John Cena is one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history and guaranteed hall of famer once he decides to hang up his boots for good. His 16 world championship reigns are matched only by Ric Flair and he was the face of WWE for over a decade – something only comparable to the reign of Hulk Hogan in the 1980s.
Despite his controversial relationship with the fans during his peak, they have come back around and now appreciate what they had with Cena. He is rumoured to be wrestling one more time at Wrestlemania 39, so we may get one more chance to see John Cena’s finishing move on an unsuspecting opponent once the show comes around this April.
Here is our ranking of every one of John Cena’s finishers and why they are considered good, great or embarrassingly weak looking and pointless (this one is particularly bad).
John Cena’s Finisher’s
4) Lightning Fist
A one time finisher that was hyped up for months and failed to live up the expectation. Named the “sixth move of doom” (mocking his infamous “five moves of doom” comeback manoeuvre), it made it’s only televised appearance at WWE’s Super Show-Down event in 2018 in Australia.
At the show, John Cena teamed with Bobby Lashley to take on the duo of Elias and Kevin Owens. He won the match with his new finisher, which is named “Shǎndiàn quántóu” or “lightning fist”. The move is simply a left jab with theatrics, and is an incredibly underwhelming and weak looking move that somehow kept Elias down for the three count.
Despite being John Cena’s worst finishing move, it has the most interesting origin. Cena revealed in an interview with Hefty Strong Trash Bags that he was inspired by his time in China working with the Jackie Chan stunt team, who taught him the technique which he would later bring to the WWE.
“So I wanted to use some of the things that I learned in training with the stunt team and incorporate in my offensive moveset to pay respect and homage to my wonderful time in China,” Cena said.
Despite the fun origin, John Cena’s finisher “the lightning fist” is one of the worst finishers in WWE history.
The Protobomb was a move used by John Cena, first as a finisher during his time as “The Prototype” and then as a signature move during his time on the main roster. The move was similar to the Blue Thunder Bomb used by Sami Zayn and was a rather impressive looking move.
Sadly, it did not last long as John Cena’s finisher and would be soon removed from his arsenal. You can see a comilation of his using the move by click the video below.
The STF, short for Stepover Toehold Facelock, was said to have been started by Lou Thesz and perfected by wrestlers like Masahiro Chono. The move was changed due to the change to PG, and found that removing the “U” from “STFU” made more sense than completely changing the name of the move.
Cena adopted the move due to his battled with larger superstars, where the FU may not have been as effective. He needed a submission move to take down the larger stars and this one fit perfectly. It has Cena on top of a wrestler who is face down, and he hooks their leg by twisting it behind them, while also pulling their heads toward him, creating huge pressure on them.
He used this move to great effect, winning multiple WWE Championships. His biggest victory was when he made The Great Khali tap out to the move in 2007, proving that he could take down even giants with his trusty finishing move.
1) Attitude Adjustment/FU
Of course, the number one finish for John Cena is his famous Attitude Adjustment. The signature move he become synonymous with the 16-time World Champion, despite being a very simple move by design. He was made it his own and won countless world championships by launching his foes off his shoulders, using the Death Valley Driver as his own move, known as the F5.
John Cena’s finisher was not always called that, however. It was first conceived as the FU. This was a parody of Brock Lesnar’s 5-5 finishing move, as the two were locked in a feud over the WWE Undisputed Championship at the time. However, when WWE turned PG they did not want their face of the company having a finishing move that alluded to a swear word.
Therefore, the move name was changed to the “Attitude Adjustment”. But don’t worry, John Cena’s finisher did not change at all in execution, simply in name. The genius of the move is that it can be hit on anyone at anytime – mainly down the incredible core strength of John Cena. He has been named be the likes of Kane and The Big Show as the strongest man on the roster, and he made that clear when he hit the move on Big Show and Edge at the same time at Wrestlemania 25.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.