John Cena’s Greatest SummerSlam Matches, Ranked

WWE, John Cena (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
WWE, John Cena (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
WWE superstar Seth Rollins
WWE star Seth Rollins (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images) /

4. vs. Brock Lesnar (2014)

If the matches in this list were ranked by what I felt the first time I watched them, this one would undoubtedly be #1. There was a collective perplexity among fans watching Brock Lesnar launch John Cena 16 times across the ring for 16 minutes.

Rightfully so, no one could have predicted this. There was no way the WWE would sacrifice their biggest star of the last decade, not like this, at least. Cena tried taking the fight to Lesnar early on but was almost immediately shut down with an F5, “That was your chance, John… I’m GOING TO KILL YOU” Lesnar shouted at his opponent, and so he did.

Lesnar’s offensive onslaught dominated a significantly large portion of the match even if Cena conjured up some sporadic hope.

There was a palpable sense coming from the crowd each time Cena showed any sign of a comeback, and all Brock could do was laugh, brushing him off every time. Cena taking the beating he did here was straight out of a fever dream, and that same feeling has rarely been replicated in the matches Lesnar has had since. The match is a spectacle, credit to Cena’s selling, and Brock’s presence.

3. vs. Seth Rollins (2015)

This match served as a Seth Rollins showcase, and when his abilities are on display the way they were here, you cannot help but look in amazement. Rollins was out to prove he had what it took to perform against Cena; while Cena was out to prove he could still hang with the uber-athletic types like Rollins.

Both collided on a special night in Brooklyn, NY. When Cena began working with ex-indie stars in major programs, he developed a keenness for the popular independent wrestling style of executing and taking big moves and high spots at an unrelenting pace. There was plenty of that here.

Despite Cena’s efforts to match his opponent’s athleticism, he is undeniably stiff. You almost have to respect his incredibly awkward Springboard Stunner that the crowd audibly loathes. But Rollins and his athleticism shine versus Cena.

From a Meteora to a running Shooting Star Press, a Phoenix Splash to a Falcon Arrow, not to mention a soaring Frog Splash, Rollins unloaded his entire arsenal. The match peaked when Rollins recreates Cena’s signature rollover AA spot, an unreal moment. It took everything Rollins had, and a silly Jon Stewart interference, to beat Cena in this captivating matchup.