Probably around 2006. I remember my girlfriend (a casual fan) saying something like (sarcastically) "I wonder who's gonna win?" at a PPV we watched at a bar. So even THEN they were beginning to shove Cena down our throats.
So I'd say it was around the start of "The Marine" Cena. Or maybe even to pinpoint it, when he won the WWE Championship and WWE turned it into that bling-bling spinner atrocity.
Ok I had to add this direct quote from Cena's Wikipedia article due to its sheer hilarity.
yeah i remember that cena was doomed that fan enviroment was hostile as hell
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During his year long title reign and the fact that if he had not gotten injured, they were still planning on having him hold the title. I have said it before and I will say it again, faces should not have super long title reigns. The whole point of a super long title reign is to get anticipation for the hero who eventually ends it. That is why C.M. Punk's title reign was good because he ended it as a bad guy and the fans WANTED the title off him. If Cena had gone rogue in 2006, I could have tolerated his title reign because at least there would have been a light at the end of the tunnel but no, it was not. He was a boring face getting booed by majority of the audience. When your top face gets booed like that, you know you fucked up somewhere.
Not Removing Until
-John Cena Turns Heel
-Triple-H Turns Heel-Summerslam 2013
-Christian wins a world title again (or retires)
-The Miz Turns Face[b]-Done!
-Someone gets thrown through a table.[b]-Done!
-There is an Inferno Match-Summerslam 2013
Created on Saturday March 31st, 2012
My favorite wrestlers of all time.
1. The Rock
3. CM Punk
4. Daniel Bryan
6. The Shield
"I don't know who you are I don't know what you want. If you contribute intelligently to Wrestle Forum, that will be the end of it, I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, if instead you choose to start stupid threads and not contribute intelligently, I will look for you, I will find you and I will red rep you."
The moment it became clear something was wrong was Summerslam 2005 when Jericho started the split reactions. But the true hate came, as some have said, when he beat legend after legend. ANd not just with the FU/AA, but with the worst looking STF in the history of the business. At the point, most couldn't get behind him. There is a line of pushing talent and ramming down people's throats when they just won't accept it and Cena is the perfect example of it. He beat everyone and everything... hell, he still does most of the time.
And people will say "but Hogan!" and point to the old superface of old... well, two things: this isn't the 80s anymore, fans have changed and they want more complex characters than the traditional style and... huge difference incoming... Hogan didn't start slapping on the figure 4 on Savage, Warrior, Andre, Dibiase and getting them all to tap. At least Hogan bloody won with an arsenal and moveset that made sense with his stature. Cena became truly unbearable the moment McMahon made a desperate grasp to the IWC and went "LOOK LOOK! He can do a submission! LOVE HIM!". It backfired.
Wrestling fan first... company fan last. Nothing worst than the fan that is loyal to the brand first and the wrestling second.
If The Rock never left I'm guaranteeing you he would get the same hate Cena get's. If Hogan was around in the era as the top face he probably will be shot.
It's funny you used those two for your hypothetical examples, because it doesn't need to be hypothetical, that did actually happen to both of them.
Luckily in the Rock's case they caught it early on and just turned him heel on the RTWM in early 2003.
But in Hogan's case, when he first came to WCW he was getting booed so badly they had to edit out the boos and dub in a track of cheers. Flair wrote about how embarrassing it was. Luckily it was before they went live with Nitro so they had time to get him over a little bit, but he soon went stale again, hence the eventual heel turn with the NWO.
I don't mean this to be offensive as it sounds but there is a reason most wrestling fans are called marks because they are easily influenced and hating Cena has become cool among wrestling fans. I mean the "Let's Go Cena, Cena Sucks" are not compeating chants, its one verse. I will admit the whole good guy overcoming all odds to rise to the top has become stale and I understand some of the fan reaction. Plus with Cena being the favorite of so many kids, some people dismiss Cena's popularity as a kids thing something a serious fan could not possible like. While I do not have WWE merchandise sales info just from watching Raw and Smackdown you can see that a whole lot of adults buy Cena merchandise. The fact of the matter is Cena is the face of the company, the real world corporate champion, whether he has the title or not.
I was a pg 13 fan so I've hated most rap based gimmicks since them (they were really good at the gimmick imo..) when cena started he fell into that group and I immediately didn't like him, especially with his talked out men on a mission delivery. add in his bad wrestling and the so undeserved push he got like a year after he first started annoying me and I don't believe I've ever liked the guy..