John Cena has been an integral part of WWE since his debut. He had his coronation at Wrestlemania 21 where he defeated JBL to win his first WWE World Championship(then simply known as the WWE Championship). He was the lead babyface on Smackdown while Batista was on Raw. A few months after Wrestlemania, both champions ended up going to the opposite brand. In fact, John Cena was on Raw for a full eleven years before getting drafted to Smackdown Live in the second rendition of the brand split this year.
It is only by the beginning of 2015 where Cena began to completely faze out of the main event picture which he had been the central piece of for a good decade. In fact, the last time he main evented a Pay-Per-View was Survivor Series 2014, and the last time he held a world championship was at Summerslam 2014, where he lost it to Brock Lesnar.
However, him not being in the main event scene has largely changed the perception of him by the fans, many of whom gave negative reactions to him for a long time. His run with the United States Championship last year did nothing but gain more respect for him from the fans. His US Open Challenge gimmick helped elevate the likes of Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens(who didn’t do the challenge, but it was a pretext to feud with Cena), Cesaro,etc.
Cena will main eventing a Pay-Per-View for the first time in 23 months at No Mercy when he takes on AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Championship. Cena will be taking a hiatus for the rest of the year after No Mercy so he can go and film the second season of American Grit. Despite not having main evented a PPV in 23 months, Cena will be breaking an all-time record, as he will officially be the superstar who has main evented most PPVs in WWE history. He is currently tied with Triple H and The Undertaker. The list looks as follows:
1)John Cena – 67 PPV main events(including 6 Royal Rumble matches)
The Undertaker – 67 PPV main events(including 9 Royal Rumble matches)
Triple H – 67 PPV main events(including 6 Royal Rumble matches)
4)Shawn Michaels – 48 PPV main events(including 10 Royal Rumble matches)
5)Randy Orton – 42 PPV main events(including 5 Royal Rumble matches)
6)Stone Cold Steve Austin – 41 PPV main events(including 3 Royal Rumble matches)
7)Kane – 38 PPV main events(including 15 Royal Rumble matches)
8)The Rock – 33 PPV main events(including 2 Royal Rumble matches)
9)Chris Jericho – 29 PPV main events(including 8 Royal Rumble matches)
10)Edge – 26 PPV main events(including 6 Royal Rumble matches)