The X-Factor: John Cena vs. Edge Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 10/06/2020 at 05:40 AM
The smart fans these days. Whether they admit or not, they’re still marks deep down. We marked out when Kofi and Becky won it big in MetLife Stadium last year. We heard “You think know me” at the Rumble this year and damn near lost it. I’m a smart fan, and I’ve been a mark for John Cena since ‘06. Why? Let me tell you.
When 2005 began, we inherited Triple H’s highly insufferable “Reign of Terror” on Raw. Smackdown had JBL’s less maligned title run that happened for two reasons: Eddie Guerrero buckled under the pressure, and Triple H didn’t feel like working Tuesdays. Both Batista and Cena would save us from both of them at WrestleMania 21.
The changing of the guard happened. The Champ revealed the new Spinner WWE belt. The two would go on to win their ongoing feuds and switch brands that June. For Cena, that’s when it all started to change.
He saw the landscape shifting knowing he had to change too. That meant dropping the rapper gimmick. Some fans didn’t like that, then came the mixed reactions and sentiments that would follow Cena for years. “He can’t wrestle”, “they carry him”, “he’s bad for business”, “he buries talent”, and “the product sucks thanks to him”. Uh-huh.
I wasn’t a big fan of his. That changed on January 8, 2006. I made sure to catch New Years Revolution because of the Elimination Chamber.
What happened? Let’s go back a year first.
Edge won the first Money in the Bank match at ‘Mania 21 and then caused WWE a ton of bad PR when Matt Hardy dropped news of his girlfriend Lita’s affair with Edge. Then they fired Matt for making it public. WWE would capitalize on that heat to build the two as villains even re-hiring Matt that summer so they could feud. He and Lita had it out on their old web show Byte This! It was the only ep I saw. Edge winning the rivalry pissed me off less than what occurred 3 months later.
Cena went wire-to-wire in the Chamber to win. The wrestling world turned upside down when Edge cashed in to rob Cena of the title he went through hell and back to hold onto. I flipped the f*** out. Really!!?? They rewarded him again?
Edge and Lita’s “live sex celebration” the next Raw grabbed some major ratings. By then he was the “Rated R Superstar” and the “live sex” cemented that. That same night, Cena could no longer deny the mixed fan reactions he was getting. They decided, “what the hell, let’s just run with it”. Three weeks later Edge lost the WWE title back to JC at the Royal Rumble. After a blow off match in February, their angle was sidelined.
It wasn’t fair in my view. John Cena had gotten over big time, elevated to the top by the fans only for half of them to turn around and say he sucks. Edge embarrassed the promotion by betraying a great friend and his wife at once. Can’t say I blame them for wanting to roll with his now notorious ways. It’s what they do.
After WrestleMania 22 their feud continued, only now Triple H was gunning for the WWE title and the 3 had it out at Backlash. Again, Cena was victorious.
The MITB briefcase came back to haunt him again when Rob Van Dam used his to face the champ at the 2nd ECW One Night Stand. I knew the ECW faithful would be rowdy, but I was not prepared. Neither was John. The crowd throwing the t-shirt back several times and the obscene amount of hate he had to take could’ve made for a bad match. Did he crumble under the pressure? You couldn’t tell by the way he handled himself in Hammerstein Ballroom.
“If Cena wins we riot”. A classic sign. We’ll never know if that would go down. Edge had cost him the title yet another time. “Thank you Edge” was the fans reply. Oh, yeah. He gave Tommy Dreamer a merciless beating that night then pinned his wife as if he was humping her. He even got a “F*** you Edge” chant.
Mr. Hustle Loyalty Respect proved his haters wrong that night. Not that they would all admit it as many clung so tightly to the same tired-ass excuses for the longest time.
Adam Copeland’s big heel move was meant to take the championship off his rival and put it on an “easier” target. Didn’t work out as RVD retained against him. It wouldn’t mean jack in the long run with Van Dam getting arrested for possession of marijuana. RVD dropped the title to Edge on July 3, 2006 after Cena got blindsided with the belt. RVD would never hold that title again.
Oh, but those other two were not done. Mr. Rated R got a DQ win against his arch-enemy at Saturday Night’s Main Event on 7/15/06. This pissed Cena off big time leading to what was supposed to be the big ending to their story at SummerSlam. I thought, “this has to be it”. Six days before, Edge went to the home of Cena’s father and slapped him in the face. The DQ rule was out too. It wasn’t it. He escaped with the strap by using a knuckle duster.
Edge had pushed Cena too far before. This time he was begging for it.
Lita then threw the spinner title in the Long Island Sound so that Edge could replace it with, another one with his logo on it. The Cenation leader shouted “I ain’t going nowhere” right after tossing Edge into that same polluted water.
Mr. Rated R was sick to death of his nemesis and wanted him gone. Cena offered to grant that wish and go to Smackdown if he could beat him in a title match one more time.
The rivalry made the both of them. It made John Cena a marquee name and Edge into the top heel. They were gonna get their payoff in Toronto.
September 16, 2006. I went a little nuts that year ordering 7 PPVs. I usually did 3 or 4. I was so into this feud that I bought Unforgiven. It was the last night of Trish Stratus’ excellent career. To the Toronto crowd, Edge was their hero, heel status be damned. Must’ve been weird for Cena Sr. and his son Steven to be one of the very few on John’s side in the arena.
The Canadian fans were into this. No question. Who wouldn’t love a TLC match. The two arch-rivals knocked this out of the f***ing park. That final spot, the FU with two tables, icing on the cake. I’m not ashamed to say I marked out so hard when Cena took his WWE Championship back. I bought my own spinner the next month. I still have it.
Well, there you go. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time. Life just gets in the way.