John Cena is largely seen as the heir-apparent to Ric Flair’s historic 16-time championship title reign, but there are a few reasons to believe Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect, will never make it to 17 times.
(That’s 16-time World Champion; Flair and Cena have held other titles as well throughout their careers.)
John is currently promoting the second season this summer of American Grit on Fox (hat tip TheWrap), and despite a “WrestleMania moment” in which he proposed marriage to Nikki Bella, he hasn’t been logging a lot of hours on the clock at WWE.
He has, however, managed to stay busy with feature films like Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home, The Pact, The Wall, and Sisters, to his credit.
Still, most fans almost take it for granted that John Cena will eventually return to the company for one more historic title run.
Well, sorry to disappoint, but it’s not going to happen, and here’s why.
1. People are wise to what ’16-time World Champion’ means.
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, much was made of how many times Ric Flair had held the world title. In a prelude to the “Monday Night War” era, he was the “13-time world champion,” and announcers like Tony Schiavone would play that up like it mattered.
If you were a fan watching at home, however, you knew that all it meant was the guy couldn’t hold onto the title once he’d won it.
Inevitably, you found yourself screaming at the TV, “Yeah, but he’s lost it 13 times!” every time Schiavone said it. Eventually, you annoyed yourself arguing the rebuttal.
The Internet and the rise of the “smart mark” has made this even less of a milestone to be proud of. Winning the title again pretty much calls attention to how many times you’ve been beaten.
Why would John Cena want to do that to himself?
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) June 10, 2017
2. John Cena’s career is taking him other directions.
Cena is more likable on camera these days than he is in a wrestling ring as evidenced by the boos he gets every time he appears or the reputation he has been unfairly given for burying talent.
With a number of film roles on the horizon, as well as the aforementioned ones he has already finished, and his reality series gaining ground, John would have to take away too much time for a final run.
3. John Cena has too much respect for the business and for Ric Flair.
Flair has said on numerous podcast appearances and interviews over the years that he wouldn’t mind seeing Cena break his record.
Ric has a lot of respect for John, and the feeling is mutual.
In fact, John Cena respects Ric Flair so much that he may not wish to ever usurp Flair’s proudest accomplishment.
Flair never had a career of any value beyond what he did in the ring and whether he sees it this way or not, Cena likely doesn’t wish to rob him of that.
4. He doesn’t have to.
John Cena has already tied Ric Flair’s record, so his name will forever be said in the same breath when talking about prolific world champions.
Their names are now etched in the historical record of professional wrestling together. So don’t expect a 17-time coronation anytime soon.
Of course, it should be acknowledged that not everyone online agrees.
— CENA’$ SWEET F@N???? (@ImranKhan0600) June 11, 2017
But what do you think, readers? Should John Cena take the strap one more time, or has the time for that passed? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]