels''', which is a testament to the chemistry that Cena and Punk had together.
** His final match with Punk, on the 25th Feb 2013 edition of Raw with his No.1 Contender spot for Wrestlemania 29 on the line, was likewise met with great acclaim, and is arguably as good or even better.
* 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.
** John Cena has [[SarcasmMode elev]][[BlatantLies ated]] Wrestling/BrayWyatt, Wrestling/DamienSandow, Wrestling/WadeBarrett, Wrestling/TheMiz, Wrestling/ZackRyder, Wrestling/{{Ryback}}, Wrestling/DolphZiggler, etc.
** "Brappledo" and "apple dough," based on [[{{Mondegreen}} mishearings]] of the sound bite at the beginning of his theme song. It's actually saying "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Amadou_Diallo Amadou]]," and it's sampled from [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MUGAxpI0Bc&feature=kp this song]].
** AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA! [[note]]A radio show did a prank call using John Cena's theme as a way to troll a wrestling fan's wife. During the call, a BaitAndSwitch was pulled where it seemed like a lady was calling about the Marines, but just as she said a former decorated Marine needs her support, they use the line.[[/note]]
** JOHN CENA SUUUUUUUUCKS! JOHN CENA SUUUUUUUUCKS! [[note]]Sung to the tune of his entrance theme, this chant was heard once in a while before the 2015 Night After WrestleMania show--since then it's become practically mandatory, much like the "YOU SUCK!" chants at Kurt Angle.[[/note]]
** Cena has enjoyed a huge surge in memes recently. Seems like he is filling the memetic void left by Hulk Hogan after his racist tirade and becoming an UnPerson by the WWE
* {{Misblamed}}:
** While certain criticisms laid towards him are pretty firmly Cena's fault, his fans insist that he is ''not'' to blame for burying guys on the roster, based on the fact that storylines involving him tend to portray him as a big supporter of guys like [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]], Wrestling/EvanBourne, and Wrestling/CMPunk as well as the lack of concrete evidence that John Cena actually politicked against others (the closest thing to an evidence is his admission before [=WrestleMania=] 29 that he does have enough creative control to avoid turning heel).
** John Cena can usually be blamed for the bad spots in his matches, such as the asinine finish to the [[http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/441121-chris-jericho-vince-mcmahon-behind-edge-before-first-wwe-championship-win Nexus elimination match]]: however, while Cena is responsible for demolishing Nexus as a credible faction by delivering an ending that made them look very weak, the idea to go over Nexus in the first place was '''not''' John Cena's idea, and that part of the blame probably still lies 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 wanted Barrett to get pushed, the Nexus was losing one way or another by that point).
*** Most people will point out that it isn't the real-life persona of Cena they hate, it's the IDEA of Cena. John is an OK wrestler, but he is pushed so astoundingly hard compared to other people who should be on his level. The only people to even manage to claw with their fingertips at Cena's rung on the ladder are CMPunk and DanielBryan, and even with those 2, they've been kicked back down after a few months.
**** This was the first of several bullet points (almost spoken verbatim) in Wrestling/CMPunk's now infamous WorkedShoot promo in the summer of 2011.
---> '''Punk:''' I don't hate you, John. I don't even dislike you. I ''do'' like you. I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most of the people in the back. I hate this ''idea'' that you're the best.
* {{Narm}}: Oh , 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: 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}}. His detractors have no problem separating his character and booking from him as a person.
** 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.
** 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. The phase where WWE started having every passing legend tell Punk that he needed to fight Cena for the umpteenth time to validate his existence as champion unfortunately dulled this.
** 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.
** Following Wrestlemania 31, he's won over a number of his detractors with his United States Title open challenge.
* 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. His FanDumb, in response, would accuse Cena's opponents ''and partners'' of similar incompetence. Cue the flame war.
** 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 SmugSuper 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—much of the blame is pinned on Wrestling/VinceMcMahon for trying to use Cena the man to [[PhotoOpWithTheDog protect Cena the character.]]
* 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]].
** Strange thing is, WWE seems to ''recognize'' that people feel this way and has worked it into at least three different feuds involving Cena.
** Most opponents built up to face John Cena subsequently are relegated back down the card after they serve their purpose. Wade Barrets been a jobber for up and comers and his brief resurgence to the main event was still focused on Cena. 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 ([[FleetingDemographicRule luckily people will likely forget the details in seven years and just remember he had a long reign]]); Daniel Bryan managed to stay popular despite being repeatedly and ultimately defeated by Randy Orton while Big Show stole his feud and catch phrase. R-Truth faded back into near irrelevance, Ryback became a cry baby even lower than R-Truth. The Shield went from unstoppable when altogether going over the Brothers Of Destruction/Hell No to not being able to beat John Cena with a three to one advantage and then losing the random pairing of Wrestling/TheUsos and Christian. Wrestling/DamienSandow has been on a nonstop losing streak that's seen his "intellectual" character degenerate into dressing like Magneto.
** For someone who claimed to "fight for all the boys in the back", he had no problem undercutting Wrestling/CMPunk's WWE Championship reign at Money in the Bank. Cena had got to main event over Punk and the WWE title for every pay-per-view in 2012; the first few times facing masked Kane, the Rock, and Brock Lesnar, all marquee opponents of some sort, with the Rock match being a central thread, then later battling to get John Laurinaitis fired (and succeeding in two tries, though the quality of opposition leaves his main eventing those two shows highly suspect). Then came Money in the Bank. Cena had a "historic announcement" to make. ''That he was entering the Money in the Bank ladder match.'' This only stuck because the Board of Directors wanted the WWE Championship MITB to be a match of former champions, but the result was the same; Cena main eventing instead of Punk's defense of his WWE title just because. Consider the World Heavyweight title's Money in the Bank match had four first-time contestant and none of them even got '''close''' to being treated as notable for it. It was only notable when it was Cena. At every previous Money in the Bank PPV, the Money in the Bank matches were not actually the main event; this was even a plot point at one event where Kane one Money in the Bank and cashed it in later that evening. WWE broke tradition to give Cena the Main Event spotlight over Punk. It seemed like LaserGuidedKarma that Big Show cost him his cash-in match. After all, [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor he did say he wanted to make history]]. Now he's the first guy to cash in and fail to win a title.
** February 18, 2013. When Punk interrupts Cena's promo time to challenge him for his ''[=WrestleMania=]'' title shot that he won at the Rumble, Cena utters the line during his counter-address that "For once, it's not about CM Punk." Cena's about to main event his sixth ''[=WrestleMania=], Punk was '''never''' in the main event of ''[=WrestleMania=]'', and Cena, as well documented above, has been the guy main eventing on pay-per-view for most of 2012 despite Punk being champion the entire year.
** He did it ''again'' in 2014, as after his feud with Bray Wyatt came to an end, Cena wound up standing against Wrestling/TheAuthority as the angle reached the year mark, with the IWC accusing WWE of doing this just so Cena could be the guy who finally defeated them, and in the process wound up getting in the middle of the popular Wrestling/SethRollins[=/=]Wrestling/DeanAmbrose feud. This was lampshaded after Team Cena[=/=]Team Authority was announced for ''Wrestling/SurvivorSeries'' 2014 with the stipulation that if Team Cena won, the Authority would be removed from power, as Wrestling/TripleH pointed out that no matter who potentially got the win, Cena would get the credit for ridding the WWE of the Authority. It was ultimately [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] at ''Survivor Series'', as Cena was the third eliminated from his team & without an elimination to his name, and it was in fact ''Wrestling/DolphZiggler'' who won the match by overcoming 3-on-1 odds.
* StaticCharacter: John Cena's tenure has seen him as "the face of the company" for a decade, through a combination of unfortunate circumstances (most guys able to draw more money than him have left due to injuries, felonies or better paying interests) or plain old favoritism (by the fact John Cena can be booed out of as many arenas as there are in existence and the only time WWE will acknowledge maybe this guy isn't as popular as they claim is when it is an ''ECW'' show). See, John Cena got popular because he would tell his opponent they had small balls and would then try to feed them to him. He insulted everyone without pretense, he was cocky, he took orders from no one, he made no illusions to it, he wore two chains and brass knuckles and wasn't afraid to use them. Rules, Ruck Fules! But then he increasingly stopped beating people up and instead just got beat around just to win [[FiveMovesOfDoom with his finishing sequence after an unlikely counter]]. Instead of being a "thug" he was suddenly this supposed to be this class act, yet he'd simply switched from blatantly {{trash talk}}ing his rivals to pressing their {{berserk button}}s with BlatantLies. In essence, everything about him that made him popular went in the toilet and over a decade he has changed minimally, to the point "I won't change" is the only thing distinctive about Cena aside from his abnormal size, strength and his tendency to get whipped like a school boy until he remembers he's supposed to be strong and stops selling.
* [[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 [[Wrestling/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.)
** 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.
* 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 pushed to the sidelines through a combination of John Cena, Del Rio, Triple H and John Lauranitis but Cena was a little more over for awhile.
** A number of fans were more willing to give Cena a break during his feud with the Wyatt family, in part because Cena at least occasionally tried to drop some of his indestructible facade and treat them as an actual threat.
* XPacHeat: Unlike the TropeNamer, this is directed by part of the fanbase at the way Cena is booked rather than at the man himself and many who cite this claim they would like him more if he turned heel or left the main event (but make no mistake, there are plenty of people who really do hate him, Cena sucks chants have even shown up in promotions he's never worked for). But because his fanbase keep buying tickets to shows he's heavily advertised on and his merchandise sells more than any other superstar[[note]]Both Jeff Hardy and CM Punk have sold more than Cena at one point or another for a short while before Cena's next shirt put him back on top[[/note]] the WWE won't risk killing their biggest cash cow and continue the same booking that gives him this. Truth of the matter is, people ''do'' like Cena, or at the very least know that he can be ''very'' entertaining when he wants to be, but he isn't allowed to change his character due to his position in the company. Thus, the heat isn't really for him, the performer -- it's for the guys who book him that way.
----