Ranking The Royal Rumble Winners – Part 17
It’s Royal Rumble season, which means it’s almost WrestleMania season. Thanks to the WWE Network, you can go back and watch all the old Royal Rumble pay per views and matches, and in that spirit, I decided to rank the winners. I’ll be ranking the winners every day until the we reach #1, including last weekend, and if you’re interested in checking out who’s already on the list, use the tricky magnifying glass at the top of the screen and search ‘Royal Rumble winners’ or scroll through the blog. Now, onto the rankings!
6. John Cena – 2008 & 2013 Royal Rumbles
John Cena’s Royal Rumble wins are a perfect mirror for his career. In late 2007, Cena was sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle and there was very little chance he was going to be ready for the following WrestleMania, never mind the Royal Rumble. But ready he was, as he entered as the 30th entrant and eliminated HHH to win the 2008 Rumble. The crowd went crazy for Cena, and it was probably the most shocking return in the history of the Royal Rumble. By 2013, the crowd had officially turned on Cena. With The Rock slated to challenge and defeat CM Punk in the main event of the 2013 Royal Rumble, it was all but inevitable that Cena would win the Rumble and go on to challenge The Rock at WrestleMania. Cena still got cheers from the younger kids in the audience, but his over exposure combined with older members of the audience rooting for The Rock turned Cena into a good guy not many people wanted to cheer for. His two Rumble wins can be summed up in five words, the same five words audiences have been chanting at Cena for years: Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks.
The Good/Not so good: if you’ve watched wrestling from 2004 on, the most popular thing in the world to do is complain about John Cena. “He can’t wrestle”, “he’s boring”, “he does the same moves all the time”. The fact is that John Cena is the literal face of the corporation that is the WWE. He is their guy, and I can’t honestly say I’ve ever seen a wrestler work harder and go through more shit than John Cena. Maybe Hulk Hogan was boring and felt the wrath of the fans before his turn with the NWO, but Hulk Hogan did not have to go through all of that with social media. The facts are that John Cena is going to be the most decorated World Champion in the history of wrestling by the time he retires. Is he overexposed? Absolutely. Is he partially to blame? Absolutely. But the WWE has been stuck in a rut for years now and have refused to build new stars. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are probably the closest thing to a John Cena, but they were not “WWE built”. They were thrust to cult status because of the fans. Punk is probably gone forever and Bryan is finally back, but who knows what his future holds. John Cena is the corporate machine that does and says the right things all the time. But he is also a fantastic professional wrestler. sports entertainer or any other name you want to give him. More importantly, he makes the WWE a lot of money, and the main goal of any wrestler is to make his company money, because when you make them money, you’ll always be towards the top of the card. Some people like Cena, and some people don’t, but as long as he’s in the WWE, he will be their guy.