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#MustWatchMonday: Happy Birthday, Big Match John!


On April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts, a great man was born.

That man's name was John Cena.

Whether you love him or you hate him, you can't deny that John Cena has done the most for wrestling since Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock. He brings public eyeballs to WWE programming, he attracts people to house shows, and he even learned Chinese to help the WWE in their efforts to expand to a more global audience.


Most of the dislike for Cena most probably comes from his run from 2006-2010 or so, where he was basically portrayed as unstoppable. Some examples of this include beating the entire Nexus by himself, never losing a big match even after being beaten to within an inch of his life, and being able to come back using his Five Moves of Doom even after said beating. It was around this time where his character stagnated a bit as well, basically becoming just a smiling superhero.

You couldn't blame the WWE for doing it though. At a time when WWE focused their efforts on catering to women and children, John Cena's Superman character was the best thing for business. And despite being shoved down people's throats, you couldn't deny that Cena had charisma, and always found a way to hold on to audiences, even those that weren't too fond of him.

One of his best matches during this stretch comes from 2007, when he went up against Umaga for the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match at that year's Royal Rumble event.



The match happened after Umaga, furious at losing to Cena at New Year's Revolution via a roll up, attacked Cena and injured him before their rematch.

Cena started by going right at Umaga, trying to finish the match quickly. Umaga however, took advantage of Cena's injured ribs and got right to work on him. The Samoan Bulldozer dominated the majority of the match, and Cena sold great for him the entire time. As the match went on, Umaga got cocky and greedy, going for weapons, hoping to maim Cena instead of winning the match. This left little openings for Cena to fight back.

Eventually, Umaga attempted to remove the turnbuckle, and ended up loosening the rope. The time it takes for him to do this gives Cena enough of an opening to recover with an FU AA, and he follows it up with an STF, choking Umaga out with the rope until he fades away. This put him down for the count of ten, and gave the win to Cena.

This is probably one of my favorite Cena matches, and definitely my favorite one of this time period. Cena is, and probably always will be one of my favorites, and I hope he'll continue to grace WWE television in the coming years. His role right now as the main event gatekeeper and representative of the old guard is just amazing.

What do you think of this match? What are some of your favorite Cena moments and matches? Leave a comment! And happy birthday, John!

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Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.

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