John Cena's home court (dis)advantage

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September 12, 2012

John Cena goes home to Boston this Sunday when he attempts to end his championship drought and defeat WWE Champion CM Punk at Night of Champions. Just because he is slated to compete in the familiar setting of TD Garden, however, don’t expect the tried-and-true “home court advantage” to apply to the Cenation leader.

For as beloved as Cena, a native of Beantown suburb West Newbury, Mass., is in many parts of New England, and for as much as Cena considers himself a Bostonian, his record at home is checkered with more than a couple significant losses.

His second U.S. Title reign ended there, and a high-profile challenge for the WWE Championship was turned back there. What’s more, the notoriously vocal Boston members of the WWE Universe (like their fellow Northeasterners in the Philadelphia-to-Beantown stretch on I-95) have not exactly embraced their local-boy-made-good. In more than one outing, “Cena sucks” chants have rained down on Cena, presumably by fans who grew up a stone’s throw away from his doorstep.

Not that any of this seems to worry the characteristically dauntless Cena days ahead of his next championship opportunity.

“I love going to Boston,” the polarizing Superstar told WWE.com in an exclusive interview. “I adapt well to any environment. I’ve been cheered there, and I’ve been booed there, but that's the Boston fans.”

On the night after SummerSlam, Cena pegged a match between himself and Punk at Night of Champions as a proving ground for The Second City Saint. Noting that Sunday’s event would be held in his “house,” Cena told Punk on Aug. 20 that a successful title defense against Cena in Boston would be “the moment that will define [Punk’s] existence.”

For once, though, the Cenation leader had it all wrong. If Cena, on his old stomping ground, overcomes the most dominant WWE Champion in recent years, that may well be the moment that defines Cena’s career — not Punk’s.

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