The debate around John Cena has been around for as long as he's been a wrestler. For the most part, Cena has a rightful claim to the title of "Greatest of all Time", even if he might not outright admit it. He has unparalleled accomplishments both in and out of the wrestling ring.
However, the question is no longer a matter of personal fandom or merely opinion; the sentiment is endorsed by WWE.
John Cena, the 16-Time World Champion in WWE, has had a Hall of Fame-worthy career that has been a subject of fan contention, especially when measured against legends like Ric Flair, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and The Rock. He is tied with Ric Flair for the most World Championship victories. However, an essential distinction is that all of Cena's title wins occurred solely within WWE. If Cena continues on his trajectory, he might even surpass Flair's record.
His journey in WWE hasn't been all smooth sailing. It's somewhat ironic to consider Cena as one of the all-time greats, especially recalling the polarized fan reactions during his full-time wrestling tenure. Fans, in their passion, had a love-hate relationship with him. But this didn't deter Cena from carving out a legacy.
During a recent episode of SmackDown, the behind-the-scenes consensus on Cena's status was apparent.
According to reports from Fightful Select, John Cena is now officially listed as "The Greatest Of All Time" or "The GOAT" in internal listings backstage. This SmackDown episode was even more significant as it marked Cena's return to the blue brand, culminating in a memorable face-off with The Rock.
While Cena's accomplishments inside the ring are impressive, his endeavors outside the squared circle amplify his claim to greatness. He holds an awe-inspiring record for granting the most Make-A-Wish wishes. His contributions surpass all others, regardless of their professional background. This act of philanthropy accentuates Cena's impact not just as a top-tier athlete but also as a beacon of hope for many.
Comparisons between Cena and other legends such as The Rock and Stone Cold further bolster his GOAT status. Cena remained a top star in WWE for nearly a decade. In comparison, Stone Cold top-tier run was about five years, from his World Championship debut win at WrestleMania 14 until his retirement at WrestleMania 19.
The Rock, another heavyweight name, dominated the main event from his first World Championship triumph in late 1998 until he transitioned to a part-time status in 2002.
Opinions on who holds the title of the greatest WWE Superstar are diverse and subjective. Fans, wrestling pundits, and enthusiasts will always have their favorites based on different eras, wrestling styles, and personal preferences. However, numbers, titles, and consistent high-caliber performances don't lie. While the debate continues, there's no disputing the fact that John Cena, through his unwavering commitment to WWE and his off-the-ring benevolence, has carved a space for himself among the wrestling pantheon.
If we're lucky, we'll get another episode where The Rock and John Cena will bookend the entire thing, such as what happened earlier this week.