John Cena has received a lot of criticism during his time in the WWE. Big match John developed quite the reputation for squashing talent during the mid-late 2000’s and many potential stars fell at his hands during his prime years.

Things have changed in recent years ,though, and we saw this last Tuesday night, Cena is more than willing to put over other talents when he is required. As Cena begins to take more and more time away from the WWE, the company now depend on him to come in and help get some of their newer talents over.

Last week’s Smackdown saw Cena give Shinsuke Nakamura arguably his best match in the company to date and the fact that he put Nakamura over clean really made Shinsuke look like something special.

Say what you want about Cena, but the guy knows how to make people look like a million bucks when he is asked to and whether you want to admit or not, there are a lot of superstars in the company who wouldn’t be where they are right now if it weren’t for Super-Cena, and here are five big examples of that.


Daniel Bryan

Back in 2013, Daniel Bryan was on an unstoppable rise to the top of the card and his main event match with John Cena at Summerslam was, in the eyes of the fans at least, going to be the night he finally broke through the glass ceiling.

With Cena taking time off after the match due to an injury, fans didn’t expect this match to be quite what it was. Sure, Bryan was one of the best wrestlers in the world at the time, but fans were expecting Cena to be protected somewhat during the bout.

How wrong we were, though. Cena and Bryan tore the house down in what was one of the finest matches of both of their WWE careers. Cena did the duty as well, putting Bryan over clean and sending the fans into the rafters.

Of course, Bryan’s moment was to be short lived, when Randy Orton, along with Triple H screwed Bryan out of the WWE belt, beginning what was one of the most iconic movements in modern wrestling history.

Brock Lesnar

One year after putting Bryan over at Summerslam in 2013, fans went into Cena’s match against Lesnar at Summerslam 2014 expecting Cena to do the business for the Beast Incarnate. What fans didn’t expect, though, was the nature of Lesnar’s victory.

Lesnar decimated Cena in one of the most unforgettable main events in recent history. Lesnar dominated the whole match, hitting 16 German suplexes and two F5s before walking away with the belt. Even though Lesnar had broken the streak earlier in the year, this was the match that really established Lesnar as the unstoppable monster today- and seeing Cena put someone over in such a fashion was unheard of at the time.

Kevin Owens

While some fans might argue that John Cena did end up going over Owens in the end, the fact that Owens defeated John Cena, clean, on his PPV debut is part of the reason that Owens is the star he is today.

Cena was in the middle of his US title open challenge run at this point and his feud with Owens was no doubt the high point of that excellent run. Owens and Cena tore the house down at the Money in the Bank PPV, and Owens, the then WWE champion ended up looking like a star when he pinned Cena clean in the middle of the ring.

AJ Styles

I could watch AJ Styles and John Cena wrestle all day, every day. The two men have put on incredible match after incredible match over the last 12 months, including a match of the year candidate at last year’s Summerslam and another match of the year candidate at this year’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

Styles is one of the biggest stars in the WWE right now, and a big reason for that is his incredible match ups with John Cena. AJ had put on some solid matches with the likes of Roman Reigns and Chris Jericho in his first few months in the WWE but it is when he stepped in the ring with Cena that he really got the chance to show the WWE universe what all the fuss was about.

The two men brought the best out of each other, not just in the ring, but on the microphone as well and it’s arguable that Styles wouldn’t be the megastar he is in the WWE right now if it weren’t for John Cena putting him over last year.

CM Punk

2011 was an awesome time to be a wrestling fan. The ‘Summer of Punk’ as it was titled, gave us what is, arguably, the finest storyline of this generation. CM Punk, disillusioned by the company he was working for, dropped his infamous ‘pipe-bomb’ promo on an episode of Monday Night Raw, running his mouth about everything wrong with the WWE before having his mic cut off as the show come to an abrupt close.

Punk then challenged John Cena, the man who he saw as the face of the company, to a match for Cena’s WWE title at Money in the Bank, claiming that if he won, he was going to leave the company with the belt and never come back. The storyline changed the company forever, merging kayfabe with reality and changing the way fans viewed the product from then on in.

Cena and Punk played their roles expertly, and when the two met in the ring at Money in the Bank, in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, no less, the end result was one of the finest WWE matches of the 21st century. The two men tore the roof off, giving fans a ridiculosly exciting match that saw Punk beat Cena clean in the middle of the ring and proceed to escape through the crowd with the WWE title.

While WWE went on to completely ruin the storyline one month later, this match was something special and Cena made Punk into a bonafide star that night, it’s just a shame things had to end the way they did between Punk and the WWE.

Tags: John Cena
Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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