WWE Summerslam is the “Biggest Party of the Summer.” While this year, massive Superstars like John Cena and Goldberg are returning for the event, there was a time when the PPV used to catapult these Superstars into fame. The global stars who dominate WWE today, were all once new faces, and used to deliver some memorable matches at Summerslam.
One of the most iconic Summerslam rivalries was between, the biggest Superstars of WWE. The Biggest face, John Cena took on the biggest Heel of the company, Randy Orton. Their Summerslam rivalry dates way back to 2007, when both of them had just started rising up to the main event scene.
The fed between both these Superstars has been over a decade long and had begun way back, when they were just newcomers on the main roster. Since then, their career trajectories have been quite similar – with the only difference being that Randy Orton has always been a Heel, while Cena has been a Face for the major part of his career.
The duo also happens to be the most crowned Champions in the history of WWE. Cena is a 16-time WWE World Champion, followed by Orton, who has been crowned 14 times. Over the years, their rivalry has always been about being the top WWE Superstar, and have this feud has played a crucial role in making them the massive stars that they are today.
WWE Summerslam 2007: John Cena retains WWE Championship
The rising stars of WWE, battled for the first time in a singles PPV match at WWE Summerslam. John Cena was the WWE Champion and Orton was the Heel challenger. But the audience wasn’t sure about whom to support out of the two, which might be an indicator that how great this rivalry was.
‘Lets Go Cena’, ‘Lets Go Orton’ and ‘Cena Sucks’ chants filled up the arena, as the two Superstars delivered the brutal bout. The match lasted over 20 minutes and concluded with Cena hitting the FU for the win. Another aspect that added significant drama to the match was the fact that Cena’s title reign was about to be historic, in terms of the tenure and the build-up made it seem like Orton would dethrone him.
But this was just the beginning of an iconic rivalry. It became personal when Orton dragged Cena’s father from the audience and punted him in the head.
WWE Summerslam 2009: Randy Orton retains WWE Championship
The 2009 match between Orton and Cena was not announced due to an ongoing feud, but Cena had to earn his way into the match, to face the then-WWE Champion Randy Orton. During an episode of WWE Raw, a Beat the Clock challenge was announced, where the winner would face Orton at Summerslam.
The competition was between Triple H, John Cena, Mark Henry, MVP and Jack Swagger. Cena defeated The Miz in record time to earn a shot at the title. But the match ended in an anti-climactic manner, as Orton was disqualified for shoving the referee. But Vince McMahon restarted the match and announced that if Orton got disqualified this time, he would lose the title.
This did not stop Orton from using his cunning ways as he then got himself counted-out. But McMahon restarted the match once again with the announcement that Orton will lose the title if he got counted-out again. Next, Orton managed to get a pin, while using the ropes with his feet for leverage.
The drama did not end there. A second referee ran down and restarted the match. Finally, a crowd member attacked the referee and allowed Orton to hit an RKO for the win.