John Cena: The Superstar

John Cena – SNL ( (2016)

“He’s an entertainer, he’s an athlete. He’s tailor made, born to be WWE Champion”. – Vince McMahon on John Cena (John Cena My Life (2007)

John Cena, Mr. Hustle, Loyalty and respect. A WWE champion, actor, rapper, and now even a Television host. John Cena is a megastar who is anywhere and everywhere, most recently seen hosting Saturday Night Live, an honour he now shares with other A-list Hollywood celebrities, including WWE icon Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. John Cena is without a doubt the WWE’S top performer, his trademark catchphrases like ‘Never Give Up’, his bright coloured t-shirts and his superhero-like presentation have garnered him millions of fans around the world (kids making up a large portion of that fan base). Add in, his incredible physique, goofy sense of humour and charming personality, it is not surprising that Cena also has a strong female audience, as well. WWE likes to call their performers, WWE ‘superstars’ but in reality, WWE has only one ‘superstar’ and that is none other than, John Cena.

John Cena is a ‘superstar’ because he moves the proverbial ‘needle’, he draws audiences in, he makes people come to WWE shows, he generates a reaction whether it be good or bad and he also brings in outsiders (e.g. Hollywood) to the WWE. According to, the WWE live events where Cena performs earn $60,000 more in ticket sales compared to live events he does not wrestle at. John Cena not only draws audiences to the buildings but also has them buy his merchandise. (2016) reported that in 2014 “Cena managed to outsell the entire combined roster alone in units sold and revenue generated. That was more than 42 different male Superstars and factions and 8 Divas… combined!” Also, John Cena has the honour of holding the record for the biggest pay-per-view buy in WWE history, as Wrestlemania 28 (2012) recorded 1,217,000 buys (according to At Wrestlemania 28, John Cena faced The Rock; these two along with Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin are the true ‘superstars’ in WWE history. To remain on top of WWE for a number of years is an incredible accomplishment, to be on top for a decade plus is simply phenomenal and that honour belongs to Cena, and Cena alone.

“Stars not only bring exposure to a product but in the process of meaning-transfer they provide a shortcut for the complex work of creating a “personality” (Hollywood Stardom (2013), PG. 60). John Cena’s association with other brands or in some cases charities is another reason Cena is the star he is. Susan G. Komen an organization which deals with battling breast cancer was given tremendous exposure when John Cena became the star promoting the organization. In 2012, John Cena wore a t-shirt with his catchphrase ‘Never Give Up’ on the back and the phrase ‘Rise Above Cancer’ on the front. This t-shirt merged Cena’s noble catchphrases with the incredibly noble work the Susan G. Komen organization does and also a portion of the t-shirt sales went to the Susan G. Komen organization. Cena brought this charity to WWE and now every year we see the WWE supporting Susan G. Komen on WWE television and also as a result of Cena’s actions, WWE receives a great deal of positive media attention which has not always been the case for WWE.

Versatility is very important for a ‘superstar’ to maintain his ‘superstar’ status, just look at the film career of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. One month we see Dwayne as the butt-kicking, Hobbs from the Fast and Furious franchise and the next month we see him donning a tutu for Disney’s Tooth Fairy (2010). Before the superhero John Cena that we see today with the bright coloured t-shirts and the incredible ability to overcome everything and anything, we saw the ‘Doctor of Thuganomics’. John’s rise to the top of WWE was due to his ability to step out from the crowd and display his incredible rapping skills which we had not seen before or since. John’s ability to be edgy and in your face with his rapping character and then transform into a hugely successful, kid-friendly hero has been pivotal to his ‘superstar’ status. As well as, his versatility on WWE television, Cena has transferred that to his acting career. Initially starring in action movies like The Marine (2006) and 12 Rounds (2009), Cena has moved to fully fledged comedy roles like his much-appreciated performance in the hit film Trainwreck (2015). Cena’s ability to show more range as an actor has allowed him more opportunities to further his star power, like his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live where he hosted the long time comedy show.

The reason some fans refuse to believe just how big of a star John Cena is stems from arguments that have been made against Cena for the past decade. Cena’s ability as an in-ring performer has always been questioned by fans believing Cena does not have the necessary skills to be a top star or it is simply because Cena was placed as the top star ahead of the likes of other beloved figures like Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, and CM Punk. However, the strongest argument that can be made as to why fans refuse to believe the ‘superstar’ status of John Cena is because he is compared to his predecessors, Stone Cold and The Rock. Stone Cold and The Rock were the two biggest stars in WWE history, as well as two of the greatest in-ring performers and microphone men in the history of professional wrestling. John Cena had to take over from where Stone Cold and The Rock left off and to ask John Cena to be either of those two is like asking Jared Leto to be ‘The Joker’ that Heath Ledger portrayed in The Dark Knight (2008).

Repetition is a key part of building a brand, and despite the fans complaining about Cena’s constant victories over the past decade plus, there was and is a reason he is WWE’S franchise player. The likes of Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, though far superior in-ring performers are not near the level of John Cena when it comes to pay-per-view buys, merchandise sales and mainstream attention. John Cena may not be as big of a superstar as Stone Cold was but his non-wrestling projects have been far more successful than the legendary ‘rattlesnake’. A prime example is John Cena’s rap album, which came in at 15 on the renowned Billboard 200 list (according to (2016). Add in the fact, John Cena has granted over 500 individual wishes for the children of ‘Make-a-wish Foundation’, which is more than any other person in the foundation’s history. John Cena’s star power cannot be disputed.

John Cena still stands atop the WWE; he is as he likes to say “the face that runs the place”. Today, John Cena is a WWE ‘superstar’ and a WWE with John Cena is better than a WWE without John Cena. However, the day will come when Cena is no longer a WWE ‘superstar’ but with his Television show American Grit beginning its second season and his new starring role in the upcoming movie The Wall (2017), directed by Doug Liman who is responsible for films like the Bourne Identity (2002), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and Edge of Tomorrow (2014). It is clear; that with or without the WWE, John Cena will continue to be a ‘superstar’ for years to come.

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5 Potential Opponents For Shinsuke Nakamura

Upon his arrival to WWE in April, Shinsuke Nakamura has taken the WWE Universe by storm. Quite easily one of the most charismatic superstars in the company today, Nakamura has been a headline name for the NXT brand in 2016. At this point it has almost been a year since he debuted in NXT, which makes many fans wonder if his main roster call up is imminent. Here are 5 potential opponents for Shinsuke Nakamura to face on the main roster.

1. AJ Styles

There is absolutely no doubt AJ Styles has had a Phenomenal 2016. Debuting at the Royal Rumble to a huge pop, Working a great feud with John Cena to being the current WWE World Champion. Styles has been the best performer on the main roster in 2016, as he fully deserves all the credit in the world. While Styles has faced Shinsuke Nakamura before at Wrestle Kingdom 10 for New Japan, this is a sure dream match for WWE fans. In addition to this I have no doubt fans would embrace this bout as the hype would be unmatched. This a match worthy of a billing for Wrestlemania. Please WWE, please?

2. John Cena

Love him or hate him, John Cena is of huge importance to the company. Remaining one of the biggest attractions for WWE as his presence alone boosts TV ratings, John Cena is still the man. On the other hand Shinsuke Nakamura who is one of the most over superstars in recent years, has all the potential to be as big as Cena in WWE. Imagine two of the biggest names in the company facing off for the first time. Cena evokes emotions from the WWE Universe unlike any other superstar. Whereas Nakamura simply has to walk down the aisle to create an electric atmosphere. Hopefully WWE shall keep this potential bout on standby, it would be brilliant.

3. Brock Lesnar

Much like John Cena, Brock Lesnar is still a huge attraction for WWE. Despite making sparse appearances every couple of months, fans will continue to flock to see the Beast in action. One could only describe this potential bout as a “Slobber-Knocker”. One of the most destructive superstars in Lesnar against Shinsuke Nakamura, one of the hardest hitters in the company would be immense. Furthermore it would really bring the best out of box office hype for the compan. The two did face off during Lesnar’s short New Japan run between 2005 and 2006. However in the last 11 years a lot has changed for both men, thus this match would be very intriguing.

4. Seth Rollins

With the exception of AJ Styles, Seth Rollins is the currently the best in-ring worker in WWE. While his recent face turn has been unclear one cannot fault his efforts in the ring. Slowly but surely becoming one of the best talents in the company, Rollins has more or less earned his place on this list. Possessing a unique aerial ability alongside a modified ground game, Rollins is plenty of fun to watch. Similarly Shinsuke Nakamura possesses a unique ground game as well as a strong submission arsenal, thus put the two together and you have a potentially show stealing contest. Also this could be a match that would essentially pave the way for Rollins in the future.

5. Kevin Owens

Lets make no bones about it, Kevin Owens is great. Graduating a wonderful 2015 with an even stronger 2016, KO has more than proven he deserves to be at the top of the card. Much like the other superstars on this list KO is a brilliant worker in the ring. In addition to this he is wonderful on the mic, which is an added bonus. In perspective fans would welcome this bout as it would be very reminiscent to a match from the Indies. Yes, the two have faced but it was not on WWE Television. So with this in mind WWE could really mold Shinsuke Nakamura VS KO into a very compelling feud.

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The 2-Sweet 16: My Favorite Matches of 2016 Part 1

A barrage of beloved celebrity deaths. A never ending political circus. A championship win by a Cleveland sports team. Many factors contribute to the notion that 2016 just wasn’t the best of years, however in the world of professional wrestling it was one of the best on record. Heated rivalries, historic firsts and game-changing debuts kept fans on the edge of their seats across promotions. The sheer amount of high quality matches across the likes of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground and the WWE make compiling a list of the “best” matches a nearly impossible and completely subjective task. With that in mind, crack open a cold one, smoke em’ if you got em’ and enjoy some quality wrestling. These are some of my favorite matches from 2016.

Viewer Discretion Is Advised for all videos below. I neither own nor operate the pages, links or videos associated with this article and have given video credit to the sources below.

16. Prince Puma vs. Rey MysterioUltima Lucha Dos 7-20-16

The culmination of Lucha Underground’s second season would attempt to answer the question: “Who is the King of Lucha Libre?” In a dream match up for fans, Rey Mysterio and Prince Puma would deliver an intense and exciting close to Ultima Lucha Dos. Rey Mysterio would prove he can still hang with the best in the game and that the veteran performer still has a lot left in the tank.

Video Credit:GreatWrestlingMatches Channel;

15. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jay Lethal (ROH World Title)- ROH TV Episode 253 -7-23-16

Enraged that Kyle O’Reilly was receiving a title shot, Adam Cole and his Bullet Club brothers, the Young Bucks, would attack O’Reilly at the beginning of the show. Unleashing a vicious assault of relentless chair shots they would leave O’Reilly with a shoulder injury, putting his championship opportunity in jeopardy. Jay Lethal offered to postpone the match out of respect for his opponent who he had spent over a year fighting to draws and suffering defeats in non title bouts, but O’Reilly would have none of it. In my favorite piece of story-telling from Ring of Honor in 2016, Kyle O’Reilly would push Jay Lethal to the limit in his attempt to capture the Ring Of Honor World Title. The pain on O’Reilly’s face, the hesitation by the “bad guy” Lethal to take advantage of his injury and the heart of O’Reilly as he gutted it out to try and win the gold all combined to make this an excellent match. O’Reilly would rally with a variety of submissions coming so close to winning the championship, but in the end Jay Lethal would do what was necessary, target the injured shoulder of O’Reilly to retain his title. The facial expressions, the selling, the back and forth and the turn of Lethal from ROH’s top bad guy to respectful crowd favorite all made this a must-see match from 2016.

Video Credit: Ring of Honor Wrestling Channel;

14. Ishii vs Shibata (Never-Openweight Title) – Wrestle Kingdom 10

 This was the stiffest, most brutal and hard hitting match of 2016 and blurred the line between reality and performance. Shibata and Ishii beat the hell out of each other for nearly 20 minutes for the Never Openweight Title at Wrestle Kingdom 10. Complete with kicks and forearm shots that would shatter bone these guys put on a unique and gutsy performance that has to be seen to be believed. The disturbing sound of their heads clanging together again and again echoing across the Tokyo Dome will stay with you.

Video Credit: Keese Channel;

13. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (RAW Women’s Championship) Falls Count Anywhere Match – Monday Night Raw 11-28-16

Taking the personal nature of their feud to the next level, Sasha Banks challenged for the RAW Women’s Title in Charlotte’s hometown of Charlotte North Carolina. This time the two would do battle in a Falls Count Anywhere Match as they main-evented Monday Night RAW once again. They held nothing back in this one, cracking each other with kendo sticks and brawling through the crowd. Charlotte would execute an amazing moonsault off the announce table onto Sasha as the drama would continue to heighten. Ultimately Banks, surrounded by fans, would force Charlotte between the bars of a steel railing and make her tap out with the Bank Statement. Delivering the receipt from her own hometown loss the month before, Banks captured her third championship. To top it off Banks would celebrate with Charlotte’s father Nature Boy Ric Flair after dedicating the match to him. These two would continue 2016’s fiercest rivalry for another month but the “Shocker in Charlotte” remains the best bout between the two.

Video Credit: WWE Channel; YouTube

12. Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes in Grave Consequences – Lucha Underground “Ready for War” 11-9-16

Lucha Underground’s version of a Casket Match, Grave Consequences sought to close the lid on this feud once and for all. Mil Muertes had taken the Lucha Underground Title from Puma and laid waste to his friend and mentor Konnan. Pushed by Vampiro to take his retribution to the next level, Puma stepped up and challenged Muertes to his own match displaying a new level of viciousness from the onset of the bout. In the most complete showcase of what Lucha Underground is all about, these two displayed their ridiculous athleticism, brutalized each other with weapons and threw caution to the wind before the awe inspired screams of the “believers” in the Lucha Underground Temple in my favorite match from LU this year.

Video Credit: Lucha Underground Channel; YouTube

11. Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet – Best of the Super Juniors 5-27-16

In what might be the most divisive and controversial match of 2016, Will Ospreay and Ricochet aka Prince Puma took to the ring in New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament and went all out. The aerial artistry, agility, timing and balls of these guys to pull off some of the moves they do in this match is flat out insane. While the match rubbed many wrestling veterans from years past the wrong way…*cough Vader…cough, cough*…most agree that it is a unique and entertaining performance from two of the best high fliers in the world. Some of the counter and aerial sequences are so stunning that they were discussed on an episode of ESPN’s “Highly Questionable” hosted by Dan Le Batard shortly after the match aired. Watching it you’ll find yourself saying “Wow” and “Holy s%#@ that was cool” on more than a few occasions.

Video Credit: Jester Channel; DailyMotion

10. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship) WWE Extreme Rules 5-22-16

Four of WWE’s best did battle in a thrilling show stealer for the Intercontinental Championship. Kevin Owens sought to reclaim the title he was never beaten for while keeping his hated former friend under his thumb. Sami Zayn looked to keep the title from Owens’ grasp and claim it for himself. Cesaro was striving to put a stamp on his return from injury with championship gold and The Miz endeavored to keep his title by any means necessary with the odds firmly stacked against him. Near fall after near fall and counter after counter, this match was a four man highlight reel that elevated each performer and the prestige of the Intercontinental Title. Ultimately the animosity between Owens and Zayn would cost each the title, as the dastardly brilliance of the Miz overcame his three challengers and led to a successful defense of his title, a title he would hold for some time as he put together a career year in 2016.

Video Credit: WWE Channel; YouTube

9. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Addiction (ROH Tag Team Championship) Ladder War 6 -All-Star Extravaganza 9-30-16

Three of the world’s best tag teams shortened each others careers in this high octane, hyper-violent spectacle for the ROH Tag Team Titles. The wily veterans Christopher Daniels and Kazarian would attempt to fend off the relentless onslaught from the newly reformed Motor City Machine Guns: Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, as well as one of the world’s most exciting teams the Young Bucks, and not only retain their titles but cement their place as one of the greatest tag teams in ROH history. Tables, ladders, chairs, blood and of course…super-kicks were all potent ingredients that when mixed together by these 6 men made Ladder War 6 one of 2016’s most memorable matches. Full of “holy s!$%” moments, it was a testament to the greatness of ROH’s tag team division and following one hellacious “Meltzer Driver” the Young Bucks would dethrone the champs and outlast the MCMG regaining the tag team titles.

Video Credit: Thanasis2299 Channel;


Stay tuned for the rest of my favorite matches from 2016 plus a nod to a few Honorable Mentions that are well worth a look as well.

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Ricochet Talks Meeting With Triple H And William Regal, Working In NXT

Talented independent wrestler and international star Ricochet was featured in’s Extra Mustard blog “Five Questions With …” feature this week.

“I would love to be Intercontinental champion in 2017. That would be exceeding my goal. I’ve met Triple H a couple times, and he and William Regal are awesome guys. I would love to be with NXT. I feel like the Performance Center has a bunch of tools that I could benefit from – all the classes they have available could make me better. I don’t have a contract at the moment, but I want to focus on New Japan. It’s a super cool place, it’s gaining steam, especially with AJ and Nakamura coming from there to WWE. And I really want that junior heavyweight belt.”

“The guys on the 205 Live cruiserweight show are awesome – my boy Swann is killing it. But that’s not the route I want. I want to go the Fergal Devitt route. Seth Rollins. Kevin Owens. That’s the route I want to take. I want to work my way up from NXT champion to U.S. or Intercontinental champion. I have goals, and I’m not willing to settle. This is nothing against the cruiserweights on 205, but it’s just not for me.”

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Mick Foley Responds To Fan’s GoFundMe For His Hip Surgery

As noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Mick Foley wrote a blog on social media this week informing fans that he needed hip replacement surgery that because he is currently without insurance, would cost $60,000 to pay for out-of-pocket.

The current WWE RAW General Manager asked that fans not donate to any campaigns, however one particular Go Fund Me campaign was started and was up to $600 before all of the money was refunded to the respective donators and the campaign itself was closed down.

Foley addressed the Go Fund Me campaign on Twitter after it was closed down. “The Hardcore Legend” wrote the following tweets about the topic:

Thanks to everyone for their concern, but PLEASE don’t set up any fund-raising sites for my hip. Donate to groups who truly need the help.

— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) December 28, 2016

I know Abby, the lady who set up a fund for my hip replacement means well. But please don’t donate any money to any funds for my me. Thanks.

— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) December 29, 2016

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Kurt Angle Telling Promoters That He’s Going Back to WWE

Kurt Angle has been telling promoters that he’s not accepting any more indie dates except for upcoming matches with Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes before moving onto WWE in April.

It should be noted that this isn’t the first time Angle or his representatives have stated this while WWE soures have denied it. Angle though has made it pretty clear that he wants to go back to WWE leading to a Hall of Fame induction.

If Angle does return to WWE, it would almost surely have to be a part-time deal like Goldberg and Brock Lesnar currently have in place.

Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

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WWE Hall Of Famer Rips WWE For Dusty Rhodes Bear Segment On Monday’s RAW

Cody Rhodes was not the only one who was upset by the Dusty Rhodes bear skit on Monday’s episode of RAW. In case you missed it, WWE did a backstage segment featuring Bayley giving Goldust a polka-dot bear in honor of late great Rhodes. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson appeared and before the segment ended, they ripped the head off the bear. You can watch the segment by clicking here.

WWE Hall of Famer “Superstar” Billy Graham criticized the segment in a recent post on his Facebook page.

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