Like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin before him, John Cena has become the face of an entire era of professional wrestling. While this means the 15-time WWE World Champion gets a lot of credit when things are going well, he also takes a lot of the blame when things are going poorly. On screen, the commentary resorts to calling him “controversial,” lacking a more succinct way to explain the mixed reaction Cena usually gets from WWE live crowds.
Fans aren’t the only ones who have problems with Cena. Other pro wrestlers, most of whom have since left WWE, have taken to interviews and social media to express their real life problems with John Cena. In today’s professional wrestling landscape, it can get a little confusing trying to explain how a real person can be paid to dislike a character, and then actually dislike the person playing the other character, or other permutations of that thought, but we’ll do our best to explain what these pro wrestlers meant when, out of character, they laid the smack down on John Cena.
12 The Rock
The Rock and John Cena headlined WrestleMania XXVIII and XXIX, drawing massive crowds to the Sun Life Stadium and Metlife Stadium respectively. The matches were billed as “Once in a Lifetime” encounters between two sports entertainment icons, and according to the Rock, things started getting pretty heated behind the scenes as well. In an interview with Muscle and Fitness magazine, The Rock says some of Cena’s comments regarding the Rock abandoning WWE for Hollywood went too far, and left the Rock feeling “salty.”
11 Kenny Dykstra
10 Mickie James
9 Tyler Reks
6 Mr. Kennedy
5 Chris Wellman
4 Wade Barrett
3 Chavo Guerrero, Jr.
2 Michael Tarver
1 Brock Lesnar
The only person in WWE over the past decade to truly compete with John Cena over superstar status has been Brock Lesnar, but the difference is Lesnar’s successes extend far beyond the WWE. The former UFC Champion started in WWE in 2002, but left in 2004 to take over the world of MMA. When he decided to return to pro wrestling, his first opponent was John Cena at Extreme Rules 2012. While the others on this list use their words, Brock let his actions speak louder.
In the match, Brock lost to Cena, and the script said after the match Cena would be stretchered out of the ring giving Brock a technical loss, but making it look like a victory. Cena apparently broke the script, eschewing the stretcher and instead getting a microphone and calmly telling the fans he was going to take time off. Brock was reportedly furious with Cena, throwing things in a rage while yelling at WWE executives and claiming Cena was trying to hurt his image. The whole ordeal sounds like a wrestling angle, but the fact it mostly took place backstage when the cameras were off, in reaction to a coworker breaking script, makes it sound a lot more real.
Sources: bleacherreport.com; latino.foxnews.com
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