WWE 2K23 is the yearly iteration of the long-running pro wrestling game series. This time around, John Cena takes center stage in Showcase Mode. You’ll get to relive many of his memorable matches against tough rivals and, along the way, you’ll earn several rewards. Here’s our guide to help you with all John Cena Showcase Mode unlockables in WWE 2K23.
WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase Mode matches and rewards
One of the unique facets in WWE 2K23’s John Cena Showcase Mode is that you won’t be playing as Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect the entire time. Instead, most matches allow you to control Cena’s opponents, essentially detailing his many defeats throughout his career. This is probably to do away with the “LOL Cena Wins” meme from the past decade, but it is what it is.
Do note that many of the WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase Mode unlockables reward you with different versions of a superstar. However, a select few will provide you with alternate attires instead.
Match 1: One of a Kind (Rob Van Dam)
Arena: ECW One Night Stand 2006Championships: WWE Championship ’06Superstars: John Cena ’06 and Rob Van Dam
This is the follow-up to the successful ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view (PPV), one that saw RVD finally win the big one. Cena was booed relentlessly by a hostile crowd, famously encapsulated by the “If Cena Wins, We Riot” sign.
Match 2: Gold Medal Debut (Kurt Angle)
Arena: SmackDown 2002Superstars: John Cena ’03 and Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle was running roughshod all over SmackDown. Enter the Doctor of Thuganomics, Cena’s gimmick on the main roster at the time.
Match 3: Dead Man Walking (The Undertaker)
Arena: Vengeance 2003Superstars: John Cena ’03 and Undertaker ’03
This was during Taker’s Big Evil gimmick, where Cena, once again, ran his mouth and got his comeuppance.
Match 4: An Iconic WrestleMania (The Undertaker)
Arena: WrestleMania 34Superstars: John Cena ’18 and The Undertaker ’18
The WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase Mode then fast-forwards to more recent years. This sees the Undertaker at the twilight of his career, putting down a John Cena who goaded him into having a Mania match.
The Undertaker scores a quick win against John Cena in their WrestleMania match.
Match 5: Time to Play the Game
Arena: Night of Champions 2008Superstars: John Cena ’08 and Triple H ’08
Two icons face off, with The Game proving to be too much for Cena to handle.
Match 6: A Phenomenal Clash (AJ Styles)
Arena: Summerslam 2016Superstars: John Cena ’16 and AJ Styles ’16
AJ Styles had just debuted in the Royal Rumble earlier in 2016. His win over Cena in Summerslam would cement him as a top contender in the company.
Match 7: Masterfully Manipulated (Edge)
Arena: Summerslam 2006Superstars: Lita ’06; two additional rewards are unlocked in a subsequent match
This set the stage for a heated rivalry between John Cena and the Rated R Superstar.
Match 8: A Revolutionary Cash-In (Edge)
Arena: New Year’s Revolution 2007Superstars: John Cena ’07, Edge ’07, and Lita ’07
This will likely be one of the quickest matches you’ll have in the WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase. Basically, you’ll control Edge as he cashes in his Money in the Bank contract, leading to a championship victory.
Match 9: Greatness Acknowledged (Roman Reigns)
Arena: Summerslam 2021Superstars: Roman Reigns ’21 and Paul Heyman ’21
What can be considered as a passing of the torch turned out to be a boring match (in our opinion). Still, this unlocks different entrance attires for Reigns and Heyman, where they’re both wearing lei garlands.
Match 10: One-on-one With The Great One (The Rock)
Arena: WrestleMania 28Superstars: John Cena ’12 and The Rock ’12
This was a “Once in a Lifetime” match, or it was billed as such at the time. Months of jaw-jacking between these two icons led to The Rock’s victory on the grandest stage of them all. The two would face each other again come the next Mania, with Cena capturing the WWE Championship.
Match 11: Suplex – Rinse – Repeat (Brock Lesnar)
Arena: Summerslam 2014Championships: WWE Championship ’14 and World Heavyweight Championship ’14Superstars: John Cena ’14, Brock Lesnar ’14, and Paul Heyman ’14
Hilariously enough, you’ll be tasked with spamming every variation of a German Suplex in Brock’s arsenal. Once you’ve taken Cena to Suplex City, you’ll pin him for the three count.
Match 12: Breaking the Chains (Brock Lesnar)
Arena: Backlash 2003Championship: WWE Championship ’03Superstars: John Cena ’03 and Brock Lesnar ’03
This was during Brock Lesnar’s meteoric rise to the top of the WWE, where he would trounce numerous legends such as Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker.
You’ll perform dozens of German Suplexes as Brock Lesnar.
Match 13: The Animal’s Rage (Batista)
Arena: Summerslam 2008Superstars: John Cena ’08 and Batista ’08
In keeping with the theme, Cena faces another OVW alumni, Batista.
Match 14: The Viper Strikes (Randy Orton)
Arena: Hell in a Cell 2009Superstars: John Cena ’09 and Randy Orton ’09
These two OVW alums have a storied rivalry, culminating in a brutal Hell in a Cell match.
Matches 15 and 16: The Choice and Didn’t See That Coming (Your Choice)
Superstar: Super Cena
Throughout the WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase Mode, you’ve been using different wrestlers, all of whom ended up beating the featured superstar. Now, you’ll get to pick whoever you want among the combatants, including the extra versions of Edge, Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar from previous matches.
In The Choice, a short cutscene will play, whereupon Cena just handily beats your character after one Attitude Adjustment. However, you’ll get your revenge soon enough in Didn’t See That Coming, which is a full match.
Once you’re done, you’ll receive the WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase secret unlockable, Super Cena. This is basically an invisible John Cena, referencing the “You Can’t See Me” meme, and he’s got 100 overall stats.
Later on, you’ll be able to choose from any of Cena’s rivals, which will let you unlock Super Cena, a meme character with 100 OVR.
Match 17: Council of Legends (John Cena)
Superstars: Bruno Sammartino and 80’s Hulk Hogan
The last match in the WWE 2K23 John Cena Showcase Mode is a special one. Here, you’ll fight Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, and Stone Cold Steve Austin in an elimination match. This represents the top guys in the industry in their respective decades (i.e., 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s). You’ll have to pin each opponent all the way to a victory.
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