John Cena and Randy Orton both made their WWE debuts back in 2002. Fans immediately seen bright futures for these young superstars. Randy would injure himself during a dark match against Brock Lesnar in 2001 having to stay out 3-6 weeks. He was sent back to OVW, WWE's developmental territory at the time, to perfect his wrestling skills.
Randy would make a comeback debut on Smackdown in April 2002 defeating Hardcore Holly. In June of 2002 John Cena would make his debut losing to Kurt Angle after responding to an open challenge. Randy would then jump the fence over to Raw and shortly after separate his shoulder once again. Updates began to show week after week of some shitty updates on Randy Orton CNN style promos. This was hyping him for a heel return. Cena remained on Smackdown in a feud with Billy Kidman.
Randy returned to action on Raw and on January 20, 2003 Evolution was formed. This is where Cena's wordplay comes in. Cena was never issued into a team of elite superstars to get over. He was given a rap gimmick and wrestled on Velocity until he started to feud with Eddie Guerrero and Undertaker in 2003. With Triple H being a champion at the time, Evolution was most likely always involved in most of his matches. When you're around superstars like Triple H and Ric Flair you gain quite some status for yourself. Randy also became a very cocky SOB if anyone has seen his DVD. He was basically hand picked for a team to shine and he had issues with drugs and things like that. John Cena was over on Smackdown engaging in feuds and matches that made him better overall. If anyone knows, Undertaker is very picky on who he gives his respect to. And to have feuded with him shifted John Cena right into the main events. As for Orton he was engaged with top stars because Triple H was. He never really worked his way up like Cena did.
As the time progressed these superstars became bigger household names. In April 2003 John Cena would win a tournament on Smackdown to advance to Backlash to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. With Lesnar slowly becoming a heel, Cena was a tweener. As for Orton, he was thrown into a elimination chamber match for the World Championship in August 2003 at Summerslam, another opportunity he didnt earn. Though they both were unsuccessful, they were young forces to be reckoned with. Fast forward to December 2003. Cena is now a babyface after a successful win at the Survivor Series ppv in November and people are starting to really like this dude for his rap promos. Randy Orton is over on Raw prepping for IC Title match against Rob Van Dam at Armageddon. Now this is probably sparking the question on how Randy is becoming so privileged but he's a dick behind the curtains. Randy would then defeat RVD at Armageddon and gain an impressive reign with the IC belt before losing to the returning Edge at Vengeance 2004. John Cena had only wrestled for the Tag Titles and the US Title once but wasn't successful in either shot.
At Armageddon 2003 there was this thing with Evolution where all memebers left with all the Gold on the Raw Brand. With a championship, and a epic team, Randy was getting so over as a heel and it was going straight to his head. I mean to constantly get things handed to him like that personally disgusted me. We head into the Royal Rumble and Randy starts the match and lasts a long time until he is eliminated by Mick Foley, sparking a feud between the 2. John Cena comes out later, a well over babyface and helps with some eliminations before he is eliminated by Big Show. He didnt really last long in the match. John Cena would then advance into No Way Out a month later and wrestle in a triple threat number 1 contender's match for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania, in which Kurt Angle won. This match would spark the rivalry between Cena and Big Show. Randy was over on Raw getting ready to head into his Wrestlemania debut against The Rock and Mick Foley. Not just some regular superstars on the Roster, LEGENDS. And oh, he already had the Legend Killer thing going on where he would destroy legends week after week. Garnering more success for his heel character.
Now we get to Wrestlemania and who opens the show? John Cena and Big Show. Cena had already showcased his monsterous power on the Big Show before. This was Cena's Wrestlemania debut match and it was for the US Title. Cena would win and go on a huge run with the title even pimping it out. He would continue his babyface rap gimmick. Randy Orton on the other hand would make his Wrestlemania debut later in the show where he would become victororius with his Evolution team mates against the legends. A month later at Backlash he would have a historical street fight with Cactus Jack at Backlash putting him over as a hardcore superstar also. Randy would continue his legend killer thing and John Cena would reign supreme as a US champion on Smackdown until he was stripped of the title by the GM at the time, Kurt Angle.
We're at Summerslam 2004 and Randy Orton is wrestling Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship. 24 years old at the time. Randy would win this match and become the World Heavyweight Champion. This is Randy's first major championship and Cena has yet to earn one. This is only Randy's second opportunity at that title and he wins it. Cena has yet to mark in a major title in his books. Cena was engaged in a best of 5 series with Booker T in which finished up at No Mercy 2003. John Cena would win the US Title and then becomes a victim of a (storyline) stabbing in a nightclub. This was the story to cover up Cena's time off to film The Marine. Cena would return at Survivor Series 2003 to a huge pop and pick up a win with his team. Randy Orton was also a face now after being dropped by Evolution due to Triple H's jealousy. Randy would get a short reign as he would drop the title at the Royal Rumble to Triple H. John Cena was also in the final 2 of the Royal Rumble 2005. After a screwy finish, some refs would count Cena as the winner and some would count Batista as the winner. The match would restart and Batista would win it going to Wrestlemania.
These two stars would then continue as babyfaces. In the midst of it all, Randy would start a feud with The Undertaker and John Cena would feud with JBL, the WWE Champion at the time. Cena would get himself a title shot at Wrestlemania as Randy Orton wrestled The Undertaker. Now people are really starting to look at Cena as a huge main eventer. Cena would become successful and win his first WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 21. Randy would Continue his feud with The Undertaker all the way until they wrapped it up in a Hell in A Cell match at Armageddon 2005.
Since then Cena's gimmick has become different. He no longer raps but serves as the company's poster boy while Randy is whiny asshole who thinks he deserves it all. Both are champions, both are incredible superstars. But from their debuts up until them breaking the glass ceiling, was everything handed to Randy Orton? Was John Cena correct about this? I would have to say he quite was when you put their careers side by side. What do you all think, let me know below.