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5 Opponents who have defined John Cena's career in WWE

  • Cena is in the final stages of his career inside the squared circle.
Sanjay Dutta
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 07 Mar 2020, 12:28 IST

Cena is a 16-time World Champion
Cena is a 16-time World Champion

One of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood, John Cena returned to WWE on last week's SmackDown. The Cenation Leader addressed the Boston crowd and said that he would not be part of WrestleMania 36. But, in classic WWE Style, he was challenged moments later by ' The Fiend' Bray Wyatt. A match between the two was set for WrestleMania 36. This is the second time that Wyatt and Cena will be facing off against at The Grandest Stage Of Them All with their previous encounter at WrestleMania 30 ending in a victory for the 16-time World Champion. 

Whether you love or hate him, one can't help but praise Cena's work ethic and his loyalty to WWE. The Cenation Leader's run as the top dog saw him equal Ric Flair's record of 16 World Championship win. His run as the company's top Superstar is second only to Hulk Hogan in the modern era. The West-Newbury native has been someone who has transcended the business and has a legacy that will be hard to replicate. 

With a career spanning almost two decades, The Cenation Leader has been able to lock horns with a wide array of opponents. But, there have been a select few who have been able to define the 16-time World Champion's career inside the squared circle. Here are five opponents who have defined the career of the Cenation Leader: 

#5 John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) 

JBL was one of the best heels in WWE history
JBL was one of the best heels in WWE history

The most recent inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame, JBL was hugely instrumental in the rise of John Cena. It is safe to say without the self-proclaimed ' Wrestling God', Cena wouldn't have reached the heights that he did. The feud with JBL came at a very important juncture in the Cenation Leader's career. With top Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg stepping away from the company, it was time for the newer crop of talent to take the mantle and run it and Cena was one of them.

As the foul-mouthed, Jort-wearing, freestyle rapper, Cena endeared himself to the WWE Universe which would lead to him defeating The Big Show at WrestleMania 20. But, it was feud against JBL that propelled Cena to megastardom. After making it to the final two of the 2005 Royal Rumble, Cena entered the No. 1 Contender's Tournament for the WWE Championship. He defeated Kurt Angle in the final of the said tournament to earn a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 21. 

Cena would defeat JBL at WrestleMania 21 to win the WWE Championship. Following his win, The Cenation Leader would introduce the Spinner version of the WWE Championship while JBL took the original title belt. Cena and JBL faced off in a rematch for the title in an ' I Quit Match' at Judgement Day. The match saw Cena bleed profusely but he was able to overcome the insurable odds and retain the WWE Championship.

The duo would clash once again in 2008 after Cena eliminated JBL from the Fatal-4 Way Elimination Match for the WWE Championship at Backlash. Cena would defeat the Texas-native at Judgement Day and One Night Stand but JBL got the last laugh after he defeated Cena in a Parking Lot Brawl at the Great American Bash to end their feud.

The last major match between the duo took place at 2009 Royal Rumble where Cena successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship against his arch-nemesis.

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Published 07 Mar 2020, 12:28 IST
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