John Cena is a 16-time World champion, five-time United States Champion, and four-time tag team champion. Quite simply, he’s worn a lot of championship goal. Let’s go back to start. These are John Cena’s first five title wins.
John Cena’s WrestleMania debut came before the 19th Show of Shows when he wrapped this freestyle at cardboard cutouts of Jay Z and Fabulous. But there was no match, Cena had to wait one more year for that. As a franchise player into the ring for his United States Championship belt against Big Show. Big Show methodically pummeled his challenger and the hopes of teaching Cena as some sort of lesson. But Cena mounted a comeback, shockingly hoisting the champion for two Attitude Adjustments to capture his first title.
In summer 2004, General Manager Teddy Long scheduled a best of five series between Cena and Booker T to determine the undisputed United States champion. Cena won the series opener at SummerSalm 2004, but then Booker T followed up with a pair of wins on SmackDown, and at Live Event. John even the series to force a decisive match at No Mercy. The superstars were familiar with each other’s arsenal, but Cena’s power was different. He pushed Booker T into the corner and followed up with an AA to recapture the title.
Cena’s second US title reign ended with the arrival of Carlito. He then went on the shelf after Carlito’s heavy Jesus attacked him at a night club. Cena rehabbed and made his triumphant return at Survivor Series 2004, and promptly received his rematch against Carlito on the following episode of SmackDown. Jesus interfered, but Cena would not be stopped. When the bell finally rang, Cena quickly spit an apple in Carlito’s face and dropped him with an AA and reclaimed the US title.
John Bradshaw Layfield did his part to make John Cena’s life a living hell leading into WrestleMania 21. He thought Cena was a thug who shouldn’t represent WWE as a Champion. And JBL came to the Show of Shows with plenty to be confident. Boasting the longest WWE title reign in the decade at the time, but after all JBL put Cena through during the bout. The challenger wouldn’t give up on his dream of becoming a WWE champion. JBL uncharacteristically leapt from the top rope for a Crossbody, allowing Cena to turn the tide. He then attempted a last-ditch clothesline form hell, but Cena ducked and countered with an AA to WWE Championship.
Cena proudly defended the title for months, notably battling through the Elimination Chamber at New Year’s Revolution 2006 to retain the title. He survived Kurt Angle, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Carlito, and Chris Masters. After the bell though, Edge successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on the weekend scene, setting the stage for a rematch at Royal Rumble 2006. Edge was ruthless in defense, systematically stopping Cena at every potential comeback. But no amount of game planning could hold Cena’s resilience. Barely able to stand, Cena mustered enough strength to reverse a spear into a DDT. Then, Cena followed up with his signature sequence of moves before locking in the STF for his fifth title.