In the wake of the news that John Cena broke off his engagement with Nikki Bella this week, we thought it was time to look at who's loyal to Cena and who hates him. Bella of course now despises him, but who else? And who are Cena's buddies?
Cena has been the public face of WWE for almost two decades--he is currently a free agent for WWE who appears for both the Raw and SmackDown brands--and industry veterans have called Cena the greatest WWE star of all time as he has won 25 championships, with 16 reigns as a world champion. He is also the most entertaining and knows that playing a character is the best way to incite a reaction, which is why John turned into a rapper from 2002-2004, and is now playing the role of a goody-two-shoes to attract even more fans, including kids, who love him. Cena drives the company. For example, he has taken newbies under his wing and showed them the way, both in and outside the ring and he has made a lot of money for WWE, particularly in selling a lot of merchandise.
But while John is good friends to many wrestlers, there are many haters out there as well. Cena has done some questionable things, but the reason why some wrestlers aren't fans of his is mostly due to the fact that Cena is so successful. That being said, we've compiled a list of 10 celebs who love Cena and 10 celebs who want him 0ut of the spotlight.
20 Friend: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens debut on the main roster was history in the making, as John Cena lost to Owens clean in their first match. This caused a feud between the two, but now they are supposedly friends. Owens likes Cena because he wants to be him. For one thing, he now gets WWE crowds to boo him in the same manner that Cena was booed. But what he really wants to do is to get his audience divided. Supposedly, that's where the biggest and most authentic reactions come in.
He said that that's where he wants to be one day, having that polarizing crowd reaction that Cena has.
On an appearance on Steve Austin’s podcast, Owens put it:
"To me the optimum reaction is when you get a lot of people that like you, a lot of people that hate you, and then they meet in the middle. . . [T]hat’s the reaction I aspire to get one day because I find that clash is so interesting."
19 Foe: Tyler Reks
Tyler Reks' finisher was Burning Hammer, which looked a lot like Cena's Attitude Adjustment. When Cena saw Reks' finisher in a show, he told him to come up with a new one. Reks took this as a joke. In a match at Bragging Rights months later, Reks again used his finisher. Backstage after the match he met Cena, who started to yell at him. As Reks recalled,
"John grabs me in front of everyone and says, 'what do you think you're doing? I thought I told you to get a new finisher.' 'I said, yeah, I thought you were joking John. We hit it wrong last night. I'm really sorry.' He started yelling at me, asking who gave me permission to use that. He called me an idiot, and asked me if I enjoyed working here. I told him of course I do. He told me, 'find another finisher or you're fired.' I was humiliated, I was a full-grown man, why can't we talk about this like human beings?" (Source: WrestlingForum)
18 Friend: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has supported John Cena from his first day on the main roster. He predicted that Cena would become the biggest celeb in wrestling. Chris Jericho and Cena have had heated feuds in the past, with Cena even once famously winning a match that ended up in Jericho being banned from WWE for a number of years.
The surprising thing is that they have left the past behind and are now actually friends. Jericho, in fact, calls Cena a good buddy.
The fact that they have chemistry in wrestling is the reason why they also have chemistry in real life. They hang out with each other. It may be that Jericho latches onto Cena only because he needs to be taken care of, but that's never been confirmed. (Source: TheSportster)
17 Foe: Kenny Dykstra
Kenny Dykstra and Cena never crossed paths in the WWE. It was in his personal life that they butted heads. Dykstra supposedly hates Cena because of several things he did to him. Specifically, Kenny was dating WWE Diva Mickie James, and he found out that James was also with Cena.
Dykstra debuted as a member of the Spirit Squad, but he was the only one out of five who had the charisma to go on to be a standout member of the Squad. But that never happened.
Dykstra never forgot it, and it was for this reason that he believes he never had the chance to become a superstar. Of course, Dykstra ended up hating Cena, and claims he was ousted out of SmackDown so that he wouldn't have contact with Cena, who eventually made his dalliance with Mickie public. Kenny eventually got fired, which is no surprise if Cena is involved. (Source: Wrestlinginc)
16 Friend: Seth Rollins
It's such a performance whenever Seth Rollins hits the ring, but a lot of training goes into it. This is why Seth is friends with Cena. The two work out with each other and became very close over the years. They take to social media to praise each other, and post videos of their work-out goals. But unlike Cena, who is deeply rooted in WWE, Rollins feels the need to defend his profession so that fans know just how challenging his sport is. As he put it:
"[Wrestling is] really an interactive piece of storytelling that is so complex that people don’t understand. They look at it as a very simple “two dudes rolling around in tights, beating each other up...which is so far from the truth. If they. . . understand exactly what it is we do and how complex what we do is and difficult it is, then they would really understand and respect how awesome professional wrestling is." (Source: stltoday)
15 Foe: Batista
When Cena changed his image, he changed the company, transforming it into an event for kids, as his haters argued. In the process, any edge that WWE had was lost. Former wrestler Batista, a natural heel, blamed Cena for this, arguing that Cena singlehandedly made WWE a PG-event, which got too corny for Batista. Cena is known for his no-blemish clean character, which is why the PG rating has been in place for a relatively long period of time.Batista chose to leave the company due to the direction it was taking.
Batista's disdain for Cena led him to say, "I think, you know, they did the whole PG direction thing, I think that works for Cena; the little kids love him, cause he's a great character, he's someone they can look up to. The girls love him, good looking guy, says all the right things, does all the right things, but the hardcore fans can't stand him. He is Mr. Hokey, Mr. PG to me; he killed hardcore, edgy wrestling." That's a huge claim! (Source: WrestlingNewsWorld)
14 Friend: Cesaro
There's no doubt John Cena has his share of enemies, but at the same time he takes new talent under his wing to help them out in and out of the ring. He did that to Cesaro, and in the process they became rather close. The two share similar passions.
They love pro wrestling and the industry itself. They are also gym buddies. When they work out they do it to the extreme, pushing each other to lift harder.
It's common knowledge that Cena has two loves: wrestling and training to the point of near exhaustion. The fact that Cesaro and Cena are buddies and have developed a closeness is because Cesaro loves what Cena loves. That they are true friends was evident when Cesaro visited Cena in the hospital because Cena was undergoing shoulder surgery. Cesaro offered his friend moral support. (Source: SportsKeeda)
13 Foe: Chavo Guerrero
No one knows why Chavo kept dissing Cena. In a now famous series of tweets dating back to 2o11, Chavo failed to explain and instead went on to insult him and say that Cena had been handed everything too soon. Here are the tweets:
"How many of u are tired of John Cena being champion? Don't get all excited, it's just a question. . . It's not me, it's all the fans. Now, my opinion...Cena is better than me on the mike, but I could out wrestle Cena with my eyes closed and 1 hand tied behind my back! Truth! ... Some are saying that Cena is a great athlete. Really? C'mon. Are u blind? I know Cena & I could beat him in any sport except weight lifting! Lol...some1 just said Cena is a better athlete than Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior! Lol are u retarded? No offense to a challenge person." Where is this coming from?! He's acting like an a$s! (Source: WrestlingInc)
12 Friend: Sheamus
The 16-time world champion is also friends with Sheamus. Taking newbies under his wing is nothing new to Cena. For Sheamus, he helped the Irish wrestler become more integrated while living here in the U.S. The two often dined out and went out together. They had an intimate friendship, in part because they were near the same age.
After Cena showed Sheamus the way to train to match the demands of the WWE, the two also began to work out together in between live events.
The result was that no WWE wrestler in history has appeared so strong under a short span of time. Cena even put over Sheamus to give him his first ever WWE title run. By relinquishing his title to Sheamus, Cena was the person who helped establish the Irishman as a top superstar. And Cena did more than show him the ways in the US; he also helped him adapt to the WWE lifestyle. (Source: SportsKeeda)
11 Foe: Alex Riley
Here it is again! Another wrestler who has beef with The Face That Runs The Place. This was Alex Riley, who claims Cena used to bully him in the locker room. For example, Cena didn't think Riley was pushing out and would never be a star. He refused to work with him further, and that's the dangerous part; if you can't follow him, you may never work again. Riley admitted that he had an incident with Cena but would not discuss it in detail, saying,
"There was an incident and it certainly changed the path of my career. I don't want to discuss it right now, but I will one day for sure. . . It was a tough situation at times, I guess we can leave it at that. . . [A]nd, honestly. . . I struggle with the morality of even talking about it and I'm not into blowing up anybody else at this point." (Source: WrestlingInc)
10 Friend: Randy Orton
Cena and Randy Orton have both said that they were best friends from the moment they met. The pair grew up together in Ohio Valley Wrestling, where they learned about the wrestling industry. But that may surprise you because the Viper and Cena have had some heated rivalries. During numerous times the two competed against each other to fight for being the face that runs the place. But outside the ring, they're close and have a lot in common.
One example is the fact that they both had a similar rise in the WWE and, in just a few years, became leading champions and garnered many fans (as well as haters, of course).
The fact that Cena called Orton "the best performer of our generation" reveals how close they are. It also reveals that Cena is one humble man, and has always showered praise on a wrestler when credit is due. (Source: BleacherReport)
9 Foe: Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett--the leader of the Nexus--had all the makings of being a superstar and having a long shelf life in the WWE. But his career wasn't as bright as it should've been, and many believe that that's because of John Cena. Backstage, the talk was that Cena had been holding Barrett back for some time now. If this was true, no wonder Barett hated him.
He has gone on record many times saying that he and Cena were never friends and never got along outside the WWE.
He has every right to say that because if Cena really did hold him back, maybe Barrett's star would've shined brighter. But Barrett did defend Cena once when he said that Cena was the only wrestler who could get a rise from his fans and that he has made WWE money by being the top merchandise seller for so many years. (Source: TheSportster)
8 Friend: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe became the first ever two-time NXT Champion, and the co-winner of the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (with Finn Bálor). Back in the days in Ultimate Pro Wrestling (a developmental territory for the WWE), Cena and Samoa Joe were in the same wrestling class and became fast friends, with the both of them having the same dream: to break through in the WWE. To make that come true, they trained together to the point of exhaustion.
In the process, they soon started hanging out a lot, and Cena often went over to Joe's house to play around. Cena's mom always cooked dinner, and Cena was often asked to join by Joe's family, which he did. In their spare time, the two would often freestyle or battle rap, making Cena determined to turn it into a character. Cena, giving credit where credit was due, said that Samoa Joe contributed to the creation of the ‘Doctor of Thuganomics’ gimmick. (Source: TheRichest)
7 Foe: Mickie James
Five-time WWE Women’s Champion and one-time Divas Champion Mickie James returned to the WWE after leaving due to her having a tryst with Cena while she was having a relationship with Kenn Doane, formerly Kenny Dykstra. Online hearsay reported that James was transferred from Raw to a different show, SmackDown, in November 2009 because she was unable to cope with Cena breaking up with her, thus forcing organization officials to separate the two from each other at work.
Cena and James' relationship was described as being informal and happened long before Cena began dating Nikki Bella in 2012.
Also, Doane was transferred from Raw--where Cena and James resided--to SmackDown after the relationship was divulged. James has never gone on record as saying she hates Cena, but he did break her heart. As for Nikki Bella being present, James said, "I'm sure that I'm going to have to work with Nikki in the ring and I know that we could do some really amazing stuff." (Source: FoxSports)
6 Friend: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is that rare breed: a good guy known as a sweetheart because nobody can find fault with him. He has no enemies with anyone on the roster. And because he's so lovable, he's garnered many fans. That's why Bryan and Cena are good friends. Cena is like Bryan and the two often hang out with each other.
They support each other, and Cena has been there for Bryan during difficult times over the years and has even assisted him in staying in the WWE. They are also comfortable with each other, and their relationship is that of brothers.
You can see that in the WWE or when they appear in Total Divas. In fact, Cena and Bryan, who is married to Brie Bella, were all so close and resembled a family back when Cena was dating and engaged to wrestler Nikki Bella. Now that Cena and Bella have called it quits this week, Bryan has been there for Cena, offering him consolation. (Source: SportsKeeda)
5 Foe: Michael Tarver
Shortly after being released from the WWE in 2011, Michael Tarver stated on Facebook that Cena fractured his arm with a steel chair during a PPV and then laughed about it backstage. He said that wrestling fans ran with his story to the point where it became 'Michael Tarver accuses John Cena of trying to hurt him.' Traver was quick to point out that he had beef with Cena, and it wasn't because he got hurt inside the ring.
He said, "I wasn't accusing him of doing it on purpose, he was being reckless and took liberties, but he didn't pick up a chair to fracture my arm. It happened because he wasn't careful."
Tarver has kept his conversation professional, and never once said he hated Cena. Instead, he said, "Outside of [getting hurt], it was business, we weren't great friends." Nevertheless, he does hold the conviction that Cena may have been responsible for the WWE releasing him due to the brouhaha. (Source: WrestlingInc)
4 Friend: Michael Cole
Michael Cole, the professional wrestling commentator, is a good friend of Cena. Apparently, Cole digs Cena’s “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect” gimmick and contributed to it while it was developing. Cena is a prototypical "face" player. When Cole was asked if Cena should turn heel, Cole defended him and said he should stay where he is. In an effusive interview, Cole gushed about Cena and how important he is to the WWE:
"[Cena] drives our company. . .People and ... [k]ids love him. [N]obody else sells the amount of merchandise that John sells. . . [H]e's just so good for this brand. Not to mention the charity that John does. . . He came up with the pink ropes and the whole nine yards. Just for those reasons alone, John needs to stay who he is and that's who he is at heart. John is that person at heart. I've known John for years, he's one of my closest friends in the business." (Source: WrestlingInc)
3 Foe: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler hates John Cena. Why? Because he's jealous. Because he hates that Cena has remained in the top position for so long. From a very old interview that still gets shared over fans, Ziggler said,
"[Cena] is the face of the company for a reason. He does all those Make-A-Wish [wishes] for a reason. He's constantly in some main event. . . because he is our poster guy. That's why I hate him. I want to be in that spot."
But Ziggler's head is not in the clouds, saying: "I hate that I'm better at wrestling, but [Cena] has this awesome connection with the fans and I'm so great at wrestling and I haven't made that great connection with all the fans. . . There has to be some substance to a character and we know John. We know his 'Hustle, Loyalty, Respect'. . . What do we know about me? I'm jacked. . . look like a movie star, and have great matches. That doesn't connect with everyone." (Source: SportsKeeda)
2 Friend: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is also friends with John Cena, but like most of Cena's friends, they got off to a rocky start. After hosting SNL in 2000, DJ got the acting bug and decided to pursue acting. Later, Cena too would follow DJ to Hollywood with much success. But at the time, Cena disagreed with DJ leaving the WWE and felt that DJ had turned his back on wrestling, the very sport that made him a star. But by apologizing to each other, the two became friends, with DJ saying "We're good buddies these days. "
Here's John's apology in Sports Illustrated: "It was stupid of me. It genuinely was. That was my perspective at the time. . . For me to not be able to see Dwayne’s vision on what he wanted to do personally, and how his personal success could affect a growing global brand, that was just ignorant on my part."
1 Foe: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar was the only person in the company who truly competed with John Cena over superstar status. Lesnar debuted in the WWE in 2002, and then left. When he returned, the first person he was going to take down was Cena at Extreme Rules 2012. There, Brock lost to Cena, and according to the script, Cena was supposed to be removed from the ring by stretcher, which would give Brock a technical loss but would make it look like a victory. But Cena broke the script and did not use the stretcher.
This led to Brock being furious with Cena, causing a ruckus backstage while yelling at WWE executives, saying Cena was attempting to destroy his image. But this was nothing new. Brock was in the habit of criticizing Cena, arguing with the WWE and Vince McMahon that Cena had no wrestling skills whatsoever. That's not the high road, of course. (Source: BleacherReport)