John Cena's grittiest moments
John Cena has become one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time by overcoming the odds. These are the eight toughest, most overwhelming odds he’s conquered. Presented by “American Grit.”
Forced Batista to say “I Quit” … twice
John Cena and Batista both ascended to the top of WWE in 2005. As Cena continued to build his legacy on Raw, The Animal did the same on SmackDown. Five years of jostling to prove they were the top guy in WWE would culminate in an “I Quit” Match at Over the Limit 2010.
In that contest, Batista showed that he would do anything to eliminate The Cenation Leader, including ramming him with a hot rod. However, Cena battled through the chair blasts and car crash to force The Animal to quit with an Attitude Adjustment through the hot rod’s roof. The following night on Raw, Cena attained the ultimate victory as an injured Batista literally quit WWE.
Beat Edge in a TLC Match in Toronto
WWE Champion Edge stacked the odds in his final showdown against John Cena with a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match — Edge’s specialty — in his hometown of Toronto. As if that wasn’t enough, Cena would have to leave Raw forever if he lost.
The rivals put each other through Hell at Unforgiven 2006, busting tables, denting chairs and destroying everything in sight. The Cenation Leader seemed to be done after a 16-foot fall through a table. Amazingly, he not only survived, but he also conjured the strength to AA Edge off the ladder and through two stacked tables. With the unbelievable victory, Cena recaptured the WWE Championship and vanquished the biggest thorn in his side.
Launched The Great Khali off a crane
John Cena insisted he wasn’t afraid of The Great Khali ahead of their WWE Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match at One Night Stand 2007. The 7-foot-1 giant had never been pinned, though, and he dominated Cena, using his size and strength advantage to toss his opponent around the arena.
Hurling the WWE Champion onto a crane next to the entrance ramp, The Great Khali seemed poised to end Cena’s career. The champion slipped out of a powerslam, though, and he shockingly hoisted Khali for a bone-jarring AA to the concrete floor.
Took Umaga down for the 10-count
In their Last Man Standing Match, the 350-pound Umaga used his size advantage to squash Cena, but the resilient Cenation Leader fired back with the steel steps and a TV monitor to cut the challenger down. After Umaga’s handler, Armando Estrada, removed one of the ring ropes, Cena saw his opening, using the loosened rope to put Umaga into the STF and knock him out for the ref’s count.
Knocked out Brock Lesnar with a chain
Then–Raw and SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis brought back Brock Lesnar to take out John Cena, and the former WWE Champion and UFC Champion made his intentions clear in the weeks leading up to WWE Extreme Rules 2012: He had returned to WWE to destroy the competition.
Lesnar kicked off the Extreme Rules Match by busting Cena open, suplexing the air out of him and trying to dislocate his shoulder. When The Beast Incarnate charged at Cena like a bull seeing red, though, The Cenation Leader stunned him with a steel-chained punch. That gave Cena the opening he needed to hit the AA on the steel steps for the win.
Used Orton’s handcuffs against him
The Viper handcuffed Cena to the ring ropes, allowing him to tee off on The Cenation Leader with a Kendo stick. He insulted Cena further by throwing water in his face and screaming at him to give up. Cena refused to quit, though. He dodged a chair blast from Orton and managed to handcuff himself to The Viper. As The Apex Predator struggled to reach for the keys, Cena ingeniously used the chain to apply the STF with Orton’s own arm, forcing him to cry, “I quit!”
After a heartbreaking defeat on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Rusev sought to punish John Cena. Rusev viciously attacked the new United States Champion with a chain several times over the next few weeks, and their rivalry would be decided in a Russian Chain Match at WWE Extreme Rules 2015.
The Bulgarian Brute’s frightening strength and vicious use of the chain had the United States Champion reeling, and when Rusev locked in the Accolade, it seemed like Cena was done. Yet, incredibly, the champion somehow lifted Rusev onto his back to escape the hold. Then, he managed to outpower and outrun Rusev, touching all four corners of the ring to retain his United States Title.
Threw Kane off an ambulance
Kane tortured John Cena for several weeks in an attempt to get him to embrace the hate. The Devil’s Favorite Demon had ruined Cena’s friendship with Zack Ryder and brought out Cena’s dark side in doing so. Kane put that aggressive side to the test at Elimination Chamber 2012, when the two Superstars squared off in an Ambulance Match.
After chokeslamming Cena through a table, Kane dragged his adversary to the emergency vehicle. The Devil’s Favorite Demon then looked to finish Cena once and for all with a chokeslam off the ambulance roof. However, the ever-resourceful Cena wiggled free and countered with a devastating AA that sent Kane crashing to the floor in defeat.