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COMMENT





It's hard to see Cena losing at WrestleMania 27
By BOB KAPUR - SLAM! Wrestling


John Cena is front and centre for the WrestleMania 27 promotional material.

Love him or hate him, it's hard to say that John Cena hasn't been one of the most successful WWE superstars in the last decade. One only has to look at his impressive 6-1 WrestleMania record to know that he will bring his 'A' game to Atlanta this year when he tries to capture the WWE Championship from The Miz. If past records are any indication, you can't see Cena losing this year.

Cena made his WrestleMania debut at WMXX back in 2004, squaring off against The Big Show for the US Championship. The fans in the Madison Square Garden were solidly behind Cena and his "Thugonomics" attitude, cheering loudly when he clocked Show with a set of brass knuckles, softening him up for the FU (now the Attitude Adjustment) for the win. Record: 1-0.

The following year, WM 21, Cena had risen through the ranks to the top tier, where he has stayed ever since. Cena handily defeated JBL after what Jim Ross would call a slobber-knocker of a match, earning him the WWE Championship. Record: 2-0.


John Cena looks deep into Shawn Michaels's eyes at WM23 in Detroit. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
At WrestleMania 22, Cena, who had lost and regained the title in the past year, defended the belt against Triple H. It was about this time that many of the fans had backlashed against Cena, and the negative chants directed at him throughout the match filled the Allstate Arena all the way to the rafters. The match was pretty good, though the goofy entrances -- Cena coming out in an old-style car with "gangsters", and HHH in his infamous Conan costume -- could easily have diluted the intensity of the affair. To the displeasure of the vocal fans, Cena won by submission when HHH was locked in the STFU and had no choice but to tap out. Record: 3-0.

The story was similar the next year at the 25th edition (or what WWE mistakenly called the "25th anniversary). This time, it was HHH's best friend, Shawn Michaels who tried to take away Cena's WWE Championship but ended up tapping out to the STFU in the centre of the ring. Not surprisingly, given HBK's involvement, this was probably Cena's best Mania match to date. Record: 4-0.

In light of his unblemished record, perhaps the powers that be in WWE figured Cena would need bigger challenges. So, for the next two years, he wasn't given only one opponent, but rather two.

At WrestleMania 24, he competed in a three-way match against Triple H and Randy Orton, with Orton's WWE Championship on the line. This one was a fairly typical three-way, with two battling it out after taking out the third. When Cena was pinned by Orton, it marked the only loss on his WrestleMania record. Record: 4-1.


Randy Orton and Triple H team up against John Cena at WM24 in Los Angeles. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
The next year, Cena rebounded and was able to capture the World Heavyweight Championship from Edge in a Triple Threat match that also featured Cena's first ever WrestleMania opponent, The Big Show. Cena won after hitting both opponents with the Attitude Adjustment, to a mixed reaction from the sellout Houston crowd. Record: 5-1.

At WM 26, Cena squared off against Batista who, thanks to Mr. McMahon's evil machinations, had stolen Cena's WWE Championship, and caused a major neck injury to Cena earlier that year. Despite being physically dominated for most of the match, Cena was able to lock on the STF, and make Batista tap out, delivering the Animal a healthy dose of comeuppance. Record: 6-1.


John Cena, called upon for a pre-show press conference at WM26 in Phoenix. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
In light of his successful WrestleMania record, it might seem a given that Cena will defeat The Miz this year. After all, the Chain Gang leader knows the pressure of wrestling for a title at Mania -- in fact, all of his matches at the big event have been title matches (question for the SLAM! Wrestling official statistician: is Cena the only person for whom this is the case?), and in every singles encounter, he has ended up victorious. The big question is whether his war of words with The Rock will distract his attention or otherwise mess up his game plan. If that's the case, The Miz might put a rare blight on Cena's record, which would indeed be an "awesome" feat.

RELATED LINKS
  • John Cena bio and story archive
  • More on WrestleMania 27

    Bob Kapur can drop a mean rhyme. He does it all the mother truckin' time. His rhyming eloquence is quite sublime. He's so hot, you'll need an icy Coke with lime. Word. E-mail him your props at bobkapur@hotmail.com.