Cena will get a crash course in hardcore

WWE Champion John Cena will face one of his biggest challenges to date Sunday night when he has to defend his championship against Rob Van Dam in extremely hostile territory at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York at One Night Stand. If Cena can make it there, that is. Tomorrow night at WWE vs. ECW Head to Head, Cena will get his first official taste of hardcore when he goes one on one with the maniacal Sabu in a non-title, Extreme Rules, Anything Goes Match.

Often referred to as the suicidal, homicidal, genocidal, death-defying maniac, the ECW icon Sabu introduced himself to Cena for the first time Monday night on RAW. After several ECW Superstars beat down The Champ in the ring, they laid him on a table and Sabu came off the top rope, sacrificing his body to send Cena crashing through the wooden structure. As devastating as that was, that could be just the tip of the iceberg of what Sabu has planned for The Champ. Sabu will be facing Rey Mysterio for the World Championship at One Night Stand, but if history is any indication, it’s highly unlikely that he will be conserving his energy for that fight.

Be that as it may, Cena is shockingly looking at his match against Sabu as a positive.

“If anyone has an advantage going into this match, it’s me,” said Cena. “It introduces me to the ECW rules. It lets me know a little bit of what to expect from a guy who has been there and done everything. I’m not saying that this is going to be a fun experience – it’s not, but chalk one up for The Champ as far as getting used to it. It’s a non-title match so worst-case scenario, I go out there and get beat but still have an idea of what to expect at One Night Stand.”

Cena is no stranger to having the deck stacked against him. The most controversial champion in WWE history is used to being an underdog, so that won’t bother him when he goes into what should be the most hostile environment he’s ever been in.

“I’ve been in some rough matches – I Quit Matches, Steel Cage Matches and even the Elimination Chamber, but nothing can compare to the ECW environment,” said Cena. “I’m not going to back down from a fight, so Wednesday will come and go, but I won’t lose the championship. And whatever happens, I have to get my head straight and get ready for Sunday’s match against Rob Van Dam.”

While WWE fans probably haven’t seen much of Sabu since last year’s One Night Stand event, Cena thinks he knows what to expect from the unorthodox ECW Superstar.

“He’s crazy, absolutely crazy. I think he’s best known for just putting it all out there at any given time,” said Cena. “He’s not exactly a conservative wrestler. He’ll put his life on the line any second and not necessarily to win or lose, but just to make an impression. He’s going to want to make an impression, and what better way to do that than to leave a crippled champ walking into One Night Stand.”

WWE.com tried to get comments from Sabu, but the suicidal, homicidal, genocidal, death-defying maniac prefers to let his actions in the ring do his talking.

Will Sabu accomplish just that – crippling John Cena before his match against Rob Van Dam? Or will The Champ once again overcome the odds and pick up momentum heading into One Night Stand? Tune in to WWE vs. ECW Head to Head Wednesday night on the USA Network at 9/8 CT to find out.

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