The Complete History of the WWE Championship - Part 15
- Looking back at the epic John Cena versus Randy Orton feud over the WWE Championship.
In that respect, Cena is in a class of his own. He has won four more WWE titles than any other Superstar in history. Triple H is next on the list with nine titles won.
Cena's WWE Championship collection began on April 3, 2005 and ended on February 12, 2017 when he lost to Bray Wyatt inside the Elimination Chamber.
In total, Cena has won 16 World Championships, the same number that WWE Hall of Famer, Ric Flair has officially held (in truth, Flair has won many more),
To a generation, Cena is the man most people relate when they hear the words "WWE Champion."
Cena is the millennium's version of Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin. However, interestingly he has not held in the same regard amongst the WWE Universe as those aforementioned gentlemen.
The reasons for this would appear to be twofold:
Cena became a star based upon his "Doctor of Thuganomics" gimmick in 2003. Initially a rib on Cena, the gimmick was based upon much-maligned white rapper, Vanilla Ice.
However, he found his voice with the persona and demonstrated an electric skill for rapping. However, when he won his first WWE title, this gimmick was quietly dropped after a few months and his character was altered to appeal to children, which negated his appeal to WWE's core audience.
Secondly was Cena's mechanical ring style. As Cena climbed the card on the pre-taped SmackDown, his in-ring limitations were cleverly hidden on the pre-taped broadcast. However, when he moved to RAW in 2005, he was exposed. Cena showed little improvement over subsequent years, which was a source of resentment with many of the fan-base.
However, despite these issues, Cena was a star; perhaps the final bonafide cross-over star WWE ever created. Like him or not, John Cena - WWE Champion had a ring to it.
This slideshow looks back at Cena's fourth, fifth and sixth WWE title reigns.
Previous entries in my series can be found here:
Randy Orton (June 15, 2009 - September 13, 2009)
Randy Orton had only lost the WWE Championship to Batista on June 7, 2009. However, he regained the belt eight days later after an injured "Animal" had vacated the belt on June 9, 2009.
Orton recaptured the title in a Fatal 4 Way Match on the June 15, 2009 episode of Raw, which also featured John Cena, Triple H and Big Show.
RKO immediately recommenced his feud with Triple H whom he had sidelined in the spring. Orton defeated The Game in a lacklustre Three Stages of Hell Match 2-1 at The Bash on June 28 before defending the belt successfully again via The Cerebral Assassin and Cena at Night of Champions on July 26.
Orton edged past Cena in a singles bout at SummerSlam after Ted DiBiase interfered in the contest when RKO was trapped in Cena's STF. The distraction proved pivotal. Orton RKO'd to defend his title.
Vince McMahon granted Cena one last opportunity at Orton's belt at the first (and only) Breaking Point pay per view on September 13, 2009. In an "I Quit" Match, RKO was finally undone by Cena and forced to quit, thus ending his fourth title run.