The date? January 27th, 2008. Event? Royal Rumble in Madison Square Garden. 29 men had already entered. The timer appeared on the Titantron for the final 30 seconds. The crowd started counting. Once the timer hit 0, there was silence. The crowd was eager to see who number 30, as were those in the ring. Then, music hit. The familiar sound of trumpets. John Cena was revealed to be the final entrant in the Royal Rumble match, and his return was welcomed with a massive pop. Cena would go on to win the match, last eliminating Triple H.
Despite winning the chance to main event WrestleMania, Cena decided to face Randy Orton at No Way Out for the WWE Championship, giving up his WrestleMania match. Cena would win this match by disqualification, thus allowing Orton to retain. But all would not be lost, Cena would be added back into the match by defeating Orton on Raw the night after the PPV, with Triple H serving as special guest referee, who was also in the WrestleMania match, forming a triple threat match, which Orton would win, retaining the championship.
Backlash came next, and a fatal four way elimination match was booked for the WWE Championship, pitting champion Triple H against Randy Orton, John Cena and JBL. Cena would go on to eliminate JBL before being eliminated himself by Orton. Due to his eliminating JBL, Cena would go on to renew his rivalry with the Wall Street millionaire, defeating him at Judgement Day and in a First Blood match at One Night Stand.
Cena would take a quick detour during this rivalry to face Triple H at Night of Champions in losing fashion. At the Great American Bash, the JBL vs John Cena rivalry would end with JBL winning a New York City Parking Lot Brawl. The next night on Raw, Cena would head to the ring to go after JBL after the Batista vs CM Punk match. JBL would duck Cena’s attack, who would inadvertently hit Batista, starting a feud between the two men.
Mike Adamle, the Raw GM would make a match between Cena and Batista official for SummerSlam On the August 4th episode of Raw, Cena and Batista would team up to take on Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr for the World Tag Team Championships, winning them in the process, only to lose them the following week back to the previous Champions. SummerSlam came by and Cena vs Batista was on, which Batista would win. During this match, Cena would herniate a disk in his neck, which required surgery.
Cena was set to be apart of the Championship Scramble match at Unforgiven for CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Championship but due to his injury, was pulled out. Cena would make his return at Survivor Series, defeating Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship. Cena would go on to successfully defend the title against Jericho at Armageddon and JBL at the Royal Rumble, before dropping the title to Edge (who had lost the WWE Championship earlier in the night and attacked Kofi Kingston as he was entering the Elimination Chamber) at Elimination Chamber.
Cena would get and win his rematch at WrestleMania 25 in a triple threat match against Edge and Big Show, before dropping it back to Edge at Backlash in a Last Man Standing match, after Big Show interfered on Edge’s behalf. Cena would go on to face, and defeat, Big Show at Judgement Day and Extreme Rules, the latter being a Submission Match. During this run with Big Show, The Miz called out Cena for a match. Due to Cena being out injured, he wouldn’t come out, leading to The Miz claiming victory via forfeit, and would continue to do so week in and week out.
At The Bash, Cena and The Miz would finally face each other, in which Cena would win. Cena would turn his attention to the WWE Championship. The match was set; Night of Champions would feature a rematch from WrestleMania XXIV: defending champion Randy Orton vs Triple H vs John Cena. Orton would retain the championship by pinning Cena after an interference by Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes.
Cena would win a Beat the Clock Challenge to be the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship, a shot he’d receive at SummerSlam, which he’d lose. Cena would go on to beat Orton in an I Quit match to win the WWE Championship at Breaking Point, before being defeated by Orton in a Hell in a Cell match at the PPV of the same name. Cena would then regain the championship at Bragging Rights in a 60 minute Anything Goes Iron Man match.
At Survivor Series, Cena would retain the title in a triple threat match against Triple H and Shawn Michaels. TLC would be the PPV to close out 2009, and Cena would face Sheamus in a losing effort in a Tables Match. Cena won his rematch on December 29th albeit by DQ, thus not winning the championship. Cena would enter the 2010 Royal Rumble match, making the final 2 before being eliminated by Edge.
Cena entered the Elimination Chamber PPV as one of the 6 men to enter the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, which he would win. His reign was short lived as Vince McMahon came out and announced that if Cena could beat Batista, he’d go to WrestleMania. Batista would go on to beat Cena in 32 seconds. This would reignite their feud as the two would face off at WrestleMania XXVI, which Cena would win by submission.
The two would also face off in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules and an I Quit match at Over the Limit, both of which Cena would win. The I Quit match would be the end of the Cena vs Batista feud.
Come back next time, as we touch on John Cena feuding with The Nexus and more.