John Cena has come in for criticism in recent times from those who believe that his character has become stale. It is something he deals with at near every WWE show.
The veteran has been at the top of the business for well over a decade and, as with any Superstar on the big stage night after night, he is now battling a backlash to his success. But, whilst you could argue he is a bit too predictable at present, he still managed to spring a few surprises.
His variation of (or theft of, depending on your view) Stone Cold Steve Austin's famous 'Stunner' move was one such moment. After receiving some heat for its use, Cena revealed recently just how, and why, he chose to imitate the wrestling legend.
Speaking with Caller.com, John Cena explained how the Springboard Stunner came about:
"I've been watching a young man for a long time named Steve Austin," Cena began. "It's something similar (to the Stone Cold Stunner). And I knew I was going to have to bring something a little special for Rusev."
Such was the controversy caused by Cena's decision to innovate/immotate Austin's signature move that Stone Cold himself had to come out and explain he had no issues with it; except for the fact that Cena devalued it a little by not using it as a finisher.
There is no doubt that John Cena has added something a little special to the famous move, though, with the addition of the rope push off. And Cena revealed he had to go back to basics to master his own 'Springboard Stunner.'
"Believe it or not, with all my in-ring experience, I actually took back to the canvas, and practiced a little bit, had some fun; and that's what I came up with."
The Springboard Stunner helped John Cena overcome Rusev during the pair's recent feud, and it has helped breathe new life into the Superstar.
Now in control of the U.S. title, John Cena will defend it this weekend against rising star and MXT grad Kevin Owens. Whether we will see Cena evoke his old friend Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Elimination Chamber is another question altogether.
WWE fans: Do you think John Cena is still relevant in the modern WWE? Will he lose to Owens? Let us know in the comments below...