When we discuss these names in the world of wrestling, you hear names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Undertaker. Strange enough the name John Cena does not seem like it fits just yet. Even though he has clearly been the most dominate and popular wrestler of this past decade. But its just something about him that doesn't allow people to put Cena in that greatest of all time discussion. He is as polarizing as any superstar I have ever seen. He draws out all types of emotions from wrestling fans.
His Resume is not the ProblemWe know that its not a lack of achievements that is hurting him in this conversation. He is a 10 time World Champion, a 4 time Tag Team Champion and 3 time United States Champion. Cena's World title reigns are more than The Undertaker, Bret Hart or Shawn Micheals have had. He has also won the Royal Rumble and beaten all of his major contemporaries. He has some classic feuds with Randy Orton and Edge. I wish he would have gotten some more time in his feuds with Triple H or CM Punk.
Maybe Doesn't Get to Compete Against LegendsSince 2005 when Cena won his first title he has had a lot of different competitors but you never felt like he was competing against another icon. Hogan and Flair did not compete against each other in the ring that much but because their organizations were. They both won their titles from all time greats and Cena won his first title from JBL. A good wrestler but not a Harley Race or Iron Sheik. Steve Austin won his first title from Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan for his first title reign.
Maybe if he had more of a lasting issue with the Big Show or Chris Jericho earlier on in his career maybe the picture will look a little different. Right now outside of Big Show, Randy Orton and CM Punk name me another potential Hall of Famer on the roster. Hogan had Andre The Giant, Randy Savage or a Ted Dibiase during his WWE run. Ric Flair had Harley Race, Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes to help him enhance his legend.
A lot of this is not his fault of course due to the current state of wrestling. Due to the fact there is only one prominent national organization and that everyone knows that these guys are pushed. Fans don't feel like these guys are battling up the card to make a way for themselves. Cena is coming up in an era where a lot of fans do not get emotionally invested in the product.
Maybe Me and my Peers are Too Old
Yes I said it, I may be too old for this. The reason that I am saying this is because at the age of 31, the rise of John Cena was not during my idealism period. When Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were at the heights of popularity I was about 8 or 9 years old. Just like the young kids who are wearing the Cenation shirts, I was part of Hulkamania. When The Rock and Stone Cold where at their best I was 18 or 19. Trust nothing is better than when you are 18 or 19 years old. I can find the parallels in other things such as music and sports. I will never believe that Lebron James is comparable to Michael Jordan. So I probably will never think that John Cena is a Stone Cold Steve Austin.