10 Reasons John Cena Is This Generation's Mitsuharu Misawa

The Standard Bearer For Future Generations just might’ve found his reincarnation in the Champ…

John Cena Mitsuharu Misawa
WWE/Pro Wrestling NOAH

John Cena has been WWE’s biggest star for over a decade, and he has done more for the company in terms of promoting the brand than anyone else. In fact, his contributions to WWE have been so profound that he’s now being billed as a ‘legend’ by the commentators.

Over the years, Cena has been compared to other wrestlers who have come before him, including Hogan, Austin, the Rock, and Brock Lesnar. However, there’s one person with whom John Cena shares surprisingly many attributes, and he’s someone that has been in the very spot that Cena has held for years now.

That man is Mitsuharu Misawa.

Misawa is what you’d get when you take Shawn Michaels’ wrestling ability and combine it with Cena’s popularity, Foley’s incredible tolerance for pain, and the Undertaker’s respect and reverence by his peers and fans. The man was arguably the greatest wrestler in Japanese wrestling history, became a national icon, and carried two different promotions (AJPW and NOAH) on his back for a combined twenty years.

When you compare their careers, there’s actually a lot of common ground between Cena and Misawa. 

In fact, it’s possible that Cena has actually become the very kind of wrestler that Misawa ended up becoming over the course of his stellar career. So while Cena isn’t the five-star-match-machine that Misawa was, there are still several reasons why John Cena’s actually this generation’s version of the Emerald Emperor.

10. He Keeps The Same Entrance Theme For An Extended Period


There are few wrestlers in WWE who keep the same theme for extended periods, but Cena is one of them. Cena has kept the same ‘My Time Is Now’ theme for over a decade. Same opening instrumental, same signature sounds, same lyrics, for ten years.

Of course, ten years is nothing when compared to Misawa’s theme. He has been using the exact same theme, ‘Spartan X’ for nineteen years, from 1990 until his last match on June 13th, 2009. That was a prime case of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mentality. 

Misawa had a catchy, upbeat, energetic theme that told as much of a story without lyrics as Cena’s entrance theme does with them. Furthermore, since AJPW wasn’t as gimmick-heavy as WWE, and therefore didn’t need as many ‘unique and theme-oriented’ entrance songs, they kept it simple with catchy rock tunes. 

Misawa’s theme likewise reflected that mentality, and so in keeping with the simplistic undertones of Japanese wrestling at the time, he stuck with what worked.

Then, of course, is the notion of identifiability. Cena, like Misawa before him, is so easily-associated with his current entrance theme that it would be pointless to change it at this point, especially since his character isn’t going to change at all in the foreseeable future.


Alexander Podgorski is a writer for WhatCulture that has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was 8 years old. He loves all kinds of wrestling, from WWE and sports entertainment, to puroresu in Japan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in Political Studies and French, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He speaks English, French, Polish, a bit of German, and knows some odd words and phrases in half a dozen other languages.