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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Ten Count 11.01.13: The Top 10 John Cena Matches
Posted by Evan Daniels on 11.01.2013

Welcome back to the Ten Count. As always, thank you for reading last week's column. And here we go…

Is a 30 Minute Match Really an Iron Man Match? :

16. 92-06-20 Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat... by puropwgwwestuff

This was on the original list for me, very close to the top 10. There was some pretty good psychology and there just can't be a bad match between these 2 guys.

The Height of Goldberg:

I don't know if it was a great match but this was a great MOMENT. Best of all it was free! Thank you Uncle Eric.

I Think I Have Put WCW in 2000 Out of My Mind:

This is the epitome of that era of wrestling, a huge spot-fest that was just fun to watch. They pretty much went nowhere from there but it's always fun to watch.

Here Are Some Other Lists: Great stuff, Evan, but a HARD top 10 to do with the amount of material on demand. I can't argue with any of your choices; you've got, in my opinion, the two best War Games matches of the lot there. I'm wondering if you could include these anywhere:

Sting/Luger/Savage vs Hall/Nash/Mystery Partner: Bash At The Beach 1996. Just for the utter historical turning point, rather than the match itself. The point where WCW became the major player in the wrestling wars, and the sight of Hulk Hogan turning heel is something that will possibly only topped for shock value when/if John Cena does it

Ric Flair vs Vader: Starrcade 1993. The match that saved the show, and hauled WCW out of the crap following Sid Vicious' altercation with Arn Anderson

Arn Anderson vs Ric Flair: Fall Brawl 1995. A very rare gem as former Horsemen square off in a great old school match.

Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat: Spring Stampede 1994. Their last great match together.

DDP vs Chris Benoit vs Raven ??? I really can't recall exactly when this took place, perhaps circa 1997. But it was a three way falls count anywhere and it was awesome.

MY THOUGHT: That triple threat was in at Spring Stampede 1998. I did enjoy that Flair/Anderson match.

Great list. It would take far too much time for me to trawl through all PPV's, Clash's, Nitro's and Saturday Night WCW to make my legit top 10; so off the top off my head I would probably have included:

DDP vs Savage, (any of the 3 PPV matches).

Regal vs Sting, (Great American Bash 1996), was a fantastic match and Regal really brought something else out of Sting.

Austin vs Steamboat, (Bash at the Beach 1994).

Rude vs Steamboat, (Beach Blast 1992), easily the best Iron man match I have ever seen.

MY THOUGHT: I really like that Regal/Sting match but I don't think Rude/Steamboat is better than Michaels/Hart or Rock/Triple H.

Steven Regal vs Arn Anderson
Steven Regal vs Ric Flair (that weird 5 round match for some cup, kinda gimmicky but awesome)
Steamboat/Douglas vs Hollywood Blondes Slamboree
Cactus vs Vader Halloween Havoc
Jericho vs Malenko Uncensored
DDP vs Raven vs Benoit Uncensored
DDP vs Savage Spring Stampede
Dean Malenko vs Ultimo Dragon Starcade 96
Hollywood Blondes vs Flair/Anderson
3 Count vs Yung Dragons Ladder Match
MY THOUGHT: Cactus/Vader was a violent, violent match. Also, I don't remember this 5 round match thing. Finally, I wish WWE would do "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" for real and not the stupid Raw Roulette.

There Are Other Writers Here?

The first paragraph of this article makes the author way better than the likes of Watry. Well played sir. Good list as well.


The Underlying Issue with Triple H: "Also Daniels brought up something that hit the nail on the head with these evil authority figure feuds...The McMahons know how to take a beating. This is why I have no faith in the HHH as evil owner feud..."

Well, yeah, because the McMahons, like most wrestling authority figures, aren't trained wrestlers so they should take a beating. I understand the part praising the McMahons for taking a beating as they really arent afraid to get their asses kicked,take crazy bumps, and aren't afraid to bleed, but the overarching point of HHH not taking a beating is pretty easy to explain. The dudes a trained athlete(yes I consider pro wrestlers as athletes) and, despite his numerous critics, is regarded as a fairly tough guy. I think he's been in enough wrestling wars, has taken his share of bumps and has bled buckets, and his wrestling through injuries is well documented enough that even his most harsh critics will have to give him some credit. Plus he's a physically imposing presence still. Add in that he's just recently become an inactive wrestler(unlike previous authority figures like Sgt. Slaughter who were in their 50s/60s and hadn't wrestled in ages) and it would be unrealistic to expect him to all of sudden become a big wimp and punching bag. Honestly, if you stood HHH and Bryan side by side, who do you think most people would take in a legit fight? I think most would side with HHH. Bryan isn't in HHH's category physically(Im not talking wrestling Background or any kind of training, just physically).

I think HHH being able to hold his own against Daniel Bryan is way more reailsitic than Vince McMahon going toe to toe with the Undertaker or Stone Cold back in the day.

Plus, at the end of this angle, Im sure Bryan and HHH will wrestle(probably Mania) and Bryan will make HHH tap out so it'll be a double blessing for Bryan/anti-HHH fans: Bryan will have his win and HHH won't have "buried" him.

MY THOUGHT: Very well said. The issue is that the "authority figure" is a former wrestler that can't cower effectively and it just isn't overly believable that he will get the crap beaten out of him. Yes, he will lose in the end but it would be anywhere near as satisfying as Vince or Bischoff getting killed.

Finally, the Real #1: There can be only one great match in the World Championship Wrestling brother and that's the Yapapi Indian Strap March, that's NUMBER ONE.

MY THOUGHT: I am still trying to un-watch that match.

I Am Not John Clayton, Chris Mortensen, Jay Glazer, or Adam Schefter: The Redskins traded all those picks to St. Louis to move up to #2, not the Vikings. #sticktowrestling

CORRECTION: Yep, I screwed that one up.

Dude made a mistake. Vikes had the 3rd pick not the 2nd. Big deal. Could've corrected him without the "stick to wrestling" jab. If you read the next paragraph you would've noticed he said the Browns traded up a spot with the Vikings to grab Richardson so he obviously knew the Vikes had the 3rd pick. Probably had the Vikes in his head because that's who the Browns ultimately traded with and he mistyped in his previous paragraph.

One thing to correct someone, another to come across like a condescending know it all who never makes a mistake.

CORRECTION: No, I just forgot. I appreciate that you have that level of faith in me.

Be nice. Browns fans have to take what they can get.

MY THOUGHT: I lol'ed at that. Well played, Stan.

On to Week 8 of fantasy football and it was another 1-2 week. My teams are now sitting at 2-6 (dead), 3-5 (pulse), 4-4 (let's get everyone back on the field!). There isn't much to say about it this week except next week is huge for my 3-5 team as a win probably gets me back to being a playoff team because of my point total. On the brighter side, I am still alive in my remaining $50K suicide. This week I am doing something probably not smart and taking the Cowboys.

The Browns played a very good 1st half and put up a great fight against the Chiefs but came up 3 points short. People are blaming Devone Bess for the loss but I don't think you can do that since our offense couldn't get going during the 2nd half. This was one of those games that you need to learn to win like the Chiefs did this week.

I made this comment to some friends of mine but I truly believe Brandon Weeden is the worst QB the "new" Browns have had. If Campbell or Hoyer had started every game I think they are a 4-4 team at minimum but probably a 5-3 team. Along with that, is Trent Richardson a bust? I don't' get it, but it seems that way. The 2012 Cleveland Browns draft as written here last week was just awful, and I mean awful. Finally, here are some comments:

I'm afraid the Browns' pick will be much earlier than 12. Going forward, I don't see them winning more than two or three more games this year, so they'll be picking in the top ten again. Bridgewater and the kid from Oregon will probably be gone before they pick, so they'll be left to choose between Boyd and Manziel. The Colts could go fairly deep into the playoffs, so that pick could be even later than 25. Hopefully, they can get a first rate wide receiver or cornerback there.

I don't know about this pick. I would love to see them trade out of the higher pick unless they find a way to get to a higher pick. I am not a believer in Boyd and I'm really not a Johnny Football guy. This is a messy year at QB with a ton of "1st" round guys but probably only 1 or 2 will be stars. Safe might be better this year.

 photo TenCount_zps6b46e6e2.png

Here are the Ground Rules
  • The match had to involve John Cena, pretty straight forward. Without any further ado, here are the Top 10 John Cena Matches!

    AND NOW * Top 10 John Cena Matches *

    #10. {John Cena vs. Kurt Angle; Smackdown - June 27, 2002}

    Background: This is Cena's debut in the WWE after being in OVW for a little more than a year. The first time I saw him all I could think of was Sting. He just reminded me of him somehow, I guess. Kurt Angle challenged anybody in the locker room to a match and Cena was the one that walked out.

    Why This Match is On the List: I think the match is on the list because of its importance. Also, it is highly commendable that Cena was then able to find his voice and get up the food chain to the top of the business. The match overall was good (mostly because of Angle) and you could just see that there was something there for Cena.

    #9. {John Cena vs. Randy Orton; Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship – Bragging Rights 2009}

    Background: Orton and Cena had fought each other at the previous 3 PPVs. At SummerSlam, Orton won the title. The following match at Breaking Point, Cena won. Then at Hell in a Cell, Orton won it back. The following night Cena challenged Orton to one final match between them, an Iron Man Match. Orton accepted with two conditions; if Cena lost he had to leave Raw and it was an "Anything Goes" match.

    Why This Match is On the List: Cena and Orton had a tremendous fight within the confines of a one hour match. The ending of the first fall was cool, Orton tapping very quickly because he didn't want to waste energy. I love the little things like that; it just makes so much sense. I also enjoyed all the fighting in the crowd using the "Anything Goes" rules along with Legacy coming out during the match. The only piece that bothered me is the final score. There were 11 decisions in 60 minutes. It makes it tough to understand when there is only 1 fall in 30 minutes.

    #8. {John Cena vs. JBL; "I Quit Match" for the WWE Championship – Judgment Day 2005}

    Background: John Cena defeated JBL at WrestleMania 21 for his 1st WWE Championship. In the weeks following that match there was a #1 Contenders tournament to determine who would face Cena at the next PPV. JBL won the tournament and earned this title shot. Cena then asked for their match to be an "I Quit" match.

    Why This Match is On the List: This was Cena's first real PPV main event and he delivered. The match was during are era when blood and violence were en vogue. Cena and JBL delivered both of those in a massive quantity. The finish showed JBL's cowardice and confirmed Cena's aggressive streak, which was much needed at that time of his career. I just love matches like this as the violence makes sense and it makes you believe what you are watching.

    #7. {John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar; Extreme Rules 2012}

    Background: Coming off his loss to The Rock at WrestleMania 28, Cena was closing Monday Night Raw. We were going to find out what was next for Cena. Before Cena could tell us what was on his mind, Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE after winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Cena reached to shake Lesnar's hand but was F-5'ed.

    Why This Match is On the List: I believe this was the most "real" fight in the history of the WWE. Cena and Lesnar beat the holy hell out of each other to make this match the most believable it could have been. Both men actually bleed which was (and still is) a no-no in the WWE. This match could have been higher if the right man would have won. I still don't understand why Cena won. The storyline for WrestleMania 29 would have been so much better if Cena would have lost more in 2012/13 and a loss in this match could have kick started that. Oh well, this was still a great match.

    #6. {John Cena vs. The Rock; "Once in a Lifetime" – WrestleMania 28}

    Background: John Cena is the face of this generation of WWE. You can argue The Rock is the face of the Attitude Era. I don't believe that, but you can make that argument. Cena had made some comments about The Rock and his love for the business that Rock didn't really appreciate. The Rock came back to the WWE in 2011 and hosted WrestleMania 27. By the end of the night, Rock cost Cena the WWE Championship and was challenged to a match at the following year's WrestleMania. The main event of next year's WrestleMania set one night after this year's WrestleMania, just awesome.

    Why This Match is On the List: History, a great crowd, and 2 of the biggest icons in the business meeting for the first time. It was electric and everyone was invested in the match. Was it a Flair/Steamboat classic? No. Was it highly entertaining? Yes. This was one of those times, the moment meant more than the match.

    #5. {John Cena vs. Randy Orton; "I Quit Match" for the WWE Championship – Breaking Point 2009}

    Background: As noted earlier, Cena and Orton faced each other at SummerSlam with Orton winning the title from Cena. That match was just not very good and that is being generous. The next night, Orton tried to get DQed, counted out, but he ended up pinning Cena in their rematch. Vince McMahon after seeing this put Orton in a match with Cena at the following PPV, an "I Quit" match.

    Why This Match is On the List: This was probably about as brutal of a match that you could have in the modern era of WWE. The Singapore Cane stuff was something different and it's tough to do something different after everything that we have seen. Say what you will about Cena, he sure can sell a beating and get the crowd on his side even after they boo him earlier in the night. I think Orton might have quit too quickly after being put in the STF but that's a small critique.

    #4. {John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam; Hardcore Match for the WWE Championship – One Night Stand 2006}

    Background: RVD won the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 22 (I know because I was there). Cena was having a good 1st half of the year after winning back the WWE Title from Edge. ECW was about to debut as a weekly show but there was a 2nd One Night Stand PPV coming up. RVD challenged Cena to meet him in his type of match at his time of venue, The Hammerstein Ballroom.

    Why This Match is On the List: To me, the top 4 matches are head and shoulders above the rest and this starts it. Like WrestleMania 28, it is such a huge moment with a tremendous crowd. The difference is, the quality of the match is much higher than the match with The Rock. Cena pulled out all the stops and even did some things that are not normally within his move set. RVD soaked in the admiration of the crowd and was about as motivated as he has ever been. It was just about as perfect of an environment as you can ask for….the perfect environments come later.

    #3. {John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels; Monday Night Raw – April 23, 2007}

    Background: Cena and Michaels had a very good match at WrestleMania 23 (I know because I was there). The two men decided to meet again during a taped Monday Night Raw from London. This ended up being a very good thing as they had much more time to develop their story.

    Why This Match is On the List: When this match started at about 10pm, my 1st thought like many of yours was…Who is going to run-in and cause this match to become a tag team match in the main event?
    Little did we know that these 2 men would put on one of the greatest matches in the history of Raw. This match was WAAYYYYY better than their match at WrestleMania. It once again proved that with the right opponent John Cena can have a tremendous match. I know that probably isn't very popular on this site but it's true that there are some very enjoyable Cena matches. The ending was a little bit of a surprise with Michaels actually winning the match but overall a great TV match that was just fun to watch.

    #2. {John Cena vs. CM Punk; WWE Championship Match – Money in the Bank 2011}

    Background: Okay, I am going to say something that is a little sacrilegious but I don't really buy the whole CM Punk doesn't have a contract before the match stuff. I guess it's the whole "if it's on TV, it's a work" mentality. The promos leading up to the match are the stuff of legend. Cena and Punk were ready to deliver something really special in Chicago.

    Why This Match is On the List: This match probably was in front of the greatest crowd in the history of the business. Chicago normally has a great crowd but this was on another level. Cena had a much better feel for the crowd than he did at ONS 2006 which made for a much more enjoyable match. It also had the best, most logical ending. CM Punk won the title in the middle of the ring with no interference. Overall, a great match in his opponent's hometown but it wasn't Cena's greatest match in his opponent's hometown.

    #1. {John Cena vs. Edge; TLC Match for the WWE Championship – Unforgiven 2006}

    Background: Edge won the 1st Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 21. He waited until the perfect moment to cash it in and that was after the Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution against John Cena. Edge won his 1st WWE Championship but lost it a couple weeks later at the Royal Rumble. Heading into SummerSlam, RVD was busted for marijuana possession and lost the WWE title to Edge. Cena got the opportunity to win the title at SummerSlam in Boston but failed to do it. Edge beat up John's father and challenged Cena to a match he had never lost, a TLC match, in his hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Why This Match is On the List: I am a big fan of the TLC concept and Edge is the mad scientist for these matches. While I think that the catalyst for the pace and setup of the match was from Edge, Cena was not just along for the ride. These 2 guys went through hell and told a really interesting story as Edge was confident in his ability to win since he had done it before and Cena was "never giving up" on the match. It is the type of match I can watch over and over since it was so well done. It is the greatest match of John Cena's career.

    So there you have it, the Top 10 John Cena Matches! What is your opinion?

    Tweet Me: @EvanDaniels411
    Email Me: evan.daniels411@gmail.com
    Make Fun of Me in the Comments Section: Keep Scrolling

    Next week, someone in the comments section talked about how a Top 10 WCW Moments list would be interesting. Since I do this column for you the people, you ask, I deliver.

    Until then, remember it's all entertainment and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm out.


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