Why was Chyna fired from the WWE
He became the most successful wrestler in the aftermath of Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock. WWE made hundreds of millions of dollars from him over the years. And meanwhile also shoots very successful films in Hollywood.
It's hard to believe that John Cena nearly got fired before he got there.
2002: John Cena almost sacked after debut
From today's perspective, wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer had the amazing career episode in his 2017 Wrestling Observer Radio revealed. Three years later, Cena de facto confirmed her when she was woven into the story of his bizarre WrestleMania match against "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt.
Cena, Meltzer reported, had not convinced some of the WWE officials after he celebrated his debut against Kurt Angle on June 27, 2002 and was allowed to play his first matches.
According to the general opinion, he was promoted too early from the then OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) training league and was about to be expelled. Cena, born on April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts, started his wrestling career in January 2000 under the name "The Prototype" and in 2001 he signed a development contract with WWE.
Why didn't he fly? Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWE boss Vince McMahon and also in managerial responsibility, is said to have seen potential in Cena and managed to keep trying. She had the right nose: soon afterwards, no one within WWE doubted Cena's potential - although he had a difficult time with the fans for longer when WWE began to fully exploit it.
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2005: Rise to champion
Cena experienced his first big career boost in the year after his debut when he built his real soft spot for hip hop into his character and after a "heel turn" mutated into the mean "Doctor of Thuganomics", who turned his opponents and fans with bitter evil Battleraps provoked (Cena also released various rap songs and in 2004 he recorded the album "You can't see me", his theme song "The Time is now" and the forerunner "Word Life").
With this character, Cena got his first major feuds with stars like Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker (in his role as a biker at the time) - and quickly enthused the fans so much that he became a crowd favorite again. In 2004 he celebrated a successful WrestleMania premiere against The Big Show, in spring 2005 Cena became WWE champion for the first time at WrestleMania 21 with a victory over John Bradshaw Layfield - which was not right for many fans.
The negative reactions in the halls increased again when the feeling arose that WWE wanted to force Cenas to become a top star and fed him numerous recognized stars such as Chris Jericho, Christian and Angle. Although Cena was as well received as hoped by the young audience, die-hard WWE supporters reacted allergically and with boos.
2006 - 2007: Major feuds with Edge and Shawn Michaels
Cena's position improved when the up-and-coming Edge temporarily took the title away from him in early 2006 and set up the first really successful title feud with Cena. The following year, other critics fell silent when old master Shawn Michaels threw all his skills into the scales for Cena and teased the best matches of his career up to that point out of him.
Nonetheless, Cena's reputation remained ambiguous. For years he was the target for numerous points of criticism that fans raised not only against him, but also against WWE in general: Cena was accused that he was not as accomplished a ring craftsman as Michaels and Co. - and that he was the embodiment of the "PG Era" ( or, named after the key phrase before his debut fight: "Ruthless Aggression Era"), WWE's newly introduced, youth-free orientation.
While his early raps continued the controversial, adult basic orientation of the popular Attitude Era, which had already disappeared a while before Cena, Cena later defused himself and became a hero figure suitable for children.
2012 - 2013: The Rock hands over the torch
As such, Cena worked splendidly in spite of all odds: According to its own account, the John Cena brand generated around $ 100 million in sales a year in its prime - and that's plausible: WWE's merchandise sales alone brought in tens of millions annually.
With this in mind, it is clear why, despite all the criticism, Cena has always been inviolable. And why WWE also let the calls to refresh Cena's character with a renewed transformation into a villain go unheard.
For around a decade, Cena was the undisputed figurehead of WWE, various other major feuds against Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, CM Punk and returnees Lesnar underlined his status. Cena's legacy was finally cemented when megastar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson retired - and let him win the final fight - for two big matches against Cena at WrestleMania in 2012 and 2013.
Success in the film - but always comebacks
In the meantime, Cena The Rock has followed to Hollywood, taking on his first leading role in 2018 in "Bumblebee", a spin-off from "Transformers". His private headlines - like his relationship with former WWE colleague Nikki Bella, from whom he split in 2018 - are now also engaging a larger audience.
Cena has shut down his WWE career more and more over the years, but he still regularly returns to the ring for individual major programs.
Among other things, he put in a feud with Roman Reigns in 2017, which WWE has been trying to build up to his successor for several years - against similar resistance as Cena once felt.
He does not seem to be at the end of his ring career, he has repeatedly given assurances that he will continue it as long as he can.
2018: Honored with the Muhammad Ali Prize
So it cannot be ruled out that Cena will continue to increase his fame, although he can already look back on a record record: He is 13-time WWE Champion and three-time World Heavyweight Champion, at WWE nobody held the most important titles that often. In addition, with his 16 reigns he is on a par with - according to the official WWE count - just as often at NWA, WCW and WWE ruling "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
Most of the fans now also know what they have in Cena: The constantly celebrated division of the audience into Cena fans and Cena haters ("Let's go Cena!" - "Cena sucks!") Has become more and more common over the years more playful ritual.
He has also proven often enough that the other popular critic call "You can't wrestle" is only partially true: Cena has never been able to remedy some technical weaknesses, but he is like a footballer, who has a lack of technical skills all the more Use balances. His outstanding fights against Seth Rollins and AJ Styles recently proved that the result can be brilliant with the right opponent.
Cena never rested so much on his popularity in the ring, as, for example, Hulk Hogan often did - and unlike Hogan, for whom protecting his own aura was often a priority even in the fall of his career - Cena sets him a lot more often for the benefit of others. In the past few years in particular, Cena has repeatedly allowed itself to be defeated by far less big stars to give them a boost. Remarkably unpretentious, too, how Cena was completely dismantled by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2014 and by Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 in 2018 in order to strengthen it for their subsequent programs.
Cena's gigantic commitment to good causes, in public and, according to reports, also outside of it, is beyond any doubt. Sports Illustrated honored Cena with her Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in 2018 as the successor to Colin Kaepernick - and honored him as "possibly the most charitable person in sport".
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