WWE Legend John Cena Shares Iconic 17-Year-Old Loss Against ECW Legend

Published 12/28/2023, 12:16 PM EST

Follow Us

WWE legend John Cena recently revisited an iconic moment in his career by sharing a TikTok video recalling his 17-year-old loss against ECW legend Rob Van Dam. Cena’s tweet, accompanied by the video, featured the caption, “If Cena wins, we riot. ECW: One Night Stand. Hammerstein Ballroom.”

America’s Favorite Video Today

The 2006 WWE ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view, held at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, remains an all-time great PPV and is often cited as ECW’s last true PPV. It captures every ounce of unadulterated passion and fervor the ECW fans were known for. 17 years later, Cena details his experience dealing with the vitriol that he faced on that fateful night.

Cena reminisces about the moment RVD beat him for the title

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Revisiting the moment RVD cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on him, Cena described the event as both memorable and contentious, with a divided audience passionately supporting or booing him. Despite the hostility, Cena was the company’s rising star, and his main event encounters, like this one, became must-see spectacles.

Cena recounted the pivotal moment when his nemesis Edge intervened, delivering a spear through a table, leading to RVD’s victory. Anyone who witnessed that match can safely presume that everyone in that arena was rooting for Cena to lose. At the time, the anti-Cena sentiment was so strong that it sparked a “If Cena wins, we riot” sign that would become a staple in WWE arenas for years to come.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest WWE stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Why did the ECW fans hate John Cena?

Even though Cena was a blue-eyed babyface who had won a WrestleMania main event for the world title, fans in ECW had nothing but contempt for the man. While standing across fan favorite and all-time great, Rob Van Dam, didn’t help his cause, fans weren’t just cheering for RVD to win; they were actively rooting for Cena to lose.

Before the match began, Cena threw his shirt to the crowd, only for the crowd to then throw it back to him. This happened multiple times before Cena gave up, realizing he was in enemy territory. The hostility only intensified when multiple fans started hurling toilet paper at him. The match was riddled with chants of “F*ck you Cena,” “You can’t wrestle!” and even “Die Cena Die.” Given the raucous nature of the ECW faithful, few would’ve been surprised if an actual riot broke out if Cena won.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While Cena was never the top babyface that Hogan or Austin were, in 2006, the WWE was determined to take the brash trash-talking ‘Doctor of Thuganomics’ and turn him into a bland American superhero. This new repackaging of the Cena into ‘SuperCena’ made fans Cena for all the same reasons they hated Superman. He was one-dimensional, lacked depth, and would always win.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The hardcore wrestling fandom grew weary of this and began dreading the inevitable – “Cena wins. LOL”. And the ECW faithful were as hardcore as they come. Cena was everything they hated in a wrestler. Cena was a wrestler with a limited arsenal of not-so-flashy moves, the epitome of a one-note WWE wrestler. Whereas they had become accustomed to hardcore, smashmouth wrestlers who could pull off a wide array of moves. All this and more meant Cena was public enemy number one in ECW’s mecca.

All these years later, it’s nice to see Cena look back on the memory as a meaningful one. The abuse meted out to Cena will probably go down as the strongest a crowd was against a babyface in wrestling, apart from when the crowd booed Roman Reigns and the Rock in the 2014 Royal Rumble. Do you think the fans should have booed Cena the way they did? What’s the biggest anti-babyface reaction you’ve seen in wrestling? Let us know in the comments.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Sheron Singh

745Articles

One take at a time

Oh, let me tell you about myself, I'm Sheron Singh, the WWE aficionado and person behind many of trending WWE stories at EssentiallySports. My journey into the world of suplexes and powerbombs began at the age of 6, thanks to my father and I've been hooked ever since. With a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology, I have the superpower to dissect the emotions both in and outside that squared circle at ES.
Show More>

Edited by:

Anuj Jacob

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today