15 years ago, WWE Champion John Cena walked into the Hammerstein Ballroom as the company’s top babyface, but received anything but a loving reaction.
Cena was met with thunderous boos as he defended his WWE Championship in ECW territory against Rob Van Dam. Speaking with Metro.co.uk, former ECW owner Paul Heyman praised Cena’s ability to adapt to live atmospheres.
“John Cena feeds off of the interaction with a live audience like very few people on the face of the planet in history ever have, ever could, ever would, or ever have the ability to generate that level of passion from a live crowd. I think John Cena, to this day, loved every single micro moment of it,” Heyman said. “Anybody that says that they wouldn’t cherish the opportunity to work with John Cena on any level is a fool.”
As for Cena’s opponent, Heyman says Van Dam played an equal part in creating such an iconic match, which resulted in RVD winning the WWE Championship.
“Rob Van Dam tore the house down with whatever opponent was in the ring with him on a nightly basis for five years in ECW,” Heyman said.
While ECW One Night Stand 2006 is regarded as one of the strongest pay-per-views of the decade, Heyman noted that the event was no different than the product ECW had put on for years.
“So, while many people are so enthralled with the memories of ECW One Night Stand 2005 and especially the Rob Van Dam, John Cena title match from 2006, this was every night of our lives for seven years,” Heyman said. “This was what we did, this was the product that we presented. This was truly ECW.”
H/t to Metro.co.uk for the transcription.