In 2002, John Cena stepped up to the challenge of Kurt Angle's invitational exhibition match. His match was impressive, and the 25-year-old showed that his goal was to reach the top. Less than one month later, Chris Jericho saw enough in him to put him over in an impromptu match at the Vengeance pay-per-view. This win really put Cena on the map, and his quest to become a champion become even more tangible.
Cena then had notable feuds with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Rikishi, Big Show and the Undertaker, cementing himself as one of the top upper midcard talents. This experience with veterans, coupled with his fan reaction, led to a eventual face turn and subsequent United States title victory against Big Show at WrestleMania XX.
During this time, Cena really honed his character. His "Word Life" slogan, old-school WWE logo, oversized jerseys, chain necklace, rap-themed entrance music, and Vanilla Ice-style flow and cockiness gained the interest of the crowd, allowing him to venture far away from the cookie-cutter babyface character he debuted with.
This rise to superstardom gave him his first world championship reign in 2005 when he defeated JBL at WrestleMania XXI. WWE showed the fans how much stock was in Cena, as his initial title run lasted nine months.
Nearly ten years later, Cena has acquired 13 more world championships, and is unquestionably the biggest name of the WWE within the past dozen years. The problem, though, is the backlash that he has received since then. Mostly, because of WWE Creative's tendency to have him run through opponents, being the one who oftentimes wins whatever feud he is placed in. As a result, the "Super Cena" moniker was created by the WWE Universe antagonists.
In many cases, John Cena receives as much - and even more - jeers than the top heels of the company. This why a heel turn would not mean so much. Moreover, it definitely could not be compared to the Hogan turn in '96.
Which spawns the question: Were you ever a John Cena fan? If so, what could he do to revive your likeness? Sound off below.