Canadian Bulldog's True Wrestling Stories: John Cena
Want to know why I'm so f**king awesome? Two reasons:
First, this week's choice of True Wrestling Story was totally decided on by YOU! By voting in my brand new
on the World Wrestling Insanity message boards, you stupid marks decided that John Cena would be my next theme.
Second, I am making a serious attempt to become more environmentally conscious. Now... anyone can separate bottles and cans from the rest of their trash, stop using aerosol sprays, prevent the destruction of rainforests, etc. As for me, I am going to be using 100 percent RECYCLED artwork for this TWS.
Yes, that's correct -- all of the images on this page (except for those "Buy-this-DVD-and-make-James-Guttman-even-wealthier" ads on the left-hand side of the screen, and I can't really control that) have appeared in one of my previous columns. Don't thank me; I'm just doing my part.
So let's get off the heezy fo' sheezy and hizzle The True Wrestling Stizzory Of John Cena, yo. Represent!
Now this is the story all about how, Some dude is the biggest name in wrestling right now. And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how they made a legend right out of thin air.
West Newbury, Massachusetts, born and raised, That's where Cena spent most of his days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing, all cool, Then he decided to enroll in a wrestling school.
These guys who trained him, they weren't all that good, Put on little shows in the neighborhood. He got in one bad match, and then the trainer got scared, said "Get yourself a job, kid; and I don't know where."
He whistled for a cab, and wondered where to go, He wanted an indy group like Ultimate Pro. While the kid was green, at least he was well-built, So he went to New York, to get promoted to the hilt.
He pulled to up the Fed around 2002, Vince took him aside, said "Here's what we'll do." "You'll be booked like Superman, if you listen to me." And that's how he became The Prince of WWE.
Cena had his very first match on June 27, 2002 (hey, if WWE can fudge history, why can't I?), showing up on SmackDown and answering former Olympic hero Kurt Angle's "open challenge". Cena embodied the "Ruthless Aggression" that professional sinner Vince McMahon was promoting at the time.
While Cena lost the match, he gained something even more important: a job. Oh, and the respect of the fans, yada, yada, yada. It would be the last time he would ever face Angle. At least that month.
From there, Cena began a brief feud with future CNN co-panelist Chris Jericho, where he proved that hard work and dedication would lead to him doing the J.O.B. yet again.
Using the time-honored WWE booking strategy of pushing someone big at first and then quickly shunting them down the mid-card (heretofore referred to as the “Scott Steiner Principle”), Cena was soon used as little more than an opening-match guy on SmackDown. Yet he was about the get the biggest push of his career...
During a “very special” edition of SmackDown (the one in which Blossom had to deal with teenage pregnancy, and Hardcore Holly had to deal with his eating disorder), Cena appeared backstage dressed up as 1990’s rapper and historical footnote Vanilla Ice.
This would lead to a character overhaul, in which he went to the extreme, rocked a mic like a vandal, lit up a stage and wax a chump like a candle. If there was a problem - YO! - he’d solve it, check out the hook while his DJ revolves it.
Sorry -- I just can’t get enough of that song...
Cena then feuded with Rikishi Phatu (and your mother too) over which guy had the more laughable gimmick, and took on Club WWI personality Bull Buchanan (real name: Bull Rosenfarb) as his accomplice B-Squared.
But Cena’s journey to the dark side wouldn’t be complete without going through an initiation that every WWE heel has to endure...
That initiation, of course, being a series of losses to The Undertaker. Cena, of course, told the world that the difference between him and everyone else was, he wasn’t scared of The Dead Man. And that strategy worked so well for Randy Orton, Heidenreich, Mr. Hughes, Triple H, IRS, etc.
Ditching Bull Rosenfarb for Rodney Mack as his new partner, Cena also feuded at the time with NFL great Brock Lesnar, future Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero and noted psychopath Kurt Angle.
Using edgy freestyle raps (e.g. ones that didn’t use “dog poo” as the punchline), Cena’s gimmick was taking off so well that he was turned babyface by the powers-that-be (meaning WWE writers, not those asshats from WCW). Either that or they figured no one was watching SmackDown anyways and it didn’t so much matter what they did with him.
In any event, Cena was on pace to get his first taste of WWE gold. And after he bit into said gold (it tasted like chicken), they let him have a run with his first championship.
As the result of an entertaining segment that saw Cena and
Chris Benoit Absolutely Nobody Else pressure SmackDown General Manager Paul Heyman into giving him a title shot, “The Doctor of Thuganomics” was headed to WrestleMania XX.
At the big event, Cena toppled future boxing legend The Big Show to capture the United States title. For the better part of a year, Cena defended the belt against all comers, including Booker T, Rene Dupree, and... uh, Kurt Angle.
Cena’s reign of terror came to an end - briefly, at least - when he dropped the belt to WWE newcomer Carlito Caribbean Cool (real name: Carlito Alexander Cool). Cena eventually won the title back, but by that point, WWE had bigger and better things planned for him.
... OR DID THEY???
... they sure did.
On April 3, 2005, Cena upended financial commentator and all-around jackass John Bradshaw Layfield to capture his first WWE Championship. This would mark the last time WWE fans were happy to see him do so.
Not coincidentally, it was around this time that Cena joined the elite company of Macho Man Randy Savage and TWS friend
as White Guys Who Think They Can Rap. (Sorry for the diss, Stu, but at least I gave your CD a plug...)
Cena’s debut album “You Can’t See Me” peaked at 15 on the U.S. Billboard charts (which was considerably higher than, say, Jimmy Hart’s “Outrageous Conduct” album) and produced the hit single “The Time Is Now”, whose lyrics were:
Your time is up, my time is now You can't see me, my time is now It's the franchise, boy I'm shinin’ now You can't see me, my time is now! Something, grabs ahold of me tightly Flow like a harpoon, daily and nightly Will it ever stop? - YO! - I don't know Turn off the lights, and I'll glow
Cena’s life changed forever in June 2005 when he was drafted to Monday Night Raw in exchange for World Champion Batista, two men to be named later, and probably William Regal or something.
Shortly after his switch to the A-team (Raw, that is, not the show that featured B.A. Baracus and Howlin’ Mad Murdoch creating weapons of mass destruction while locked in a villain’s garage), Cena was embroiled in a feud with WWE DVD panelist Eric Bischoff that was nothing more than a rip-off of an old classic rivalry.
Don’t believe me? Check this out:
Vince McMahon Bischoff was upset that
Stone Cold Steve Austin Cena wasn’t acting like a worthy champion, so he sent
Dude Love Chris Jericho after him. After unsuccessfully having officials like
Pat Patterson and Gerry Brisco Jonathan Coachman do his bidding,
McMahon Bischoff then sent goons like
Kane Carlito after the
McMahon Bischoff persuaded top star
The Rock Kurt Angle to go after
Austin Cena. Yes, again.
Cena successfully held back the challenge of
Big Boss Man Angle and moved on to his biggest challenge to date: World Wrestling Insanity favorite Triple H.
No one in the world was shocked when, at WrestleMania 22, Cena dropped the belt to “The Game” and then... wait, what?? TRIPLE H TAPPED OUT??? IS THIS BIZARROLAND OR SOMETHING?
I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Cena was getting ready for his major motion picture debut, starring in a little something called “Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties”, better known as “The Marine”.
The film showed Cena overcoming ridiculous odds against a variety of powerful villains. Thank goodness he was never booked that way in a wrestling ring.
An interesting thing started to happen around this time (actually, it happened a whole chapter ago, but too late to go and fix it now): Cena was booed like crazy in every match he had.
Whether he was facing McMahon-in-law Triple H, professional moron Chris Masters or noted catchphrase-stealer Edge, Cena was getting the lion’s share of jeers. Even in markets where fans were generally accepting of white-meat babyfaces, such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and my (adopted) hometown of Toronto, Canada.
Yet Cena trekked on, overcoming the odds again and again. Sure, he lost the strap to Edge and later to alleged drug user Rob Van Dam, but these were only temporary measures. The Champ was here, whether you liked it or not.
Although... chances were pretty good of you being in the “not” camp.
If 2006 was a banner year for John Cena, then 2007 was a current year (or is THE current year; me not good very with grammar sometimes). What I meant to say was, 2007 was even better.
Although his new year started off with a loss to novelty rapper
Stu Stone Kevin Federline, Cena handed Umaga his first pinfall since entering the WWE, at least under this gimmick and not counting the time he wrestled as Make A Difference Fatu.
Cena also managed to defeat “The Doctor Of Screwjobbery” Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 23 via a clean submission victory. So much for D-Generation X having all this supposed backstage stroke.
Not enough for you? Over the past few months, Cena has made short work of The Great Khali, King Booker, Randy Orton, Mick Freaking Foley, Bobby Lashley, The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Dr. Freeze, The Riddler, Doctor Octopus, The Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman (not to be confused with ECW Original The Sandman), The Sandman and probably Kurt Angle again.
This weekend, Cena will face Lashley for the first time in a one-on-one setting at WWE’s “Great American Bash” (motto: “Honest, this was a good PPV in 1987, we swear”). If I were a betting man, I would predict that Cena will come out on top. Because, much like me, WWE is all about the recycling.
For True Wrestling Stories, I’m Canadian Bulldog.
Canadian Bulldog is a borderline journalist who writes weekly for
World Wrestling Insanity
and has published
his own book
of nutty e-mails to wrestlers. See his obscenely expensive
for more details. He welcomes your comments at Bulldog@worldwrestlinginsanity.com