RIVALRY: JOHN CENA VS. DAVE BATISTA
John Cena vs. Dave Batista
WWE Summerslam 2008
-6 years in the making; the Austin and Rock of the post Attitude Era collide for the first time. Despite my jabs on RAW 2008 this was an underrated match IMO. The build was great simply playing off of their identical careers and who is better. Some good back and forth to start off before Big Dave started to work on the leg; the Flair leg clip and figure 4 leg lock was a nice touch. Cena goes for his signature offense before Dave shuts him down again. Cena DDTs the leg and locks in the STF. Batista counters the FU into the Rear Naked Choke but Cena goes back to the injured leg then Batista hits a spear. Cena counters Batista's powerslam into the FU. The last 5 minutes was great where Batista counters Cena's leg drop into the Batista Bomb and then hits a second one for the win. This was a really good match that often gets overlooked and reignited their careers during a lull period in 2008.
John Cena vs. Dave Batista- WWE Heavyweight Championship
WWE WrestleMania XXVI
-The story here is that Batista stole the WWE Title from Cena just after he won it at Elimination Chamber. Batista is pissed that WWE chose Cena to carry the company and not him. Again, great build because the story sold itself and Batista dominated the entire build up to the event. Cena’s entrance looked so out of place because of that Orange attire. Start with the feeling out process, Batista hits a sick clothesline to the back of Cena’s head and starts to work over the head and neck. Batista counters the AA into a Dangerous style DDT. Back to Cena’s neck with the Rear Naked Choke before Cena powers out; they slug before Dave hits a neckbreaker followed with a front chancery. Cena counters and starts his signature spurt he goes for the 5KS and Dave counters with the Spinebuster, then Cena counters into the STF. Spear by Batista, he goes for a Superplex but Cena fights back and hits a top rope 5KS and Batista counters the FU into a Batista Bomb. Cena kicked out, Batista shocked; a bunch of counters then Cena hits the AA. They redo the Summerslam spot then Dave immediately goes for the Batista Bomb but Cena counters into the STF for the win.
Absolutely fantastic title match, I only wish Cena sold the neck more. How in the hell did Cena go from this to his Miz match a year later?
John Cena vs. Dave Batista- WWE Heavyweight Championship (Last Man Standing Match)
WWE Extreme Rules 2010
-The rematch from WrestleMania XXVI. Batista claims loss was a fluke so LMS stip to prove who the real champion should be. Lock up to start and after some initial offense; Cena goes for the AA but Dave throws him into the post and Batista starts to work over the legs. Dave hits some offense for the count before going back to the leg. Cena throws Batista into the steel steps and afterwards Batista puts Cena into the figure 4 leg lock but Cena rolls around. Double Clothesline for a count, both gets up and Cena hits his signature spurt so Batista rolls out to avoid the AA. Cena goes around the ring but Dave sneaks him in the gut with a turnbuckle wrench. Cena hits an AA onto a chair for a count. Cena goes up top but Batista pushes the referee into the ropes and follows up with a spear then hits another one. Batista goes to get a table and after setting it up Cena attempts the STF but Batista pushes him back into the table for a count. Batista continues to work over Cena, “I hate you Batista!... I hate you too!”
Batista throws Cena through the security wall for a count. Batista sets up Cena for a Powerbomb off the steps but Cena counters with an AA through the announcers table. Cena sets up a table and goes for another AA but Batista counters with a spinebuster through the table but Cena gets up and Batista hits a Batista Bomb. Cena locks the STF for a count. Batista gets up and the finish comes when Cena pulls him into the post and duct tapes his legs together thus preventing Dave from answering the 10 count. This was a great hardcore match with no dull moments and while many hated the finish, it was different and the perfect way to protect Dave while keeping the belt on Cena to set up their final match.
John Cena vs. Dave Batista- WWE Heavyweight Championship (I Quit Match)
WWE Over The Limit 2010
-The 4th final match and Batista’s last match in WWE. Batista is angry about the Extreme Rules finish and after Cena wins a match to decide the stipulation he chooses the I Quit Match. Batista starts by talking trash and asks Cena to quit. Cena doesn’t and hits Dave with the mic, Batista hits a clothesline and starts to work over Cena for awhile. Dave hits a suplex, Cena comes back with his signature spurt and hits the 5KS he goes for the AA but Dave uses the referee then counters with the spear. Batista locks in the Batista Bite but Cena doesn’t quit and eventually powers out and locks in the STF; Batista passes out so he can’t quit. Cena throws water on Dave to wake him but he doesn’t quit and hits a spinebuster followed by a Batista Bomb, Cena doesn’t quit. Batista sets up a powerbomb through the announcer’s table but Cena blocks but instead Batista powerslams him through the other announcer’s table. Cena is busted open and doesn’t quit, the match stops for the doctor to cover his wound. Batista throws Cena over the barricade and fight through the crowd going up to the upper region of the arena. Batista tries to powerbomb him off the stair ledge but Cena knocks him off instead. Batista doesn’t quit. Cena starts to take control, taking him to the stage. Batista hits some chair shots to Cena but Cena doesn’t quit Batista gets in the car and attempts to back it into Cena and misses. Cena grabs Batista and starts to take control and AAs Batista onto the car hood, but he doesn’t quit. John Cena takes Dave up to the top of the car and attempts to AA him off the car but Batista quits. John Cena does it anyway for the finish. Not as good as their previous two matches, but a solid brawl and while the finish made sense, it came off as anticlimactic.
***In all the two biggest stars since the Attitude Era put together a really strong string of matches. Their Summerslam match was great, their WrestleMania match was 5-Star quality followed with an equally great rematch at Extreme Rules. Their final match was the weakest but still a solid brawl with good storytelling. Great, underrated feud.