The Match That Made John Cena Universally Accepted In WWE

John Cena

While reflecting on his legendary WWE career, John Cena names the one match that led to fans showing him that universal love.

The 20+ year career of John Cena has been full of ups and downs when it comes to the way the WWE Universe has reacted to him. During Cena’s rise to the top, he was popular with the fans, but once he became the guy, fans chanted “Cena Sucks” at him.

Cena remained at the top for an incredible decade plus from 2005 until the late 2010s. Those “Cena Sucks” stayed with him throughout his career, but there has also been a case of fans appreciating the 16-time WWE World Champion for being one of the best WWE Superstars ever.

At the 2008 Royal Rumble in New York City, John Cena received one of the loudest ovations of his career. That’s because suffered a torn pectoral muscle about three months earlier and he wasn’t expected to be in the Rumble match, yet there he was as #30 in the match and the eventual winner as well.

In a video on his TikTok channel, the future WWE Hall of Famer said he felt universally accepted by the fans that night while also revealing who actually knew about his return.

“Ok, here it is, the 2008 Royal Rumble! The only moment between 2005 and 2020 that I was universally accepted as being an exciting and positive attraction. So there I am coming back three and a half months early from a right pec tear and this is interesting because no one knew about this! I think the only person who knew I was going to return was Triple H. And that allowed us to pretty much coordinate moments like this.”

But I think what’s wonderful and special about this moment was that it was a true surprise, even to the referees at ringside and even to the folks behind the curtain in the production area.”

“This was truly kept under wraps and I hid in the bowels of Madison Square Garden for the whole day, only coming up to the entrance position right when my music was about to hit. So there goes Triple H over the top and I punch my ticket to WrestleMania. Extremely excited to be back where I belong and where I love and that’s the WWE. What an incredible moment and one of the rare surprises.”

Even though Cena won the Royal Rumble, he did not headline WrestleMania 24 by competing in the last match, nor did he win the WWE or World Championship at that WrestleMania. At least the Royal Rumble moment is remembered fondly.

Could John Cena Be A Part of WrestleMania 40?

As for a possible appearance from John Cena at WrestleMania 40, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote that it’s something that is up in the air at this point.

“Cena will soon be filming a second season of “Peacemaker.” There has been some talk about Cena at Mania. It’s basically up to his acting schedule and if there is something going on. If there is, he may appear but couldn’t do anything that would be deemed a risk. We were told that if he does appear, the idea is to do something fun, short and memorable and with substance.”

The last time John Cena appeared on WWE TV was at the Crown Jewel PLE in November when he lost to Solo Sikoa decisively.

H/T Inside The Ropes


The 2008 @WWE #RoyalRumble from @The Garden! #wwe

♬ original sound – John Cena