John Cena is WWE's crown jewel and has arguably taken over from The Rock as the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. John Cena currently wrestles for WWE's RAW brand and is the WWE Heavyweight Champion at the time of writing (26/10/2006).
John Cena's WWE TV career began on June 27 2002 when he debuted in a match against one of WWE's then most respected superstars, Kurt Angle. Vince McMahon had earlier made a speech prompting young prodigies such as John Cena to show "ruthless aggression" if they wanted to earn legendary status among the greats the business has seen down the years. John Cena most definitely heeded this rally and was very close to causing a major upset, despite eventually succumbing to Angle's talents. Cena was able to endure the notorious Angle Slam and even the ankle lock, but ended up losing at the hands of a typical Angle amateur-esque pin.
John Cena subsequently became a face (connoting crowd favorite), until eventually turning heel by blaming Kidman for their tag-team defeat and causing friction with a fan-favorite. Cena's character evolved furthermore when on a later SmackDown! episode, he performed a freestyle rap to Stephanie McMahon, which reformed his gimmick as a "white boy rapper". At first, this gimmick only served to enhance the heat Cena received from the WWE fans, however his acting skills and comical taunting of other superstars earned him a cult following. This gimmick became more prominent and he also added certain aspects to it, such as implementing the old WWF logo with his own unique imprint alongside it, the phrase "word life".
John Cena went on to achieve bigger and better things in WWE as his reaction from WWE fans became more notable. He entered main event territory when he began a feud with Brock Lesnar over the WWE Heavyweight Championship, with John Cena firmly a face again. Cena trademarked his finisher in direct response to Lesnar's F-5, aptly named the F-U only enhancing the acrimony between the two. A twist of fate later dictacted that the two would align, with Cena once again turning heel as they turned their attentions to Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero. Much to the delight of WWE fans however, John Cena betrayed Lesnar's trust by attacking his partner and using the signature "you can't see me" catch phrase, which made him a firm favorite once again.
In 2004, John Cena's popularity appeared to be ever-increasing and he reached the final six of the WWE Royal Rumble pay per view. He was eliminated by the Big Show in the match and went on to start a feud with the giant. Eventually Cena won the WWE United States Championship title from the Big Show at WrestleMania 20, with the use of the infamous brass knuckles and via his signature F-U.
At a later SmackDown! show, general manager Kurt Angle stripped John Cena of his title, as their relationship had always been fragile. John Cena persevered however and won back the crown at WWE No Mercy in October 2004 by seeing off Booker T in a best-of-5 match. However, the celebrations were short lived as Cena lost the title on the following week's edition of SmackDown! to the debuting Carlito. A feud between the two men inevitably ensued and Cena took a month off from WWE, claiming Carlito's bodyguard had stabbed him. In reality, Cena was taking the time off to film the WWE movie The Marine
. Upon returning to WWE duties, John Cena reclaimed the title from Carlito on an episode of SmackDown!, going on to re-invent the belt in his own "spinner" style.
2005 was a year that saw John Cena continue to rise up the WWE ladder. Royal Rumble, one of John Cena's most contentious pay per views, once again ended in controversy as he made it to the final 2 with Batista. Both men went over the rope at the same time, and were instructed by Vince McMahon to restart the match, which was won by Batista. Batista then chose to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship on the RAW brand at WrestleMania 21, leaving the number one contendership for the SmackDown! brand to be contested by Kurt Angle and John Cena. The match was won by Cena, who become the number one contender for the WWE Championship.
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