John Cena was booed heavily by WWE fans during his career as a top guy and one of his famous opponents has given insight into what that was like.
When John Cena first won the WWE Title from JBL at WrestleMania 21 in 2005, the fans were strongly behind Cena as a rising star in his late 20s who was seen by many people as a future top guy in the company.
One year later at WrestleMania 22 in 2006, Cena beat Triple H to keep the WWE Title. However, during the match, the Chicago crowd turned on Cena even though he was still in the role of the top babyface.
At ECW One Night Stand in June 2006, John Cena defended the WWE Title against Money in the Bank winner Rob Van Dam. That was one of the most hostile crowds in WWE history since it was at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, which was an ECW hotbed. RVD got the win thanks in part to interference from Edge and the fans loved it as RVD became the new WWE Champion.
RVD Thinks John Cena Wasn’t Bothered By Crowd Reactions
On a recent episode of his 1 Of A Kind podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam said that he felt Cena was so hated by WWE fans because he represented what the company wanted, which was not what the fans were looking for at the time.
“I think Cena enjoyed it. He enjoyed working with the crowd, I think, either way. I can’t speak for him. I know getting cheers can be a lot more fun than getting boos, but sometimes, some of the guys don’t even care, or they get boos all the time, and that’s what their deal is, so that’s what they want.”
As he continued, RVD recalled his One Night Stand match with Cena. RVD mentioned what happened when Cena threw his shirt into the crowd and a fan threw the shirt back at Cena, which led to a memorable moment before the match.
“I can’t say for sure, but I know he knew what he was in for that night, and he was ready for it. But I didn’t know what that meant…I didn’t know it was going to have the shirt-throwing contest. That was great. I was laughing cause I was like ‘Oh my god…nobody wants the shirt.’ I was like ‘Man, this crowd is f*****g awesome.’ That was all so real.”
As for John Cena’s future, the 45-year-old future WWE Hall of Famer appeared on the final Smackdown of 2023 in a video message to thank the fans for supporting him as much as the ydo.