John Cena has been one of the biggest successes to come out of WWE in a long conveyer belt of top stars such as Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock.
Cena, now slated for the 'Fast and Furious' franchise, has broken into Hollywood like Dwayne Johnson before him and, as a result, his in-ring work has taken a back seat.
He was the man for well over a decade, however, and has tied Ric Flair’s official record of 16 world championships.
Jim Ross, former head of WWE’s talent relations, claims that the superstar deserves to be honoured for his contribution to the world of wrestling.
In the hypothetical WWE’s version of Mount Rushmore, Ross, speaking on his ‘Grilling JR’ podcast with Conrad Thompson, claims that Cena should be in there as one of the four most important wrestlers that WWE has produced.
Ross stated: “Oh hell yes, absolutely. From the get-go, I never worked with a more dedicated guy than John Cena.
“The greatest work ethic of any guy I've ever known in the wrestling business for sure simply meaning he didn't turn anything down but the covers.
“He did appearances, his Make-A-Wish total is astronomical, but John Cena was a very special guy.
“If John Cena is not on the Mt. Rushmore of WWE stars, then there doesn't need to be a Mt. Rushmore. Knock it down, and build an apartment building or something because you don't need the mountain. He's on that mountain and he's very firmly in place.”
Cena was scouted by Jim Ross whilst under his gimmick of The Prototype and trained in WWE’s developmental school Ohio Valley Wrestling before debuting on WWE television in June 2002.
Cena’s debut came on an episode of SmackDown! where he slapped Kurt Angle, claiming he had “ruthless aggression”.
With that, WWE had actively turned away from the Attitude Era and its stars of The Rock, who was by this point a part-time performer, and Stone Cold, who had left the company that summer and would wrestle his final match the following year.
Along with fellow OVW graduates Randy Orton, Batista and Brock Lesnar, the now named Ruthless Aggression era lasted for almost a decade, with Cena at the top. He won Royal Rumbles, Money in the Banks and topped the bill at most shows.
John Cena has main-evented five WrestleMania cards, only behind Hulk Hogan on eight and Triple H with seven. Of the seven WrestleMania events that topped a million buys, Cena worked on six of them, main eventing the highest bought WWE event with The Rock at WrestleMania 28 in 2012.
JR also stated that, whilst personally disliking the John Cena special edition spinning belts for the United States Championship and WWE Championship, it drew them a lot of money.
As did Cena’s merchandise, with the once-Doctor of Thugamonics holding the number one spot for merch sales for almost a decade.
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