TJR: John Cena’s 10 Best WrestleMania Moments Review
This is a top ten list produced by WWE looking at the ten best WrestleMania moments in the career of John Cena.
John Cena made his WrestleMania debut in 2004 when he defeated Big Show to win the US Title at WrestleMania 20 in Madison Square Garden. Cena was on the roster one year earlier, but he just wasn’t used at WrestleMania 19.
Over the next 18 years, Cena wrestled some of the biggest names in WWE history at WrestleMania including The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker (if you took a bathroom break you may have missed it), Batista, Edge, Bray Wyatt, and many others.
At this year’s WrestleMania 39 event taking place at SoFi stadium in Los Angeles on April 1st and April 2nd, Cena will step back in the WrestleMania ring to challenge Austin Theory for the US Title that he first won 19 years ago. Cena is a former 5-time US Champion while also winning the WWE World Title a record 16 times as well.
To celebrate Cena’s return to WrestleMania this year, WWE decided to count down the ten best WrestleMania moments of John’s legendary career.
This list was posted on WWE’s Youtube channel on March 19th. The full video is at the bottom of this post.
10. Army Of John Cenas
It was at WrestleMania 25 in 2009 when there were dozens of guys dressed like John Cena in black shirts and jean shorts doing the “you can’t see me” hand gesture. Cena made his entrance and ran by all the guys that were lined up as part of the entrance. It was a cool visual.
9. Wins United States Title
John Cena challenged Big Show for the US Title at WrestleMania 20 in 2004 at a time when Cena’s popularity was growing. Cena hit Big Show with the FU (later named the Attitude Adjustment), which was an impressive feat. Cena became the US Champion – his first title win in WWE. The fans loved it.
8. Dr. Of Thuganomics Returns
At WrestleMania 35 in 2019, John Cena wasn’t in a match. Instead, he returned as Dr. Thuganomics to deliver a promo to Elias. The fans loved it as Cena referenced turning heel (he was a heel when he was orignally that character). Cena knocked down Elias with the microphone to the head. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the FU/AA put down Elias for good. They didn’t show the physicality part in the video.
7. Lifts Big Show And Edge
Back to WrestleMania 25 in 2009 we go. Cena picked up Big Show and Edge on his shoulders at the same time, which was incredible. After Edge slid off, Cena hit Big Show with an Attitude Adjustment followed by Cena giving Edge the AA onto Show. Cena pinned Show to become the World Heavyweight Champion.
6. Submits Triple H
The main of WrestleMania 22 in 2006 saw Cena defending the WWE Championship against Triple H. It was a competitive match where the crowd was really starting to turn against Cena while supporting Triple H. The finish was a familiar one for Cena as he tripped up Triple H and applied the STFU (shortened to just the STF in the future) submission. Hunter tapped out to give Cena the win. It was a big win for Cena over a top guy like Triple H.
5. Mimics The NWO
A unique choice because 2020 was WrestleMania 36 when the event took place in front of no fans. Instead of an actual match in a ring, Bray Wyatt and John Cena took part in a Firefly Funhouse Match that was more like a 15-minute movie covering Cena’s career. For this clip, WWE chose the part where Cena was mimicking 1996 Hulk Hogan with the New World Order when Hogan went heel. It was a way to show what it could have been like if Cena had turned heel years earlier in his career.
4. Submits Batista
During the Ruthless Aggression Era in the mid-to-late 2000s, John Cena was the top babyface on Raw for much of it while Batista was the top face on Smackdown (along with The Undertaker). In 2010, Batista was on Raw and he was in a heel role, so that led to a big Cena-Batista match at WrestleMania. Just as he did to others in the past, Cena made Batista tap out to the STF leading to Cena becoming the WWE Champion once again.
3. Submits Shawn Michaels
This time it’s the main event of Wrestlemania 23 in 2007. One year earlier, Cena submitted Triple H to retain his WWE Title and this time it was Hunter’s best friend Shawn Michaels. Cena and Michaels had a very competitive match that was even the whole way, but Cena was able to trap “Mr. WrestleMania” Michaels on the mat, lock in the STF and Michaels tapped out just like Triple H one year earlier.
2. Wins First WWE Title
As the saying goes, “you never forget your first.” For John Cena, the first time he won the WWE Title was in 2005 when he faced JBL at WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles. It wasn’t the main event, but it was one of the biggest matches on the show. Cena beat JBL clean with the FU to end JBL’s long reign as the WWE Champion on Smackdown. John Cena was moved to Raw soon after and would become WWE’s top guy for more than a decade.
1. Defeats The Rock
Some people might call it the biggest rematch in WrestleMania history. One year earlier at WrestleMania 28 in 2012, The Rock beat John Cena in a match that didn’t have a title on the line. This time at WrestleMania 29, The Rock walked in as the WWE Champion while Cena earned a title shot by winning the Royal Rumble. The finish saw Cena fight out of a Rock Bottom attempt and Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for the win. After the match, they shook hands. Also, The Rock memorably held up Cena’s arm while they were on the stage and pointed to Cena, which is Rock’s way of putting him over as “the man” in WWE at that point.
I thought they did a nice job in terms of the order. It was not a ranking of the best match, but in terms of moments, they had a good selection.
Shockingly, John Cena proposing to Nikki Bella in the ring at WrestleMania didn’t make the list. I’m only teasing. They never got married, so it was smart to not include that.
That’s all for me.
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