Your time is up, my time is now!BRRRRRRRRRRRR APPLEDOUGH!John Felix Anthony Cena, born April 23, 1977, is a Professional Wrestler currently working for the WWE. With a career spanning over 10 years, he rose through the pits of the midcard to become a legitimate success story, and is widely regarded as one of the biggest, if not the biggest superstar to ever grace WWE, and the 21st century equivalent of Hulk Hogan.Before he made his name in WWE, he wrestled in Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) with a gimmick based around his old career as a bodybuilder: The Prototype or Mr. P. He made his official WWE debut on June 27, 2002 after accepting an open challenge from Kurt Angle. After impressing Stephanie McMahon with his freestyle rapping on the WWE tour bus, she convinced the higher-ups to give him a push, leading to his "Vanilla Ice" gimmick: John Cena, The Doctor of Thuganomics. He would go on to beat John Bradshaw Layfield at WrestleMania 21, where he would win his first WWE Championship and first world title overall. In 2006, he was promoted to an All-American Face with the release of The Marine.Unusual for a career babyface, Cena has maintained his top spot for an unprecedented 10 years, partly though no fault of WWE's own: Jeff Hardy's merchandise outsold Cena's for three months straight, but WWE had to dump him after the Junk Squad raided his house; CM Punk hemmed and hawed until WWE finally made him a main event babyface. He quit the night after Royal Rumble 2014, and Vince was left holding the bag. After fighting against it, the company finally gave Daniel Bryan a push... then waited as he recuperated from shoulder surgery, and then neck surgery, and then complications with rehab, etc. Three contenders for the crown, and WWE has been burned three times. As a consequence, Cena is one of the most polarizing Superstars in WWE history, as older fans have grown tired of him always winning. But he has also raised a child army of new fans, triggering a weekly shouting war of "LET'S GO CENA" and "CENA SUCKS".Now pushing forty, he is starting to look his age, but Cena matches still pull bigger audiences than non-Cena shows, and he sells five times more merchandise than other stars (cunningly, WWE has begun selling "CENA SUCKS" t-shirts to double their profits). He will continue to plod along with his wholesome, kid-friendly hero and—as long as he can still go—the company will always bet on a record like Cena’s.It goes without saying that the Cenation holds claim to a lot of titles. Flair had a career that spanned over thirty years. In that time he won 16 world titles (or a few more depending on who you're asking). By comparison John Cena has won 15, yet has only been active for about a third of Flair's career. He's also a one time Money in the Bank winner, in which he became known as the first person to unsuccessfully cash in. (Through no fault of his own, however. The Big Show interfered in the match, so Cena won the match, but not the title. Coincidentally, Cena would later be responsible for causing Damien Sandow to lose the match after cashing in, another first.)Additionally, he has also dabbled in Rap music (including releasing a full album, You Can't See Me) and has starred in The Marine, 12 Rounds, Legendary, and The Reunion, films produced by WWE's film division. He also played Fred's imaginary dad in the three Fred movies, and he is set to voice the title character in Blue Sky Studios' animated film, Ferdinand. He is also carving out a niche as a comedic actor, portraying a oblivious lunkhead in Trainwreck and put on a fairly convincing Austrian accent to portray 'roided up cyclist Gustav Ditters in Tour De Pharmacy.As usual, That Other Wiki has more details on his career.
You can't see me! My time is now!
You can't see me! My time is now!
The TROPES are HEEEEEEEEEERE!
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- 10-Minute Retirement: In the autumn of 2010. It lasted a little longer than ten minutes, and he was never really gone per se since he still lingered in the crowd and jumped members of Nexus backstage at random, but it still applied.
- The Ace: In-Kayfabe 2005 onward, who somehow manages to "win" even when he loses. Which he rarely does.
- His 2015 renaissance showed he has it in him to be one for real as well, putting on quality matches with just about anyone he wrestled.
- Action Genre Hero Guy: When he wears his hair short he fits the look (which goes in hand with his lead role in The Marine, which is about an Action Genre Hero Guy).
- Affectionate Parody: His video for "Bad Bad Man" is this of The A-Team.
- All-American Face: (Part of) Cena's current persona.
- Anti-Hero: Even though he turned face in late-2003, he was still The Doctor of Thuganomics. So he still busted raps on people, hit people with his chain, but this time he did it to people who deserved it. Though he stopped hitting people with his chain and rapping in 2005, he still had some of his roots. But he turned full on face in 2008.
- Even when they're both faces, it's clear Cena and Randy Orton can't stand each other. Which is Older than You Think, as they haven't liked each other since their days in OVW, dating back to when John Cena was still The Prototype. Watch here. Their animosity is so personal that even their feud officially ended in late 2009, they always seem to be on the verge of starting it up again no matter their alignments. This was especially evident in 2010 when they were stuck on a collision course due to Wade Barrett and The Nexus, and in 2013 prior to the unification match (four years after the infamous iron man match that ended their rivalry).
- Then of course there's Brock Lesnar whom he had a feud with in 2003 and in 2012. His long-running blood feud with Edge began in 2006. And what began as a rivalry born out of respect with CM Punk got much nastier, especially since Punk is the one guy who's consistently gotten the better of Cena.
- Then there is The Rock; with whom he had year long feud with after they decided they should wrestle at WrestleMania 28, though this had never been a very heated feud but was more about mutual respect and a "big match" feeling than a fiery rivalry...... at least that was the interpretation of WM 28 until the rematch came along.
- For the first four years of his WWE career Cena had several on-and-off feuds with Kurt Angle, including his very first match. This only ended once Angle left WWE.
- After his return from injury, he started a feud with his TNA counterpart from 2002 to 2014, AJ Styles. Cena and Styles were both positioned as the faces of their respective companies and it seemed to be very impossible for them to stand together in the same ring. That all changed in 20 "freaking" 16 when not only did they put some classic matches, but for the first time ever Cena has not won a singles match against his rival.... until Royal Rumble 2017, where Cena finally pinned him for his sixteenth world title.
- Artistic License – Biology:
- Homeboy once claimed Lita gave him gonorrhea by shaking his hand. And that was in 2005. Once the actual Cena-Edge feud got going in '06, he got even worse about this. The point he was trying to make was this: Lita is so disease-ridden that you can catch something just by being in the same room. He was deliberately trying to shame Lita.
- Several years later, he'd accuse Eve of trying to give him an STD by attempting to hug and kiss him. Same motivation: deliberately trying to shame Eve. Although he may have been implying that she wanted things to go further and he didn't want any part of that.
- Ascended Meme: The "Unexpected Cena" Meme goes canon, with help from telecom firm Cricket Wireless.
- Badbutt: The company pushes him as the face because he's badass enough to appeal to kids but his relatively squeaky clean image appeases the Moral Guardians who might otherwise not approve of their kids watching wrestling. It works, but leaves him coming off as incredibly boring by comparison with a lot of other superstars on the roster. And compared to Cena himself back when he was "The Doctor of Thuganomics" for that matter.
- Battle of the Bands: Was supposed to be in one against Chris Jericho's Heavy Metal band Fozzy on the July 25, 2005 Raw, but Jericho refused to play because the fans were biased against him.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game:
- Attempted to do this to The Rock at WrestleMania 28, by trying to use the People's Elbow to finish Rock off, only for it to backfire & cost Cena the match. Humorously, this was something Rock himself did somewhat frequently in his career.
- Averted next at WrestleMania 29, Cena went for the The People's Elbow again against The Rock. When Rock popped up like he did last year, Cena grabbed the ropes to stop himself. This was either an I'm stupid, but not that stupid, moment from Cena, or Cena playing games with The Rock. And possibly us.
- Also at WM 29 Cena used the Rock Bottom on The Rock.
- At Royal Rumble 2014, after Randy Orton used the STF and Attitude Adjustment on him, he in turn used the RKO on Orton.
- Invoked against him by Dean Ambrose the RAW after Wrestlemania XXXI when he locked Cena in the STF.
- Berserk Button:
- Nor should you compare him to the New York Yankees in his hometown.
- NEVER insult the American troops. Or insult America itself in any way.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's the guy that you see whenever the WWE utters the word "charity" and has turned the Make a Wish foundation into a hobby, or the guy who will beat you up mercilessly either with his fists or with his words.
- Big Brother Mentor: Seems to be this to Zack Ryder. Much like Ryder, Cena started out as something of a comic relief heel - until he gained such a fan following that the WWE turned him face and put the WWE United States Heavyweight Championship on him. If one does a bit of research, one will also find out that WWE brass weren't particularly high on Cena up until the start of the 'Doctor of Thuganomics' gimmick, and if not for said gimmick, there was a chance Cena would have gotten fired as well.
- Big Damn Heroes: Whenever someone is in trouble in the ring, Cena will be there charging into the ring and helping them out.
- Blatant Lies:
- Often plays with this trope to try to press his rivals' berserk buttons.
- When asked why he thinks he can beat The Rock by Booker T, Cena gives the unusually short, terse answer "that he has to." Both the audience and The Rock call him on it, the latter wanting the REAL answer.
- While his "Reason You Suck" Speech promo duel against Roman Reigns was largely a Curb-Stomp Battle in his favour, quite a few people criticised the part where he dismissed Roman's accusations that he had a "golden shovel" by saying "they (pointing at crowd) hold the keys, they always have, they always will". Considering this was John Cena saying this to Roman Reigns, the general response from people who pay any attention to WWE booking recently was "Are you serious?!"
- Bleached Underpants: His album, You Can't See Me, came in two versions, one with a warning sticker, the other without one.
- Bluegrass: After he and Batista won the WWE World Tag Team Titles on the August 4, 2008 Raw, which was held in Knoxville, TN, and the show had gone off the air, Cena entertained the crowd with a rendition of "Rocky Top", which can be heard here.
- Blood Knight: Most prevalent during his run as US Champion in 2015, defending the title every single week he had it on Raw.
- Bragging Theme Tune: His old theme song.
- Brass Balls: Cena has had a couple of these moments, but a recent one that really stands out is walking to the middle of the ring and slapping Brock Lesnar right across the face.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
Cena: (regarding the 2012 Money In The Bank match, in which he had just announced his participation) ...I'm gonna win the whole fudgin' thing.Chris Jericho: ...fudgin'?!Cena: It's a PG show, that's the best I could do.Jericho: What are you, nine?
- During every entrance, Cena says something straight into the camera. Actually, he breaks the fourth wall fairly often. If somebody in a promo says something completely insane, expect him to turn to the hard camera and give it a "WTF?" expression. Or this exchange (paraphrased):
- A lot of frustrations harbored by the audience toward John Cena come from his first response to almost every attempt by his feuding opponents to build up a serious or competitive mood being a smirk on his face, thereby ruining any momentum a given storyline has. As if the audience need to be reminded that professional wrestling is about drama and entertainment, much less that it's all a joke.
- Bring It: His phrase "You Want Some, Come Get Some!"
- Call-Back: The 4/23/12 RAW with Edge returning to pretty much give Cena a verbal smackdown for letting Brock Lesnar push him around. Edge made a thinly veiled suggestion that Cena goes back to his old self. At the contract signing for his match with Brock at the end of the show. Cena appeared to be wearing the same attire as he always did. Except that, instead of the 'dog tag' necklace, he was wearing a chain...
- Canon Discontinuity: Even though he's occasionally (read: once or twice) dipped back into his Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick, WWE no longer says much, if anything, about his rap album - probably because it wasn't exactly family-friendly...
- Celebrity Resemblance:
- Chained by Fashion: During his Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick.
- Charles Atlas Superpower
- By his own admission, he's not the greatest wrestler. He's strong enough to carry multiple wrestlers on his shoulders, with ease.
- He dragged The Big Show back into the cage at No Way Out 2012. By his leg.
- He's hit the FU/Attitude Adjustment on Big Show, the Great Khali AND on VISCERA!
- By far the biggest example came about at the end of his match at Wrestlemania 25, where he lifted both Edge and Big Show on to his shoulders at the same time.
- Charlie Brown from Outta Town: What his "Mexican cousin" Juan Cena alias looked to be before it was canned.
- Chekhov's Gun: In a late 2014-early 2015 storyline, Cena was named, by Vince McMahon, the only person who had the power to bring The Authority (really just Stephanie and Triple H) back to WWE. Obviously, their most hated, bitter rival wasn't going to do so out of the goodness of his heart, but there had to be a reason the creative team came up with that stipulation. Apparently, it was so Seth Rollins could hold Edge hostage and threaten to break his surgically-repaired neck with a Curbstomp unless Cena brought back The Authority. It worked.
- The Chew Toy:
- 2012 was not a good year for Cena. He was terrorized by Kane for the first part of the year, being forced to helplessly watch his best bud Zack Ryder be made an example of, then he lost his WrestleMania match with The Rock due to him trying to beat Rocky at his own game when he could of won the match otherwise, then the next night on RAW, when calling out The Rock to congratulate him for his victory he was laid out by a returning Brock Lesnar.
- And after his hellacious match with Lesnar, the next night he comes out with his arm in a cast, saying his arm was severely strained but not broken. Laurinitis comes out, saying he'll announce who Cena's opponent is at the next PPV. Cue Lord Tensai's music. When Tensai and his mook surround Cena, John Laurinaitis brains him from behind with the microphone. He announces that he'll be his opponent and then the three proceed to slaughter him, including wrapping his injured arm around a post and slamming it between a chair and the steps.
- And then when he finally does get his hands on Laurinaitis, he loses that match because of The Big Show's betrayal, and gets knocked unconscious that night and the night after.
- Then, when he finally finds some success with winning the Money in the Bank contract, he challenges CM Punk outright, as expected ... only to have Big Show attack him, thus be credited as the only MitB winner not to win the championship despite winning the match by DQ.
- Has another incredible match with CM Punk, and finally manages to put him down with a top rope German Suplex. However, maybe due to having never done the move before, he doesn't do a complete bridge during pin, and thus is counted down as well, resulting in a draw and the championship remaining with Punk.
- He's given another shot at a MitB briefcase in a ladder match vs. Dolph Ziggler... only to have AJ turn on him and cost him the match.
- Extends to his personal life. Especially for a man known for his durability and recovery time, he's been injured frequently, including spraining his ankle so that it swelled to twice it size and an elbow injury that made him unable to compete at Hell in the Cell. Add to that a costly and drawn-out home renovation leading to some marital strife, and... Yeah, the guy's having a rough year.
- He even admits that "2012 was not his year" in one of his last promos before the year ended. But he promised to make 2013 his year, and it got off to a good start, being the Royal Rumble Winner, and he did beat The Rock for the WWE Championship at WM 29. But then he got Triple-Powerbombed by The Shield... so maybe not.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Cena sticks up for just about everyone against the forces of evil. Anything that goes unchecked is simply because he's one man who can only deal with a single problem at a time. Also his initials.
- Clothes Make the Legend: His jorts and his many arm and wristbands.
- Cluster F-Bomb: His Rap song called "Don't Wanna Fuck With Us"
- Combat Pragmatist:
- He beat Batista in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules 2010 with duct tape. He also beat Umaga at Royal Rumble 2007 with a broken ring rope.
- An even cleverer finish would be back when he had first won the WWE Championship and was defending against JBL in a WrestleMania "I Quit" rematch: playing on JBL's obvious cowardice, he threatened to viciously maim him with a pipe in order to goad JBL into quitting. He did it anyways.
- Hell, he had this in spades as the DoT. He won his first championship (the US title) against The Big Show this way. After dropping Show with an F-U (to which the crowd promptly lost it) and having Show kick out, Cena went over to his corner and grabbed his trademark chain. The ref, naturally, tried to stop him, so Cena threw the chain to the other side of the ring (forcing the ref to turn his back)...then popped up with brass knuckles, punched Big Show in the face, and gave him a second F-U for the win.
- He won a 3-on-1 handicap match by pinning Seth Rollins while Rollins was distracted by Sting making a surprise appearance.
- Corrupt the Cutie:
- His feud against Kane, where the Big Red Monster was determined to make the pure-hearted Cena "embrace the hate". After multiple attacks on Zack Ryder, including a chokeslam that ended up sending Ryder through the stage and to the hospital with a broken back, he seemed to had succeeded. Cena nearly gave Swagger a one man Con-chair-to with steel steps and the 1/30/12 beat down he gave to Kane is showing that there is something that's happening to him.
- Note that during his beatdown of Kane that he seemed unnaturally happy, along with the somewhat random "We're gonna party up in here!" during it.
- On the 2/13/12 RAW it seemed like he was just about to clock Ryder in the face after Ryder saw John accidentally kissing his girlfriend Eve due to John trying to save her from Kane.
- Given that Cena decidedly beat Kane in an Ambulance Match at Elimination Chamber, perhaps he may have finally risen above the hatred.
- Crowd Chant: "Let's go, Cena. Cena Sucks" It's worked quite well when he was feuding with Kane. It was even nominated for a Slammy in 2013.
- Cruel Twist Ending: His match with John Laurinaitis at Over The Limit 2012.
- Cyborg: This was his gimmick as the Prototype. At River City Wrestling in 2006, he went back to The Prototype gimmick for his single night there.
- Darker and Edgier: When he was The Doctor of Thuganomics.
- Defeating the Undefeatable:
- He is responsible for ending the undefeated streak of many wrestlers including Muhammad Hassan, Tensai, Bray Wyatt and Rusev. He also handed Edge his first loss in a TLC match at Unforgiven 2006.
- In Cena's eyes, CM Punk. Every encounter they've had, Punk had always come out on top. So for him to kick start his Road to WrestleMania, he accepted Punk's challenge for his Main Event spot on an episode of Raw. What followed was a near 30 minute match where Cena kicked out of, among other things, a piledriver, a move banned in WWE, and then finally defeated Punk.
- Due to Cena's place within the WWE, defeating him can be seen as defeating the undefeatable.
- History repeated in the form of AJ Styles. 2016 saw them go head to head and have Styles maintain a clean slate against his rival, until Cena finally defeated him at the 2017 Rumble.
"I'm not an Apex Predator. I'm just John Cena."
- As part of his gimmick, but also arguably just the man himself. When John Cena suffers a major injury, expect him to come back from it in half the amount of time it would take anyone else. This was played up in his comeback from a triceps tear. Originally he was going to be out for four-six months, but came back after two months. All throughout his match against Alberto Del Rio the commentators was discussing whether or not Cena was coming back too soon. It also led to widespread suspicion that the triceps tear is kayfabe.
- This trope is how the booking justifies Cena being on the top of the food chain. He's admitted he isn't the best wrestler or the strongest (although, pound for pound, he's darn close to one of the strongest) but he never, ever quits while he's still conscious.
- Lampshaded during the December 2, 2013 episode of RAW when tearing down Randy Orton.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: From his Theme Song "Basic Thuganomics": "No Deadman Inc. and we're about to make you famous"note
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: He used his trademark "Word life" brass knuckles to defeat UPW Light heavyweight Champion Frankie Kazarian but when the referee raised John Cena's hand in victory, he found one of them, reversing the decision.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: After he took his rapper gimmick, building on his freestyle skills, he has provided his own theme music twice ("Basic Thuganomics" then "The Time Is Now", a theme Cena is still using to this day ten years on, even though said gimmick has been dropped) in collaboration with his cousin, Tha Trademarc.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Before he settled into his wholesome babyface image, some of his promos in the mid-2000s can qualify as this. For example, in his promo the night after New Year's Revolution 2005, he told the fans who didn't like him to "kiss his ass", something the John Cena we all know now would never say.
- Enemies Equals Greatness: This seems to be a case with Cena today. According to the WWE, it doesn't matter whether Cena is cheered or booed; what matters is that he gets the biggest crowd reaction in all of WWE. Not to mention that selling all of the "Cena Sucks" T-shirts for his haters helped boost his merchandise.
- Enemy Mine:
- He's had several short reigns as a Tag champion, and most of them have been like this. His runs with The Miz and David Otunga played it pretty straight. (Neither reign lasted more than a day, and coincidentally, he lost both titles to the same team - also from The Nexus.)
- Subverted with his team-up with Batista. The two obviously couldn't stand each other and their inability to work together cost them the titles a week after winning them. His reign with Shawn Michaels was a rocky one, and while it was the longest one he had as a tag champ, with 63 days, the two were set to compete for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Cena knew that Shawn had a tendency to kick the people he was teaming/allying with, in the face. They made it past WrestleMania, with Cena retaining his WWE Championship, then, well, kick to the face.
- Also subverted with The Rock. They teamed against Awesome Truth and won...but the match ended up becoming a junk-measuring contest between the two, and ended with Cena catching a Rock Bottom.
- Epic Fail:
- He was on the receiving end of Mick Foley's own Epic Fail: a "This Is Your Life" segment. "This Is Your Life" with the Rock is the highest rated segment in RAW historynote "This Is Your Life" with John Cena is so painfully (yet hilariously) bad that if anything, it will make you pity him.
- The episode where he made the Money in the Bank briefcase useless by losing to CM Punk.
- Establishing Character Moment: His first match with the WWE- going the distance against the previously unstoppable Kurt Angle, almost winning, refusing to give up and offering to shake Angle's hand after losing.
- Exact Words
- How he kept Barrett from winning the Championship. Barrett had told Cena, who was the guest-ref in the WWE Championship match against Randy Orton that if he were to lose, Cena would be fired. Barrett won... through Cena disqualifying Orton, which kept the gold in the Viper's hands.
- On the 4/8/13 episode of Raw, Cena finally gave us a heel turn...by literally turning his right heel.
- Although the usual comparison to Cena is Hulk Hogan, Cena is also very similar to early 90s Sting. Both have similar body types, hairstyles, and wrestling styles (a speedy yet still power-based moveset).
- A "blue-chipper" face who turned heel, lashed out at fans and other wrestlers over a lack of respect, gains the respect of fans through his "witty" insults and competitive nature, becomes something of an Anti-Hero by directing his insults towards Heel wrestlers and authority figures, and eventually becomes a full-fledged Face and very integral part of the WWE, not to mention a movie star...Where have we seen this before?
- He also somewhat resembles his trainer Tom Howard, sharing his military gimmick tones (marine in Cena and green beret in Howard), allrounder wrestling style, body type and athleticism.
- Extreme Doormat: To Wade Barrett, unwillingly.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His spinner championships.
- This should be obvious, with his current Good Guy gimmick and whatnot.
- Cena's a notable case in that he hasn't turned in almost a decade, practically unheard of these days. Only Rey Mysterio beats him out for the title of this generation's Ricky Steamboat (he's only ever been heel once in his entire career, and WWE ignores the fact that it ever happened since it was WCW), which is why he's called the "Modern Day Hulk Hogan", who has actually played a heel for noticeable amount of time.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Cena's current situation essentially. Being basically both officially the biggest Face and virtually the biggest Heel, the only thing Cena can do that won't be hated by half the audience is to not appear on the show at all. If he sticks to his 'Hustle-Loyalty-Respect' persona, there are usually responses to that. However, if he tries to show some edge or attitude... well, you can just look at Critical Backlash and Designated Hero to see how well that has been accepted.
- Finishing Move: The Attitude Adjustment (formerly the "F-U", a shot at the "F-5" finishing maneuver of Brock Lesnar who he was feuding with at the time, because both moves start by lifting the target into a fireman's carry); the STF (formerly the "STF-U"). The Protobomb as The Prototype.
- Five Moves of Doom: The God of this. Here's his current sequence: Shoulder tackle x 2, Blue Thunder Powerbombnote , Five Knuckle Shuffle, Attitude Adjustment. Most of the time, the STF is added as a sixth move.
- He's been subverting it frequently as of late and pulling out a lot of new moves out of the bag when you least expect it. Absolutely no one expected him to do a freaking Canadian Destroyer to Kevin Owens or a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on AJ Styles. It could be argued that since both Owens and Styles are two of the absolute best workers in professional wrestling, Cena feels more confident in pulling off moves he never usually performs when wrestling with either of them.
- Flung Clothing:
- Does this whenever he wants to kick some ass, with his hat and his T-shirt.
- He tossed his shirt into the crowd at ECW One Night Stand 2006. The crowd promptly threw it back. At least twice.
- This happened again on Raw's August 22, 2011 episode, when he had a match against CM Punk, twice.
- For Great Justice: For the troops/kids!
- Friend to All Children: Cena has granted 500 wishes and counting for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, more than any other celebrity to date.
- Fun Personified: At the end of the day, John Cena is a children's TV character. He is designed with this in mind. Teenagers have Orton and slightly darker, more edgy guys. Adults can have their Owens, Ambrose and other ex-Indie stars with an ever-changing move set and slightly more intricate characters, because we can appreciate that. Cena isn't the IWC's wrestler, and for the most part they have accepted this.
- Game-Breaking Injury: His knee injury in 2004, his torn pec muscle in 2007, his neck injury in 2008, his elbow injury in 2012 and his torn triceps in 2013.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- While they changed the names of his two finishers to be more family friendly, his theatrical fistdrop, the Five Knuckle Shuffle, is still named after a euphemism for masturbation.
- Which becomes a tad horrific when he starts selling Fruity Pebbles to children while shouting out the line FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE TO YOUR FACE!
- He called Dolph Ziggler "Mitch Cumsteen" once. That's not exactly PG.
- Another time he tried to replace his nickname "Show"off with "Jerk." Dolph immediately stops him before he could complete it.
- Calling Eve Torresnote a "hoeski"? He would also allude to her having an STD and wanting no parts of her because of it. Definitely not PG.
- February 21, 2011. Cena cuts a rap for the first time in years, and amongst other things, drops this line:Cena: I'm like a big purple pinwheel, Rock, so go ahead and blow me. [literally blows a purple pinwheel with a smirk on his face]
- Just when the fans thought that the first rap on The Rock was hardcore, it went up to fucking eleven on March 12, 2012. Cena, with his old school theme, demeanor, and attire didn't even bother trying to sneak past the radar. He mowed the damn thing down with a tank, sitting on top with both fingers flying. Highlights from his freestyle include threatening to put his nuts in Rock's face, give him a Cleveland steamer, and accusing The Rock of being, verbatim, "Miami fried chicken shit."
- While telling off John Laurinaitis in Pittsburgh, during his shout out to the hockey team the Penguins, he pulled out a hockey puck and tells him, "Go puck yourself."
- Good Is Not Soft: A consistent trait of his persona is that he openly welcomes any challenge for any reason. ("If you want some, come get some"). He will accept and he will fight you with just as much effort and motivation as if you are The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels (the 'Respect' part of Hustle. Loyalty. Respect). And if you do manage to beat him, he will sincerely congratulate you, and even go to bat for you if needed. However, if you misjudged yourself or him and you're not up to task, he will have no mercy or hesitation about steamrolling you. Now, this would be perfectly acceptable ... except this aspect of his gimmick is downplayed if not outright ignored. So, he is often cast as fighting morally even when he doesn't have that. This leads to the multiple narrative disconnects in his feuds, when simply going with this trope and SinkOrSwimMentor would be easier to take, even fresh and novel.
- Graceful Loser:
- Cena congratulates Daniel Bryan for winning the WWE championship from him in Summerslam 2013...even if it was short lived by Randy Orton and Triple H.
- Often averted by Cena's opponents. Even Shawn Michaels, Mr. WrestleMania, one of the most humble wrestlers on the roster (post-2002 at least), refused a handshake from Cena after losing to him at WrestleMania 23.
- Most recently, after losing to Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown Live for the right to face Jinder Mahal for the title on SummerSlam, he raises his hand and also bows to Nakamura (who returned it).
- Healing Factor: Damn near; John Cena's ability to recover from injury or surgery in about half the projected time is practically supernatural. It really does verge on an actual no-joke superpower
- Heel: He was heel as the Doctor Of Thugamomics for most of 2003 until he Turned Face and eventually became the Cena we know today.
- Heel–Face Turn: Cena's first heel run as Doctor of Thuganomics saw him cutting raps on everyone and insulting them in a very humorous manner, which led the fans to cheer for him more and more, which led to his Face turn, and eventually becoming the face of the company.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He opens Raw on April 28th, 2014, questioning why why the WWE universe turned their back on him and had him fight all three of the Wyatts note , and then stating that Bray isn't the man the audience thinks he is. Then the arena goes dark and the lights come back on to reveal of choir of children chanting Bray's signature "The Whole World in His hands" mantra, culminating in the entire arena joining in. By the end of the promo, Cena is very visibly shaken by the event.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Push John Cena hard enough and you will be (rudely) reminded that ultimately, he is a thug at heart and he always will be. Cena has no issue snapping back to "Ruthless Aggression" and becoming the good Doctor of Thuganomics again if he's in a bad enough mood.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Invoked during his recent feud with Kane.
- Hidden Depths/Genius Bruiser: He has a degree in Exercise Physiology.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- How he didn't win against The Rock at WrestleMania 28 - Cena had Rock set-up for the 5-Knuckle Shuffle, but instead decided to beat him with the People's Elbow... only for Rock to get-up & hit Cena with a Rock Bottom as he comes off the ropes for the second time. Cena put emphasis on this on the last RAW before WrestleMania 29 as part of his promo about how as far as he (and by extension the WWE booking) is concerned, the Rock did NOT beat him in WM 28.
- Also how he didn't win the WWE Championship at Night Of Champions 2012 - Cena hit Punk with a German Suplex but didn't lift his shoulders.
- Honor Before Reason: Cena is often like this when it comes to the integrity of the WWE Championship. He refused to help Wade Barrett cheat to win said championship during the Nexus angle and prevented Vince McMahon from re-enacting the Montreal Screwjob in his Money in the Bank match against CM Punk, even though the former led to his being fired (for a while) and the latter almost did, as well as it leading to him losing the title.
- Hot-Blooded: Some of Cena's (better) promos fall into this territory.
- How Much More Can He Take?: Ever since he turned face, any time Cena is in a gimmick match this will invariably happen to him.
- Humble Hero: Ever since the Money in the Bank debacle, Cena has summed up his philosophy as "titles come and titles go." There is now very little separation between Cena the wrestler and Cena the man: he wrestles to put smiles on childrens' faces.
- Does not like any excessive promotion of his charity work. He might be the celebrity most involved with Make-A-Wish, but to him it's not by any means for publicity.
- Subverted in that he still gets by far the most focus in WWE's charity promotions and even used Make-a-Wish as a point defending himself in a promo at one point.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Seems to be what Cena's inner conflict during his feud with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX was intended to be.
- I Let You Win: Cena's responses to WrestleMania 28 and SummerSlam 2014 are essentially this.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness:
- Multiple heels have persuaded him to forgo his code, with some even arguing that it's become little more than pandering at this point. While he usually does develop more of a mean streak during the programs this takes place in, he always refuses the Face–Heel Turn out of respect for the fans who support him for who he is.
- He's also this to an improbable extent in real life; despite being hated by tons of fans and remaining a controversial figure for almost a decade, he never shows ill will towards his detractors (compare Randy Orton, who couldn't help but give the fans the finger out of frustration when he was booed for one match). Additionally, he's squeaky clean outside the ring, never gets involved with legal troubles or tumultuous relationships, lives for charities (he's literally a record-breaking Make-a-Wish Foundation contributor, having granted more wishes for the organization than anyone since its founding), and is a consummate professional at pretty much all times. He's the definition of what a company wants from their poster boy, which may explain why he's been on top of WWE for so long.
- Insult Backfire:
- During the Viewers' Choice Raw match with CM Punk (prior to The Nexus's debut riot), fans started up a "You can't wrestle!" chant. Cena promptly performed a slick series of chain wrestling reversals that silenced the audience. This also happened during the infamous One Night Stand match. The Mutants kept yelling "YOU CAN'T WRESTLE", before Cena performed a sequence of wrestling holds and submissions, at which point they started chanting "SAME OLD SHIT!"... until Cena jumped from the top rope to RVD outside the ring. The ECW Mutants shot back with "YOU STILL SUCK!".
- Happened again to CM Punk when he aired a promo from the Rock making fun of Cena for his Broken Base, Punk himself doing the same thing. See Lampshade Hanging below and you can probably figure out how Cena responded.
- This happened recently on the post-Survivor Series Raw when Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) decided to mock Cena for having the Madison Square Garden fans all booing him the night before, and cheering The Rock. Of course, Cena turned the attempted insult right around into a brilliant "The Reason You Suck" Speech so magnificent that he broke up Awesome Truth without even laying a finger on Miz or Truth.
- Irony: Cena, much in the vein of Edge never becoming a Grand Slam Champion while his less successful tag team partner Christian did, is not a Triple Crown Champion. This is because Cena has been almost exclusively connected to the United States Championship for all of his WWE career. While the US title is technically a secondary title on par with the Intercontinental title, the WWE has never acknowledged it as such by making it an alternative title for the Triple Crown. Thus, Cena, who has never won the Intercontinental title, has not achieved a status that has been achieved by several other, less successful WWE superstars, despite being the biggest superstar in the business. And at this point in his career, it's unlikely he ever will.
- It's Personal:
- His feud with Randy Orton is easily the most personal feud in years, to the point that Cena's father got involved. Their last match for the feud, the infamous Bragging Rights sixty-minute iron man match, had Orton try to blow Cena up with pyrotechnics. And even after the feud has long since ended, it's obvious that the two still can't stand each other, even when they're both faces.
- In his Miracle on 34th Street Fight match with Alberto Del Rio, who "accidentally" ran St. Nick over with his car when entering the stage.
- Jerkass: When he was heel.
- Kid-Appeal Character:
- His gimmick is hated by adult male fans, at least tolerated by female fans because women love Cena himself, and very much beloved by children.
- Lampshaded this outright during his November 22 "retirement" speech: He asked the women and kids to scream "Let's go, Cena!" and all the guys to yell back "Cena sucks!" one more time.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Some people may think Cena attacking Edge in a hotel may be bad, even throwing Edge in the Long Island Sound, but he had plenty of reasons to be mad.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Have you seen the chin on this man?◊
- Hilariously discussed by Dean Ambrose.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- In Cena's goodbye speech, he does this to his fanbase, by having "all the girls and little kids say "Let's Go Cena" and all the dudes over 18 say "Cena sucks".
- Is very aware of the mixed reaction he gets from the fans and references it almost weekly.
- Large Ham:
- At this point, it's possible that fans tune into Raw just to see how much scenery he will chew.
- Talking quietly to convey seriousness AND THEN YELLING LOUDLY TO CONVEY INTENSITY!!!
- You know the scary part? Age has mellowed him. Watch him doing "Five Questions with The Champ/with John Cena," they give him five questions from fans, turn on a camera, and let it roll, and Cena usually like an over-caffeinated squirrel the entire time. Many of them are on Youtube, enjoy.
- Leitmotif: "Basic Thuganomics" and "The Time is Now", both of which Cena recorded himself.
- Lesser of Two Evils:
- This was the reason he gave for not participating in the Raw walk out. Whereas many of the strikers were relatively new and had only known Raw with Triple H as GM, Cena as a long-runner had experienced the management styles of Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, Vickie Guerrero and "56 celebrity General Managers". In comparison to all of that, he decided Triple H wasn't so bad, despite his personal dislike for Trips.
- Defended his decision to bring back The Authority by claiming that he was not willing to gamble with a man's life, not just acknowledging that bringing The Authority back was the lesser of the two evils, but also claiming that he would make the same decision every time if he had to do it over again.
- Lighter and Softer: The Cenation Leader compared to The Doctor of Thuganomics.
- Loophole Abuse:
- See Combat Pragmatist. Ain't no rule that says you can't duct-tape your opponent's legs behind the ringpost to ensure he can't make it to his feet in a Last Man Standing match.
- This worked both for and against Cena at TLC 2013: Ain't no rule saying Randy Orton can't handcuff Cena to the ring ropes while Orton climbs the ladder to victory, and nothing stopped Cena from unscrewing the rope from the corner post in a last-ditch effort to stop him.
- Lovable Rogue: As the Doctor of Thuganomics.
- Made of Iron:
- Arguably in Real Life, but definitely booked this way - sometimes to nonsensical levels. He is the idol of millions of children and his #1 catch phrase is "Never give up". The very idea of having little kids see their hero give up and tap out because of too much pain? What kind of message would it send to the kids if the man who never quits and never gives up is beaten by a heel? That evil prevails? Can't have that. (Also, he sells a shit-ton of merch that says "NEVER GIVE UP". That's a consideration, too.)
- He's taken a DDT on concrete and gone on to recover minutes later and win the match, he was out for only a week (although clearly weakened) after Big Show chokeslammed him from the stage and into an industrial-sized searchlight, and JBL at one point ran his vehicle full-speed at Cena, whose back was literally against a wall. Oh yeah, and he got stabbed in a night club and recovered pretty quickly. With no visible scars.
- Dented Iron: To put it simply, John Cena, circa 2012. He got his ass kicked by anything that's not nailed down, but it almost always required outside interference, and injury that occurred before the match, or (in case of WrestleMania 28) a lapse of judgment on his part for him to lose a match. Some wrestling fans have joked that this man can kick out of getting nuked.
- Manchild: Cena has been criticized for cutting "Childish" promos in recent memory. But when Cena gets serious, prepare to be attacked with words.
- Montreal Screwjob: Invoked and defied in his Money in the Bank 2011 match against CM Punk. Michael Cole mentioned that Bret Hart tried to leave the (then) WWF with the title, leading to the screwjob, then Vince McMahoncame in and tried to end the match without Punk tapping while Punk was in the STS. Cena stopped the hold and came out and told Vince that the match would end fair and square.
- Moral Myopia
- WWE portrays everything Cena does as just and everything that anybody who opposes him as unjust: a glaring example is his feud with Ryback where he's vilified for attacking Cena from behind. A few years back when Cena did the exact same thing to The Rock it was perfectly A-OK. This does the absolute opposite of quelling his hatedom.
- Played With on the April 22, 2013 edition of RAW. It looked like Cena was going to do the exact same thing Ryback did to him the week before (leave him to The Shield). Instead, he rushes the ring and saves Ryback from the Shield. He then gives Ryback an Attitude Adjustment himself.
- Morton's Fork: The smarks are utterly sick of Cena for being an incorruptible pure-white babyface forever and never changing. A heel turn would probably do his wrestling cred no end of good, and if he was pretty much any other wrestler, that's probably what he'd do. But he is THE #1 childrens' idol in wrestling history, particularly the sick kids he helps for Make-A-Wish, so having him turn heel would be nothing short of cruel, if not outright inhumane. He'd be damned if he did, so he continues to be damned for not doing it, doing his best to tune out the endless torrents of hate he gets from the people he knows he just can't please.
- Mr. Exposition: Often begins his promo with an infodump of the angle he's involved in, recounting everything that's happened recently.
- Mr. Fanservice: He's a blue-eyed, square-jawed, well-built All-American Boy who has a hilarious sense of humor and likes working with Make-A-Wish kids. It's not just little kids that are cheering for Cena.
- Nice Caps: Which he throws away at every televised event.
- Nice Guy: If there was a list for "Nicest Men", he would be really high on that list. It's almost scary how squeaky clean Cena is outside of the ring. He never gets in trouble with the law, with WWE policies, he shows up to perform as often as humanly possible, and hasn't had any squabbles with WWE at all that might lead to his quitting the company.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He had a business dinner with AJ Lee, which, all in all, wouldn't really have been that much of a problem... except that he'd asked her out on a date before hand. On Raw. Vickie Guerrero took advantage of this, said AJ was fraternizing and subsequently, AJ lost her job as the GM.
- Nice to the Waiter: Usually takes a moment to greet the cameraman when he enters the arena.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
- Cena's been involved in a few of these, including his Extreme Rules match with Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand 2006 and his No-DQ Iron Man Match with Randy Orton at Bragging Rights in 2009.
- Gives one to Kane in revenge for what Kane had done to Zack Ryder.
- He got absolutely destroyed by Lesnar for most of their Extreme Rules match. Don't believe me? The ref had to to stop the match twice in 5 minutes because Lesnar busted him open the hard way, twice.
- Any match that's a gimmick match, be it a Last Man Standing Match or and Iron Man match, Cena will for the majority of it get his ass handed to him.
- No-Sell: Cena has been criticized for doing this quite a bit since his rise to the main event.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: His "Doctor of Thuganomics" Red Baron has led to some female online fans calling themselves the "Nurse of Thuganomics."
- Not Wearing Tights: Really the only time Cena has worn tights in WWE was the first few months when he debuted in 2002.
- Obvious Rule Patch: "Babyface must join the heel faction" angles usually have the rather glaring Plot Hole that the babyface doesn't really need to stay in the group and do as he's told. Raw's anonymous GM fixed that up by declaring that Cena would be fired unless he did as Wade Barrett commanded. (Cena still openly defied him anyway.)
- One-Hit Kill: His FU in most of his Non-PPV matches.
- Once per Episode: His Five Moves of Doom.
- During most of his solo entrances, he'll turn and say a slogan directly to the camera filming him.
- Parts Unknown: (As the Prototype in OVW) "Classified," later Area 51.
- Pec Flex: While he dosen't really do it, there are some instances where one of his pecs would flex. But you have to pay close attention.
- Pixellation: When WWE turned PG in 2008, they changed Cena's TitanTron, But they blurred the "Ruck Fules" on Cena's cap.
- Popularity Power:
- Just one of the reasons Cena's pushed as WWE's current-day Hulk Hogan. He's still the face on the top-selling merchandise.
- He used this to force Vince McMahon to let Punk come back to get the match he'd earned.
- Power Stable:
- (As the Prototype in OVW): Bolin Services
- Unwillingly, the Nexus.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
- Precision F-Strike
- For all the criticism he receives for being overtly pandering towards children, he is one of the biggest pottymouths on WWE television:
- The 10/25/10 edition of RAW saw Cena slipping in a "damn" into his rant against Wade Barrett. In PG-WWE, where swear words are just not used, this was used to show that things have gotten serious, to great effect.
- He said on the 1/10/11 edition that he would kick CM Punk's ass.
- Hit Eve Torres with a pretty strong one on an episode of Raw. Comparing her to The Rock, Cena rounds off his promo with "You're perfect for each other! You're both scandalous bitches.'"
- On the 6/10/13 edition of RAW, he hit Ryback with a strong one.Cena: I think this Sunday, for one of us, payback's a bitch.
- What's likely the most glaring example of Cena's entire career was on the March 28, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live, to The Miz:Cena: In ten years here at the WWE, you still haven't got the one rule that we live by: You wanna talk tough, you better be tough, and you a pussy.
- Pretty Fly (For a White Guy): As the Doctor Of Thuganomics.
- Product Placement: From his theme song "My Time Is Now":"I brush your mouth like Colgate."
- Put on a Bus: Whenever an injury is severe enough to warrant surgery and time off. He's notorious for working through any injury he has and coming back sooner then expected. The only time he's been gone any length of time was when he tore his pec in 2007 and was expected to be out up till 8 months only to come back after nearly 4 months. The other times he's been gone is due to kayfabe injuries earlier in his career.
- Raging Stiffie: Cena has gotten a boner multiple times. here's one of them.
- Real Men Wear Pink: At Night of Champions 2012, Cena started wearing a pink "Rise Above Cancer" shirt, armbands and cap as part of the 'E's partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. He also invoked this on the 9/24/12 episode of RAW, right after kicking CM Punk's ass for dissing his hat and shirt.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Gives a pretty good one to Vince McMahon on the July 19th, 2011 episode of RAW, calling Vince out on the Montreal Screwjob and his attempt to do it again the previous night, chewing him out on what it'd done to Shawn Michaels career.
- He topped that with an even better one at the end of the post-Survivor Series '11 Raw. How better? He dismantled Awesome Truth without even laying so much as a finger on either of the two.
- Gets another nice one on John Laurinaitis on the May 14, 2012 episode of RAW, listing every single failure Laurinaitis has had since WrestleMania, calling him out on his It's All About Me mentality, chews him out for firing the Big Show for mocking his voice while mocking his voice, and cutting him off whenever he started talking to call him a loser.
- Cena seems to be quite good at giving these, as he delivers a great one on CM Punk during the main event segment of the September 10th, 2012 episode of RAW, calling out the recently heel-turned Punk on his vicious quest for "respect" and telling the supposed Voice of the Voiceless that his campaign for change in WWE was nothing more but Punk being in the business for himself.
- He also called out Alberto Del Rio for beating up Rey Mysterio Jr. and calling himself a champion, even yelling at him "YOU ARE NOT A CHAMPION!"
- Gives an epic one to Randy Orton on the December 2, 2013 episode of RAW, ripping him for his defection from Evolution after winning the World Heavyweight Championship back in 2004 and essentially turning his back on his mentor at the time, WWE COO Triple H.Cena: The only dream you have ever turned into a nightmare is Triple H's, because ten years ago he chose you, to teach you how to be a success in the WWE. And what did you do about it? YOU NEVER LIVED UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL! EVER! No no no no no, I don't fault him; he chose you because he saw what we all saw: you are the most gifted WWE Superstar ever. You make every single thing in this ring look easy. But with that you got cocky, and you got a bad attitude to boot, and then you got lazy. You were the YOUNGEST WWE Champion in history! [Triple H] gave you Hall-of-Fame mentors to learn from, and what did you do? Kick back, relax, and let some scrappy kid in a t-shirt and a ball cap ruin his dream! I AM NOT YOU, Randy Orton! I am John Cena! I have never been asked to be called the face of ANYTHING! I'm just the first to show up, and the last to leave. And that's the way it is, Jack.
- And reminds Orton and everyone else during the "Championship Ascension" ceremony on the December 9th episode of Raw, that even if he doesn't show "ruthless aggression" in the ring anymore, he sure as hell does on the mic:Cena: It's funny... I couldn't help but noticed you used the word "work." Little example for one second... [pulls Daniel Bryan to the center of the ring to a massive home state pop] Tell these people your name, please.
Daniel Bryan: My name is Daniel Bryan.
Cena: We'll get to know you a little more. Has your mother or father ever been a WWE Superstar or champion, at all?
Bryan: No, my father is a long-scaler actually.
Cena: So... since you've been here, you've had to work for everything you've got?
Bryan: YES. [crowd goes into massive "YES" chant]
Cena: You hear that? The reason they cheer for him is because he works and he earns it. A guy like you has been given every! single! thing in the WWE! I'm about to hit you in the face with some truth. Ever since you came to the WWE training center, you were untouchable, you were bullet-proof, you couldn't be fired. Nobody could touch Randy Orton because THEY liked you. And then you get to the WWE and what happens? You get sheltered behind the best performer in the business. Nothing's changed, Randy. All you do is hide behind Triple H. All you do is hide behind Stephanie McMahon. And you got the balls to stand in this ring and say you're better than anybody here?! You say you're bigger than all of this?
You have always blamed everyone else for your failures, you've pointed fingers and you've made excuses. You've had behavior problems in the ring, you've had behavior problems outside the ring, and the sad thing is, the TLC match this Sunday is the biggest in WWE history. That is why everybody is here tonight; this changes the very course of the WWE. But you want these championships because you're selfish, because you feel you deserve it, and maybe, just maybe, if you hold onto this, you can finally walk around with the rest of the superstars and say "Hey guys, look. I'm finally what I was supposed to be 10 years ago." Every single time I have held either of these championships, my business card has remained the same: "You want some, come get some."
And here's the real truth: Whether these guys in the ring like me or not, they respect me because they know it. Whether it's Triple H or it's Shawn Michaels in a WrestleMania match, whether it's Booker T... hell, nobody wanted to give Dolph Ziggler a chance, what did I do? I said "Let's fight." Everybody said it was a bad idea to give CM Punk a championship match when he was going to leave the WWE! All I saw was "The Best in the World." Hell, the only legitimate championship shot that Daniel Bryan's ever had was against me and he won. [to Daniel Bryan] So I'll say it right here in front of your home town. If I win this Sunday, I look forward to the rematch. A fair rematch.
See, that's what being a champion is all about, a certain level of respect, and last week I wasn't going to take you out. I just wanted to make a statement. That when the chips are down, I can be just as brutal as you.
This Sunday will be physical and it will be brutal and I will be at my very best. I just hope you are too, because after this Sunday, the last thing anyone is going to want to deal with is just another Randy Orton excuse. Good luck on Sunday. You're gonna need it.
- He gives a rather epic one to Stephanie McMahon on June 6, 2014 over how she and The Authority had treated Daniel Bryan, telling her that every time he comes close to becoming a champion, she screws him over.
- Cena absolutely lambasted Miz and Maryse on the March 28, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live, reminding them that they're hypocrites, that Maryse does nothing but show up and hang around Miz, and that Miz himself constantly runs his mouth despite having no desire to fight anyone, much less fight Cena.Cena: With you two, it's not just a joke. You actually believe what you're saying is true, and it couldn't be further from the truth. [to Maryse] Like you. You actually believe that [Nikki] kept you from coming back to WWE, yet you're standing in a ring right now. How the hell could that even happen?! Here's the truth, and it's gonna sting a little bit; they didn't ask you back because they didn't want you back, because when you were here before, you didn't do jack. You don't believe me? Get on the WWE Network right now and search for "Best of Maryse." You find this [makes a 0 with his hand].
[to Miz] And you? You got my life all planned out. This is just a 15-year plan for me to use the WWE as a vaulting board to Hollywood so I can go on to the red carpet and leave WWE in the dust. Man, are you high? I'm as brand loyal as Vince McMahon, and hell, I'm not even cool about it! Everybody here knows I'm loyal to the WWE. Hell, half of em hate me for it! They want me to go but they can't get rid of me!
Mike... I'm doing a movie. And then I'm coming back. A lot of superstars do this, guys. Triple H has done it, Randy Orton's done it, Sheamus has done it, Seth Rollins has done it, Dean Ambrose has done it, and oh wait... you've done it. It slipped my mind for a second because the only movies you're in are crappy bootlegs of movies I already made.
No, it's cool, because at least you're doing something. I'm still trying to figure out what [to Maryse] you're doing here. Did you know that right now, there is a women's revolution going on? And that means each and every week, women aren't just allowed, they are encouraged to step in this ring and prove that they are just as good, if not better, than men. I don't know if you guys saw this, but last week, Nicole picked up a dude who was 210 pounds and threw him around like he was a waste of space. [to Maryse] Every week, you show up, steal a paycheck, and you are a waste of space.
And you wanna knock Nicole for not having kids? How long y'all been married? How many kids you got? Let me just crunch the numbers real quick... none. What, you firing blanks there, sport? [cup checks Miz]
Where we come from, if you fail, if you get knocked down, you just get back up and move on. If you guys so much as stumble, you blame everybody else, it's never your fault, and there's always an excuse. And that type of attitude, you create this ego where you're unbeatable, unstoppable, untouchable, but Mike... that's not real, dude. And real is gonna punch you straight in the mouth this Sunday.
- Roman Reigns tries to deliver one to him, and receives an epic one in return when Cena basically calls out what the entire world feels about Reigns.Cena: This (pointing at contract), this is the reason I came to Monday Night Raw, to be in this ring, face to face with the man who says he runs the yard. With the Big Dog. With The Guy... Ever since Roman Reigns has set foot in the ring, he hasn't just been the blue chip prospect. He has been the blue chip prospect that has been protected against anyone and everyone that steps in his path.
Cena: They go back and forth with you, because when they look at you, they see what I see; a cheap-ass, corporately-created, John Cena bootleg. This chump right here, he ain't The Guy. Dude, you're just a guy. A guy trying so desperately to fill shoes that you never will.
Reigns: The reason why they boo you, is because they see right through you. You're a phony. You're a yes man who can learn how to do anything, or be anything. So if you wrap all that up, you're just a fake bitch.... He's a part-timing, fake-ass bitch. And I'll be damned if I don't bust my ass Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, every single week, so you can hang out on the Today Show. Then jump on this big 'ol bus, and hell, maybe I'll come to a WWE show if they paid me enough. But what are you really gonna do, John? What are you gonna do, huh? You're gonna jump off that bus with that big ass shovel. That big shovel, that's what you're gonna do, and you're gonna bury as much young talent as you can. Because that's what you do right? That's how you stay on top of the mountain. You'll do anything. You're just a backstabbing shark, but the thing is the reason why you don't like me, what irritates you about me? You can't bury me John. You can't touch me. Hell I think this is fitting. I'm the one guy in the WWE that John Cena can't see. So now tell me this, why would I lessen myself, my legacy, my bloodline, to be the next John Cena, when I can be the one and only Roman Reigns?
Cena: You done? You see, because Roman Reigns is a fool. Roman Reigns is a damn fool. There's an old saying, it's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than open it and prove 'em right. You, of all people, you waltz down here and use the same pathetic excuse that every other single person before you has done. You, with all your gifts, and all your opportunities, you have the gall to blame me. That's fine, that's fine, Big Dog. Congratulations, it took you five years to cut a halfway decent promo but now I'm about to shrink you down to size.
OK, so everyone back there thinks I've got this mythical, golden shovel; that I've got this magical powers that I can control everything and keep everybody's fate. Dude, I can't tell if you're blind or stupid. Look and listen, they (pointing at crowd) hold the keys, they always have, they always will. But, you gotta blame me. Fine, I've been hearing the same racket for 10 years, and I ain't tired of it yet. I'm strong enough, I've been called a lot worse by a lot tougher.
But you actually believe that I'm a shark, that I hold everybody down, that I swim to the top and and keep 'em underwater at any and all costs. I haven't main-evented Wrestlemania in 5 years. I was the opening match at Summerslam. I was honored and privileged to earn the United States title at this stage in my career, and use it as a beacon of opportunity to introduce new superstars to the WWE like Kevin Owens and AJ Styles, just to name a few.
You took the US title as a demotion, and you stand there and blame me. Fine, I blame you. I'm still here because you can't do your job!
When it comes to this yard, you probably haven't learned it yet, there is only one rule: step up or step aside! And over the years, there's been a few to step up, but nobody could ever keep up!
And then I finally hear about this one guy, The Guy, The Roman Reigns, the one that can keep up... And now I look at ya, and I listen to ya... You should be ashamed I'm a part-timer, 'cause I can do this part time better than you could ever do at full time.
- Red Baron: The "Doctor of Thuganomics" in his original gimmick. Doesn't usually use a Red Baron on TV nowadays, although vignettes and extra media will occasionally stick a "The Incomparable" before his name or refer to him as "The Franchise."
- Reformed Criminal: In kayfabe. Given that the Doctor of Thuganomics is a delinquent Anti-Hero, he could be seen as this at the time.
- Ricky Morton: Despite his boring invincible hero status, Cena played the part of the weaker, beat about wrestler onRaw in the UK in November 2012. His tag partner? The monster Ryback.
- The Rival:
- Batista ever since the 2005 Royal Rumble until Big Dave's Face–Heel Turn in late 2009. By the time of their WrestleMania 26 encounter, Batista is portrayed as the Rival Turned Evil.
- He and CM Punk have had a very steady rivalry (as in, all of Cena's title matches have been against him) since "The Promo" in mid-2011. And in late 2012, CM Punk went heel as well.
- He and Randy Orton have had a very long rivalry dating back to 2007 when Orton Punt Kicked Cena's dad to get a title shot. They have been feuding sense then and the rivalry ended in late-2009 when Cena beat Orton in a 60-Minute Iron Man match, but their rivalry reignited once again in late-2013 with what Cena called to be "The end of this rivalry" but it could reignite at any moment.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- After being 'fired' from The Nexus, Cena's backstage sneak attacks on Nexus members.
- He went on another against Kane for what Kane had done to Zack Ryder.
- Rogues Gallery: He has managed attract a lot of foes over the years: Edge, Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, The Nexus, Brock Lesnar, JBL, The Big Show, The Miz, Batista, Kane, CM Punk, The Rock, Dolph Ziggler (AJ Lee may or may not qualify).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While it was an honorable notion to welcome "Naitch" back with his "Superstar of the Year" Slammy, you can't help but feel like the NUCLEAR heat he was getting from the Philly crowd was the real reason Cena booked it and handed things off to Ric.
- Semper Fi: As mentioned he played a Marine in... well, The Marine. This had ebbed over into his wrestling gimmick and even been used for his SmackDown Vs Raw storyline.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: He fought hard to get The Authority out of power and his team eventually succeeded in doing so at Survivor Series...only to bring them back a month later on the final Raw of 2014 when Seth Rollins called his hand when he threatened to paralyze(and even murder) Edge when the latter was a guest host.
- Shout-Out: The FU is a take that to rival Brock Lesnar's F5 while the Attitude Adjustment is a shout out to Heat jobber and Raw Hillary Clinton impersonator Lexie Fyfe's Attitude Adjusternote . They also start as standing fireman's carries. The move itself is pretty much identical to Christopher Daniels's pole arm, as 'Prototype' got some pointers from him in UPW.
- His infamous 8-bit T-shirt introduced in 2008 is actually a parody of the cover of Pro Wrestling, a game from the NES.
- Showy Invincible Hero: You can torture him, mangle him, even outright beat him to a pulp. But Cena WILL come back. Good luck if you didn't bring any backup.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:
John Cena: Would you just shut up!? Honestly, these people are tired and you sound ridiculous! "I turn dreams into nightmares!" Where the hell did you get that one, a fortune cookie!?
- Delivered an epic one to Randy Orton on the December 2, 2013 edition of Raw, followed by a huge "The Reason You Suck" Speech:Randy Orton: C'mon, John, c'mon John, we have history, remember? I kicked your father in the head a few years ago. And since then, I've been making a hell of a career for myself, destroying the hopes and dreams of others and turning them into nightmares, which is exactly what I'm going to do to you at TLC. There's a reason they call me the Apex Predator, and despite all your accomplishments, all your achievements...the only reason you were put on God's green Earth is to lose the biggest match of your—
- He also gives one to Stephanie McMahon on 6/2/14 about her rant against Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella.
- Delivered an epic one to Randy Orton on the December 2, 2013 edition of Raw, followed by a huge "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Sigil Spam: Shirts, wristbands, titantron, stage graphics, his hand sign is visible nearly everywhere.
- Significant Monogram: Not intentional, Or is it?
- Slave to PR:
- His real life association with the Make-A-Wish Foundation is the true reason Cena has been a perpetual babyface since 2006. But he definitely does not do it for the good PR. He genuinely enjoys it and wants no part of receiving credit or recognition for it.
- Cena never gives up because if he did that would send a bad message to terminally ill kids. Just process that for a minute. In theory, Cena's loss (or retirement) could be the last thing those kids ever see. That's why he works through pain. Returns to work far sooner than he should. And appears in nearly every show. (Basically the same reason Pre-Hollywood Hogan would always win, but with less politicking.)
- Small Name, Big Ego: During his Doctor of Thuganomics heel run.
- Smug Super: Whenever Cena has to deal with his detractors, he will do it with the smuggest, shit-eating grin possible and rub it in everyone's face. His feuds with the Rock, CM Punk, and AJ Styles have made for a lot of examples, not only from said grin, but from a frustratingly excessive amount of the things he's said to them in promos.
- The Southpaw: He writes with his left hand, but whenever he wrestles, he uses his right arm.
- Ruck Fules!
- Go Puck Yourself!
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
- From 2005-2011, Cena competed in one of the World Championship matches in every WrestleMania and only lost twice.
- Since 2006 his title matches at WrestleMania were always at the main event or higher in the card despite his challenger or he himself didn't won the Royal Rumble. Subverted in 2008, ironically, when he won the Rumble, but his title match wasn't in the main event. And in 2009, where the actual Rumble winner challenged the champion in that year's WM main event.
- Static Character: His "The Champ" persona is this. Notable because he actively wears the fact he is a static character and refuses to change whatsoever no matter what happens in any story or he's placed against.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: There's a small but growing number of Smarks that are honestly getting tired of the endless Cena bashing. It's not that they like him, it's just that after five years, it's obvious that WWE aren't going to change anything and have basically come to accept that Cena's just something they have to deal with. Now they just feel like it would be a much better use of time and effort to critique the other aspects of WWE that piss them off.
- Strong as They Need to Be: He once lifted The Big Show and Edge at the same time. Yet, he has been portrayed as unable to lift Umaga (during their 2007 feud) and Kane (at Royal Rumble 2012). The Kane example was really strange since Cena had lifted him several times before.
- Take That!: Kayfabe example. During his feud with Brock Lesnar in early 2003, he named his finishing move "The F-U" as a dig at Lesnar, whose finishing move was "The F-5." He has since renamed the move "Attitude Adjustment," falling more in line with the PG direction the WWE was heading towards, and possibly as a dig at the fans who fondly recall the Attitude Era and harbor resentment towards Cena for representing the company's shift away from it,
- Take That, Audience!:
John Cena: For those 10 million people drinkin' haterade... hell, y'all all can kiss my ass!
- There was a group of Anti-Cena fans sitting in the front row at WrestleMania XXVI. After winning the match, Cena responded by posing in front of them.
- This promo the day after Edge cashed in money in the bank to beat Cena for the WWE Championship in 2006. Cena had something to say to the audience:
"If they hate let em hate
- From his theme song "My Time Is Now":
I'll drop your whole clan
Lay yo ass down for the 3-second tan"
- The anti-Cena line of merchandise. WWE must be pissing down their pants upon witnessing how well they managed to turn the anti-Cena sentiment, a great deal of which is based on legitimate disdain toward Cena's kayfabe characterization, into contributions to Cena's paycheque.
- "Take That!" Kiss: To Vickie Guerrero in his handicap match against her and Dolph Ziggler.
- Theatrics of Pain: A notably odd case as there are moves he's notably poor at selling while there are moves he sells extremely well. For instance, it's generally a bad idea to whip him in a turnbuckle, forward or backward. Alternately, he takes elbows and knees to the jaw unprotected, and makes a DDT look like his head was jammed through the ring.
- This Is Gonna Suck: A talent of his is to give a look like this to the hard camera such as the debut of the Nexus and the return of Brock Lesnar. Recently, when he came out to receive the fan-voted 'Superstar of the Year' despite his extremely bad year, the look on his face was a mixture of this and Oh, Crap!, only aided by the fact that show was in Philadelphia.
- Three Month Rule: Surprisingly, Cena tends to subvert this a lot. His kayfabe-dislike for Randy Orton is unaffected by the rule, even when they're both faces. Similar situations have happened with Punk ever since their 2011 feud as well.
- Toilet Humour: A lot of Cena's new promos do this.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the Nexus.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Fruity Pebbles. You can actually thank (or blame) The Rock for that one.
- Trauma Conga Line:
- The year 2012 was one big outside interference from Heaven. Here's the rundown:
- Lost maybe his only friend, Zack Ryder, to Kane's gambit
- Talked and fought for his life, but lost his match to The Rock with one misstep.
- Gets a hellacious beatdown by Brock Lesnar that bordered on disturbing, with a merciless verbal smackdown from Edge on top.
- Is harrassed by John Laurinaitis just for surviving the beatdown, and just when Cena's about to deal with that he gets laid out by Big Show... Then, he gets laid out the next night as well.
- Takes another beating inside a steel cage from The Big Show, that he only won thanks to Alex Riley, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston, and Brodus Clay.
- Wins Money in the Bank only to have his chance derailed by another The Big Show drubbing, becoming recognized as the first Money in the Bank winner to not win the championship in his cash-in match, despite winning the match by DQ.
- Fights for his life against CM Punk for the Championship and manages an incredible top rope German suplex ... but fails to pull off a complete bridge and is counted down as well, leaving the title with Punk.
- Sprains his ankle to the extent that it swells to 'the size of a football', and gets urgent surgery on a lingering elbow injury that renders him unable to fight at Hell in the Cell.
- Despite the relevance being largely unknown, is viciously hounded along with AJ Lee by Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler over an alleged romance, a pursuit that led to Cena injuring his knee and being tackled through a line of bathroom stalls.
- Was about to finally gain the upper hand on Ziggler ... when AJ pushes him off the ladder, leading Ziggler to win. AJ explains that Cena broke her heart and thus she helped break him ... by shacking up with Ziggler, who had been pelting her with multiple The Reason You Suck Speeches for weeks beforehand. Enter Big E Langston, who's flattened two nights in a row.
- Even a moment that SHOULD have been a good one wasn't, as in late 2012 he won the "Superstar of the Year" Slammy....despite having an apparent mediocre year, and not having the WWE title at all that year. To add to that the awards show was held in a traditionally anti-Cena city (Philadelphia). Needless to say the crowd was less than thrilled and let the winner know it.
- Extends to his personal life, on a much-serious note: enduring a very costly home renovation, and just finalized his divorce which, despite his on-air cheerfulness, is reported to be making him quite miserable.
- The year 2012 was one big outside interference from Heaven. Here's the rundown:
- Tranquil Fury: In some of his earlier promos when he was mad, he seemed calm, but then halfway through he exploded. Nowadays he simply smirks all the way through.
- Unexplained Recovery: During his feud with Carlito, Cena was apparently "stabbed" in the back by Carlito's lackey at a night club. He never showed any ill effects. Eddie Guerrero even hung a lampshade on it later on, mentioning that his (non-existent) scar had healed up pretty well.
- Unknown Rival:
- He has his in The Miz, who has despised John Cena since the beginning of his WWE run and has continued to despise him ever since, John Cena... used him as batting practice for his actual feud with Batista, and has never even cut a promo against him.
- Miz eventually took enough levels in Badass to become a legitimate Arch-Enemy to Cena.
- Unnecessary Roughness:
- Probably as far as PG-WWE goes, his Attitude Adjustment to Justin Gabriel onto (and almost through) the windshield of a car on the 11-29-10 episode of RAW probably counts as this.
- Dropping, according to Cena, 22 steel chairs onto Wade Barrett after decisively defeating him at the 2011 WWE TLC pay-per-view likely counts.
- He was certainly going for this when he beat the crap out of Jack Swagger...and almost succeeded. The Context Let's put it this way. Before Kane's promo stopped him, Cena was about to give Swagger a one-man Con-chair-to...with steel steps.
- The Monday Night Raw after the 2012 Royal Rumble made Cena finally beat down Kane for all the abuse and crap he gave to Ryder. The only thing that remains is whether Cena will do as Kane says and embrace the hatred.
- Unstoppable Rage: Randy Orton found out the hard way that attacking a family member of Cena's (in this case, his father) can incur this from Cena.
- Uranus Is Showing: From his "Basic Thuganomics" theme:"Taking over Earth and still kicking in Uranus."
- Victory Pose: At the end of a match, it used to be his Word Life◊ pose until 2009 when it became his Cenation◊ pose.
- Visual Pun: On occasions while he's Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: Proposed to Nikki Bella after their match at Wrestlemania 33 where they handily defeated The Miz and Maryse. She said yes.
- Weapon of Choice: While in his "rapper" gimmick, Cena's favorite weapon was his lock-and-chain necklace. Along with those "custom brass knucks" too. Even his customized belts.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- In his '06 feud with Edge, Cena would often beat up Lita (usually with reason but not always a good one), not to mention accuse her of carrying various sexually transmitted diseases around the locker room without anything remotely resembling biological proof or common sense.
- His late 2010-early 2011 feud with CM Punk was initiated by Punk getting tired of Cena's supposedly "unheroic" actions, and particularly set off by his reaction to Cena dropping 22 chairs from the WWE TLC set onto Nexus leader Wade Barrett. Perhaps fittingly, Punk switched targets rather quickly - to Randy Orton, who, if anything, gets more of the Designated Hero treatment than Cena does.
- Zack Ryder recently caught Cena kissing Zack's love interest Eve Torres after saving her from Kane. Needless to say, Ryder was none to pleased to see Cena supposedly macking it off with Eve, as he even slapped Cena in the face when confronting him.
- Even if Eve Torres had taken a ''serious'' level in Jerkass, one does have to wonder whether the tongue-lashing he gave Eve, leaving her a sobbing wreck in the ring to the point where officials had to help her out, wasn't a bit excessive.
- Edge gives a special birthday lecture on letting Brock Lesnar push him around.
- Gave one to The Big Show for selling out and helping John Laurinaitis win at Over The Limit. Cena was ticked off."WHAT THE HELL?! WHAT THE HELL?!"
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Cena has won various matches with the FU or STFU, even a First Blood Match.
- Worthy Opponent:
- CM Punk has been the one guy to consistently get the better of Cena, both on the mic and in the ring, particularly their epic match at Money in the Bank 2011. They're a perfect contrast of personalities and wrestling style, all of which meshes really well in the ring, and they've increasingly found themselves chafing equally at the outside meddling of the likes of Triple H, Vince McMahon, and John Laurinaitis. Also, both have shown some degree of respect for one another, CM Punk admitting he does have respect for Cena and Cena outright congratulating Punk for a great match even though Cena was the loser. Cena even went out of his way to ensure Punk got a fair match that he deserved.
- Daniel Bryan. He handpicked the guy as his SummerSlam opponent, because he saw the potential in him and knew he could get a great match with him.
- He has on record stated that Chris Masters is the physically strongest opponent he has ever faced. Masters is the only competitor who has legitimately rendered Cena unconscious, and he has done so three times.
- Brock Lesnar became this in 2014 to the point that one would have to wonder if Cena was a worthy opponent for Lesnar. As was repeated many times, Lesnar defeated John Cena at SummerSlam in "the most lopsided championship match in WWE history" (presumably ignoring all the "joke matches" that have taken place where a champion squashes a jobber just because he can).
- Cesaro has quickly become this in 2015 with two outstanding matches where he took Cena to the limit, with Cena openly acknowledging this after the second match.
- Despite losing to him in the end, Cena showed Shinsuke Nakamura total respect after their match on WWE Smackdown and absolutely put Nakamura over like a man.
- You Are What You Hate: Punk stated this, explaining how Cena (and moreover his hometown of Boston) was no longer an underdog, but now the face of the industry. The Boston Red Sox? More like the New York Yankees. Keep in mind that this speech was said in Boston pretty much insulting Cena in front of his hometown fans, and the fact that just saying "New York Yankees" on the mic could probably produce a significant chorus of boos in pretty much any area of Massachusetts.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Kane praised him for inadvertently ruining Zack Ryder and Eve Torres' relationship, declaring that he had finally embraced the hate.
- You Keep Using That Word: The STFU was never a proper STF (usually a chin hold rather than a step over cross face), in the lighter and softer PG era it was initially STS (think Masahiro Chono) on WWE.com but commentary could not seem to get it right. (To be fair, Cena rarely did it like an STS either but that just means it needs its own name.)
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle:
- JOHN CENA HAS DEFEATED WADE BARRETT AND THE NEXUS! Oh wait, CM Punk's Berserk Button was finally bit by a What the Hell, Hero? moment? He's gone on to become the leader of Nexus in Barrett's place? Enjoy!
- Also goes down in history as the very first victim of a Money In The Bank cash-in, courtesy, of course, of Edge.
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