WWE Superstar John Cena has a career that few could ever get close to, and he’s not even done yet…so could he already be better than the likes of Hulk Hogan? We’re going to get very different answers due to the generational gap between both men. Today’s generation will clearly say John Cena is the best while the older will say it was Hogan, if we’re just referring to these two men.
Hulk Hogan started his WWE career later than most would imagine. He initially came in for about a year before leaving. He would then spent many years in New Japan Pro-Wrestling throughout the early 1980’s while also working with the AWA. Once Hogan made his way back to the WWE, it seemed almost immediate that Hulkamania was born.
It became one of the biggest things in wrestling and Hogan would truly help to start the WrestleMania era in WWE for Vince McMahon where he would main event the first number of them. He would have legendary matches with Andre the Giant and Ultimate Warrior just to name a few. He would spend about ten years on top in the WWE before being pretty much pushed out by McMahon. Hogan truly got started in WWE at 33, and he was being pushed out in his early 40s, despite having a lot to give even still.
This led him to talking with Eric Bischoff who talked him into going to WCW in 1994 after leaving WWE in 1993. He became a huge name for the WCW company and even helped the company beat WWE in ratings for over a year. Overall, he main evented eight WrestleMania events and is a twelve time World Champion, when combining his WWE and WCW Titles. He also truly helped WWE get on the map originally, when McMahon wanted to go national and eventually global.
How is it possible that John Cena could be better than Hogan? Like Hogan, Cena had had some legendary matches in his career, too, and possibly at a higher stage considering all the countries WWE is in now compared to when Hogan started. Like Hogan, Cena has competed at a lot of WrestleManias, but he also main evented a bunch as well, five in fact. He has also been in a championship match at most all of them, with exceptions being his first match against The Rock and then his match with Bray Wyatt.
He’s been on top of the WWE for over a decade and has grown in popularity to a point where he is now a household name. Oh, and by the way, he’s a fifteen-time World Champion, all of which he won with the WWE. John Cena never left, and he never had to get over somewhere else. Cena came up in a time when WWE was still big on the bigger athlete, which does not fit as well in today’s WWE.
That made fans hate Cena’s in-ring work, because he simply worked the same style as Hogan and others did in the 80s and 90s, which did not fit in today’s WWE. That forced him to change his ways, and he ended up having top tier matches with several different people from Shawn Michaels to Rob Van Dam. Like Hulk Hogan, he also had memorable rivals and matches with them. Batista, The Rock, Edge, and Randy Orton are probably the most prominent, with some iconic matches involving them across the world.
There is a lot that can be said regarding Cena, but he has proven that he can have a good match with just about anyone at this point. If you look back at Hulk Hogan and his matches, you won’t be wowed with amazing matches all the time. Even some of his most iconic moments involved mediocre matches. His match with Andre is remembered most, but it was not very good. The moment of slamming the giant was excellent, but the match was not very good. In fact, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat probably had one of the greatest matches ever on the same card!
To equate the two, treat it like Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Joe was awesome for the 49ers and then for the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Brady has been great with the Patriots. Right now, Brady is the best QB in the NFL and probably has been even with less for years. He’s been to more Super Bowls than Joe and won as many titles. He’s not even done yet and could do more. Yes, Joe worked against various NFL Hall of Famers, like Hogan wrestled a lot of WWE Hall of Famers. However, Brady is working against tons of future NFL Hall of Famers, the same as Cena working against many future WWE Hall of Famers.
We cannot say this generation is worse than the past, considering that they are not allowed to do some of the crazy moves and concepts that we saw before, and yet they are still putting out amazing matches. Sure, creative at this stage is not as good much of the time. However, that does not take away from the greatness of the people working in this era. It means they are handicapped and still just as fun to watch in the ring as the people before them.
John Cena has proven he is better than Hogan considering all the work he has done already. Imagine what could happen after he retires, which could be in the next ten years. Cena has grown in popularity and stayed on top longer than any top face in the history of WWE at this point. Hulk Hogan was great in his time, and no one can say otherwise. Cena was seen as a Hogan clone at one point, but now it seems that the fifteen-time World Champion has exceeded that remark.
He is this generation’s Hulk Hogan in many ways, but in most other ways he is better. He can talk just as well, if not better than, Hogan without having to say “brother” every five words. He can also sell you in a promo and bring you in, despite the boos you may give him. On top of this, he is a far better wrestler than Hogan ever was. You just need to see his matches with AJ Styles this year alone to know about that.
John Cena can sell better than Hogan, and can give you more excitement even at this point in his career. Like Hogan, Cena may do a “hulk up” move, but it does not always ensure a win. Psychology is better than it was before during Hogan’s peak times in WWE, and that gives us a better match much of the time. You could literally put all of John Cena’s best matches up against Hogan’s, and they would be even or better than what Hulk brought to the table as far as in-ring work goes.
Additionally, marketability and everything that comes with a character also has to be something we give Cena credit for. Cena is using all of this as an active character while Hogan is big from his past work and has been in that position since he stopped wrestling with WWE. Cena could do the same thing and develop a name just as large. Today, just like in Hogan’s day, John Cena is the man people think of when they think of today’s WWE. That is a massive accomplishment.
It is tough to claim that John Cena is better than Hulk Hogan. However, when you put all the facts down on paper and look back, you’ll see the same thing. Hogan is big for his moments in time, which no one can take away from him. Meanwhile, Cena has major moments in time as well. Comparing the two, Cena always comes out on top, and there is really no debate. Yes, older fans will claim Hogan is best while the younger agree Cena is. It will always be debated, but the facts say Cena, whether we want to agree with it or not.
[Featured Image by WWE]