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John Cena: Greatest Rivalries
John Cena is one of the most polarizing wrestlers ever to step into a WWE ring. One half of the WWE universe loves him while the other hates him, despite that he seems to take pride in the fact that he always gets a reaction. I should probably add that I never particularly cared for him as a wrestler, but I respect his work ethic and what he's done for the business. This 3 DVD set, titled John Cena: Greatest Rivalries, covers exactly that, John Cena's greatest feuds, accompanied with a brand new interview with some insight from Cena himself. Is the DVD worth picking up?
Included on the set is a brand new interview with the man himself. The interview is cut up between 1 - 3 minute segments where he discusses each match/rivalry on the set. He briefly tackles a few of the following subjects... how wrestling Triple H changed his career, how he got his start, who the best wrestler he ever faced was, his favorite opponent, what opponent he learned the most from, what legend he compares Randy Orton to, his toughest opponent, not being accepted backstage, and his two high profile matches against The Rock. The interview itself was ok, he seemed a laid back and bored by it all, everything was a bit too concise and to the point, I would have liked to hear John go more in depth with some of the topics.
- John Cena Vs Eddie Guerrero in a Number one contender match for the WWE Championship. A quick 5 minute match as a part of the first round of a tournament to determine who would take on Brock Lesnar, nothing special, nothing bad, but the two didn't have the time to make it special. 1.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Eddie Guerrero in a Parking Lot brawl - A nice slugfest where both guys get tossed through car windows and windshields. Shovels, car doors, and even a lawn mower is used as a weapon. For fans of Cena's Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick, or for those who have never seen it, he does a great rap pre match. 3 out of 5 stars.
- Prototype (John Cena) vs Leviathan (Batista) for the OVW Championship - A short match that's essentially just here to show us a pre-WWE John Cena. Nothing great about this entry on the DVD. 1 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Batista in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship - This would be Batista's second to last PPV match in the WWE until earlier this year. The match for the most part was a spot fest with the two beating the hell out of each other, putting each other through tables, the announce table, steel chairs come into play. A typical last man standing match, fun and brutal. The ending was pretty bad though, one of the two is duct taped to the ring rope. 3 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Shawn Michaels in their famous one hour match - I'm happy this match was included as it was recently rated by WWE themselves, the best match in RAW history, and I could probably agree with that. In the opening minutes there was a lot of posturing between the two, but once it hits the ten minute mark, the match amps up in pace and it never lets up. An amazing match from start to finish. 5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Shawn Michaels - A fun match that could have been amazing with another ten minutes added to it. Clocking in around 13 minutes, the two work a brisk pace for the majority with some solid near falls and an exciting finish. I would have much preferred their 30 minute match from January 2009, if you have the time, check that match out. 3 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam - The opening 5 minutes or so are pretty slow as Orton usually works a more methodical pace as a heel, but the match eventually kicks into gear and the two deliver a solid match up. These two have never really had a bad match together. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Randy Orton - Another typical quality match between these two that got 15 minutes of in-ring action. The match had a great pace with the two getting an even amount of time on offense, the ending was a bit predictable. Outside of that, it's definitely worth checking out. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs JBL for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21. This match is better known for it's historical significance than it's quality as it's John Cena's first world title run. It ran about 10 minutes and was sloppy throughout. 1.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs JBL - Another wasted match on this DVD. It only runs just over 6 minutes and it's essentially a slug fest with the occasional power move/rest hold. 1 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Chris Jericho in a 'You're Fired' match for the WWE Championship - This match is more known for Jericho deciding to leave the company after being burnt out, so they came up with the gimmick that if Jericho lost, he'd be fired from WWE. Knowing full well Jericho left the company for nearly 3 years makes the outcome extremely predictable, but the match is a ton of fun regardless. They only got about 13 minutes to work here but it was great wrestling, with a quick pace, exciting near falls and a great finish to the match. 4 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight championship at Survivor Series 2008 - I'll be completely honest, I've never liked this match, and I still find it completely mediocre. Cena had been out for something like 6 months prior to this match and for some reason WWE decided to just randomly give him a world title shot upon return, announcing he'd get the title match on his first night back at SS 08. I immediately knew this was going to railroad Jericho's best work of his career and I ended up being right. The match itself was around 22 minutes, and the majority showed Jericho in veteran mode working on Cena's previously injured neck with various holds, power moves and strikes, with Cena making his typical comeback. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Edge in a steel cage match for the WWE Championship - This, in my opinion, is the better of the two Edge matches. They worked about 16 minutes here and none of the time was wasted. The end was fun too with some cool spots and an appearance from DX! 4.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs Edge in a Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship. A near 30 minute match that for the first 15 minutes or so was too slow paced for a last man standing match (4 minutes of the first 10 was nothing but a sleeper hold) but the final 15 salvaged it with exciting spots for the fans, including a spot where Cena hit FU (or Attitude Adjustment for newer fans) on Edge into a row of fans. The ending, which was a run-in attack, was a cool visual but also a disappointing end. 3.5 out of 5.
- John Cena vs HHH at WrestleMania 22 for the WWE Championship. I've never really been a big fan of matches between these two and this contest shows why. They worked a pretty slow pace, there were a lot of rest holds and pacing problems throughout the match. For the time it got (over 20 minutes), I wouldn't give this over 2 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs HHH - This was much better matchup than the previous on the disc. This one was only about 14 minutes but the two gave it everything they had, it had a great pace, excellent near falls, and a unexpected finish. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
- John Cena vs The Rock Q&A: A 25 minute panel hosted on RAW by Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Dusty Rhodes, Booker T and Jerry "The King" Lawler. It was basically John doing a serious promo about how he has to win, and Rock doing his typical awesome shtick.
- John Cena vs The Rock at WrestleMania 29 for the WWE Championship. The match had nearly 25 minutes of in ring action that was solid for the most part. There were a lot of dead spots and posturing due to Rock having ring rust. It's also one of the most predictable matches ever due to the involvement of the WWE title, unlike the previous year that had a sense of unpredictability. Not as good as their first match up. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
There is one glaring omission on this DVD set that I should probably touch on since you can't have a "John Cena greatest rivalries" DVD without the inclusion of CM Punk, which was one of the best feuds since the attitude era. I don't even care if it's a Blu-ray exclusive. The fact that they chose to omit the rivalry from the DVD, but still advertised it on the back of the box and included subpar matches with Batista, JBL, and Eddie Guerrero (RIP, Guerrero's one of my favorites), is absolutely ridiculous.
Video and Audio:
If you've watched any WWE produced DVD from the last couple of years, the video quality for this transfer is the EXACT same. It's good, while nothing groundbreaking.
For audio The English 5.1 track was very clear. No noticeable distortions at all during the commentary or the fan chants.
Honestly, this is probably John Cena's worst DVD set to date. The DVD is titled "Greatest Rivalries" and the fact that they chose not to include Cena's best rivalry to date but include rivalries with Batista, JBL and Eddie Guerrero, which were by no means great, was a shame. The only matches you should probably go out of your way to see are the hour long HBK match, the steel cage match vs Edge, and to a lesser extant the You're Fired match. Outside of that the matches range from terrible to good. Plus you have the WWE Network! Rent it.