Induction: Kevin Federline vs. John Cena – Platinum-selling rapper vs. K-Fed

36 Submitted by on Thu, 10 December 2015, 20:03

WWE, 2006

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Pictured: Kevin Federline, the only person willing to wear an autographed Kevin Federline shirt.

It’s rare for WWE to recruit a mainstream celebrity so reviled that the general public thinks the wrestling organization is lowering its standards by associating itself with such riff-raff.

Prepare to take a trip back to the alien world of 2006, when John Cena was still cheered by some adult males, and being married to Britney Spears entitled one to celebrity status.

The subject of today’s induction began when Johnny Nitro and Melina promised to introduce the Raw fans to a friend of theirs, who they promised was a Hollywood A-lister. kfed01 
kfed02 When the big reveal came, instead of an A-lister in the eyes of the movie industry, we got this B-lister on the B-utt Cheek of the music industry.
That would be Kevin Federline, who at the time was famous for marrying Britney Spears… kfed03 
kfed04 …then became famous for having once been famous…
…before finally not being famous even for that. Unlike if a Clooney or a DiCaprio walked out to a custom Titantron video, the announcers’ response to Federline was underwhelming. JR humored the celebrity, reacting to Kevin Federline arriving on Raw with the same feigned astonishment as you might give when someone tells you the female gibbon gestates for seven months. kfed05 
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(Always wanting to rub elbows with the greats, Melina would later throw a fit when she wasn’t allowed to team with Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. True story)

Still, as big a letdown as the arrival of K-Fed was, it seemed only fitting that two-thirds of MNM would be pals with a rapper two-thirds-of-a-percent as talented as Eminem.
And speaking of letdowns, K-Fed’s perpetually sagging trousers led him to constantly grab at his crotch throughout his promo. kfed07 
kfed08 K-Fed went into full heel-mode before announcing that he would be previewing a track from his upcoming album, Playing With Fire (which the fans booed), only to change his mind and not play any of his music for the fans (which the fans also booed for some reason).
Before he, Nitro, and Melina could split… kfed09
kfed10 …John Cena came to the rescue of the segment by cutting one of his long-retired raps on the heels
…then giving him the AA to adjust his attitude.
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(Of course, back then, it wasn’t called the AA, but the FU; Cena gave him the FU to fu—, uh, adjust his attitude)

kfed12  The next week, K-Fed came back to Raw seeking payback, much like the people sure to be returning his CD to their record store in the coming weeks. 
(This is the most positive, and most 2006, user review available) kfed13
kfed14 This time, King Booker came out to lend his support to Federline, calling his new CD “a treasure” and proving that old maxim about one man’s trash before declaring that, and I quote, “You, Kevin Federline, is a trendsetter.”
The idea that K-Fed is (or are?) a trendsetter is questionable, just like Booker T’s membership in the African-American race after praising his rap album, according to Cena. kfed15 
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You wouldn’t know it from the past decade of one-word promos, but Ron Simmons used to have quite a way with words. Ew, never mind.

Fortunately, blackness expert Ron Simmons wandered onto the stage to back Cena up in the first occurrence of his long-running gag.
Later in the show, Federline slapped Cena across the face, which proved nearly as painful as John Hennigan speaking that jive-talk all the rap singers used. kfed17
kfed18 The next week on Raw, on the eve of K-Fed’s CD release, there was no Federline to be found (not that anyone was looking for him), and it appeared that the worst rap-and-wrestling crossover since Master P and The No-Limit Soldiers was over.
Then came Cyber Sunday, where Cena battled the company’s two other “world champions” for Booker T’s title. kfed19 
kfed20  Out of the blue, Federline ran in and smashed John Cena in the back with the Big Gold Belt.
It was wise for WWE not to have K-Fed directly cost Cena the match with his belt-shot, but merely cause a distraction so that an actual superstar like Booker T could knock out the Champ with the gold. After all, it would have made the champion look weak to get knocked out by a skinny, no-talent rapper, although it wouldn’t have been as embarrassing as jobbing to the guy. kfed21 
ahead of myself But I’m getting a head of myself.
The next night, a very cocky and bobble-headed K-Fed issued a pre-taped challenge to the WWE Champion for the first Raw of 2007. All in all, it was a good week to be K-Fed, ignoring the fact that his CD had sold only six thousand copies (a far cry from the half a million he had predicted), or that his wife would file for divorce the next day. She must have been a loyal member of the Cenation or something. kfed22
kfed23 Fast forward to January 1st, 2007 (although, if you had a fast-forward button, you certainly would have skipped over Kevin Federline’s first three appearances on Raw). John Cena was to finally wrestle K-Fed — or should I say, “Kevin Federline.” See, the rapper had recently shed his nickname, requiring anyone with an ounce of respect for the former dancer to call him by his birth name.
So anyway, K-Fed was going to wrestle Cena in a non-title match, but acting GM Jonathan Coachman added a no-DQ stipulation to the bout at the last minute… kfed24
kfed25 …allowing Johnny Nitro to come to ringside and, no doubt, interfere at will.
First, Johnny helped K-Fed stall and stall, fitting him with mouthguard and gloves, to which Cena responded with that “WTF” look you can only get by saying, “WTF.” kfed26
kfed27 Then, Nitro equipped K-Fed with headgear, further testing Cena’s patience.  
Finally, K-Fed shed his robe, revealing the same stupid long shirt/saggy pants combo he always wore. kfed28
kfed29 K-Fed slapped on a free headlock to no avail…
…then challenged Cena to a Master Lock Challenge… kfed30
kfed31 …which irked The Champ to no end.  
Federline applied a cross arm-breaker… kfed32
kfed33 …only to get sat down in the corner like one of the many small children he had fathered in recent years.
After Nitro inevitably interfered… kfed34
kfed35 …K-Fed kicked Cena in the groin…
…prompting Cena to try to stop the nonsense and end the match. kfed36
kfed37 Just then, Umaga, who would face Cena at the next PPV, ran in. A shot with the title belt later and Cena looked to be down for the count. Fortunately, there was one last-ditch tactic that could win the match for the champ and let him and the company avoid the embarrassment of losing to the lowest of bottom-of-the-barrel non-athlete celebrities!
Unfortunately, whatever that last-ditch tactic was, Cena didn’t use it, and he lost 1-2-3 to Kevin Federline.
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To put that travesty in perspective, even David Arquette never actually pinned WCW’s champion; he won his world title by pinning Eric Bischoff in a kooky tag match.

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Or think of it this way — during Cena’s historic 13-month title reign, only three people pinned him in one-on-one matches: one was Shawn Michaels, who beat Cena in an hour-long Match of the Year winner, and another was Kevin Federline, who beat Cena in a five-minute opener. (The last one was Carlito, whom John had taunted by saying that the last time he beat Cena, Britney Spears was hot)

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Later that night, though, Cena got the last laugh in their rivalry, delivering the FU to Kevin Federline, which, as you may recall, is also how he got the first laugh in their rivalry. All it took was two-and-a-half months and a pinfall loss to a celebrity to get Cena back to the exact same place he was in the very first segment of the feud.

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What a payoff!

And all of this promotion did little to help K-Fed’s record sales; Playing With Fire went on to sell 16,000 copies. For comparison, John Cena’s own rap CD has sold 1.3 million to date…

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…and was once checked out and renewed nine times in a row by the same Indianapolis library patron.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
36 Responses to "Induction: Kevin Federline vs. John Cena – Platinum-selling rapper vs. K-Fed"
  1. Scrooge McSuck says:

    It was stuff like this that quickly tested the last of my patience. I stopped watching WWE (and just wrestling in general, even classic stuff) for a few years. Thankfully I missed the entire saga of Weekly Celebrity Hosts.

  2. The Doctor of Style says:

    Hmm, so RD was responsible for Cena’s high sales, by hogging the library’s free copy for so long!

    • Enhancement Talent II, Mark 3 says:

      Does the Marion County Library not have a limit on how many times you can renew something? Surely scads of pre-teen girls had placed holds on this CD.

  3. King Of Kings says:

    Always wanting to rub elbows with the greats, Melina would later throw a fit when she wasn’t allowed to team with Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. True story

    In hindsight I’m sure Melina would be thankful that she wasn’t involved in one of the worst Wrestlemania’s WWE ever produced.

    • Guest says:

      Given that this was the same Melina who was apart of the godawful divas battle royale at Wrestlemania 25 that had a guy win it for literally no reason?

      Doubtful.

  4. Nicholas Nutter says:

    I had been sick of WWE for most of ’05 and ’06 at that point, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Of course once I heard ‘Taker won the Rumble I started watching again. But at the time, seeing this long-term World Champion get pinned by a “celebrity” was enough.

    When you think about it, Federline beats Cena, but how many more deserving superstars could never get over Big Match John after that?

    • Drevor says:

      Yeah, that’s what really irked a lot of people. They could just about stomach Cena (or anyone for that matter) being the top guy and almost unbeatable, but what they couldn’t accept was that he would be unbeatable against guys who would actually really benefit from beating him, yet would be made to job to K-Fed (even accounting for the interference) and also had to pretend Mr McMahon was as strong as him when they wrestled. Compare that to Murdoch and Storm who couldn’t even beat Cena in a handicap match, or Miz who got bitched out in the I Quit match even with help from Riley. It’s not Cena’s fault, it’s just terrible booking. Nitro himself never got a high-profile win over Cena and neither did Umaga, when both or either could have taken off and revitalised the main event scene. K-Fed was never going to be accepted by the fans even as a heel, and it was obvious he wasn’t staying long, so this ended up doing nothing for anybody.

      The only positive thing I can say is that at least WWE wasn’t foolish enough to give him the title. That might sound like a no-brainer but history has shown that there are often no brains employed when booking celebrities. Arquette and Pacman Jones are the obvious examples but I’m sure there are others. This ultimately didn’t devalue the WWE Championship, it was just a waste of time that was quickly forgotten about and replaced with a real feud between Cena and Michaels which was great. But yeah, this still didn’t need to happen and WWE should have learned their lesson.

      • Guest says:

        Giving Adam Jones a title wasn’t an issue giving him a title when he wasn’t allowed to work a match on the otherhand………

  5. The Great Sudoku says:

    This angle could have worked. If only the WWE had gone to the tried-and-true tactic of letting K-Fed beat up a Stunt Granny!! He would have been SOOO over as a heel for doing that! We’re talking P.Y. Chu Hi levels of over-as-a-heel!

  6. CP says:

    WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?

  7. Sean Bateman says:

    and now John Cena is dating a Britney Spears wanna be

    • Guest says:

      Didn’t know Nikki Bella was blonde haired pop star, who had two failed marriages, and whose career hit the skids terribly a few years ago.

  8. OPC says:

    This is one of the most overdue inductions ever, possibly moreso than RD’s rental of Cena’s CD from the Indianapolis library.

    I STILL think about K-Fed pinning Cena anytime anyone else fails to pin “Da Champ”. Possibly in the top THREE of the worst moments ever in Raw, just for how bad it made WWE look. It’s one time where people would call the show “fake”, and no one would even TRY to argue with them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Genuinely astonished that this was never inducted before.

  10. jjmatador says:

    You can say what you want about this angle but Ron Simmons randomly coming out and saying ‘Damn’ and walking off was one of the funniest moments in WWE history imo.

  11. King Of Kings says:

    You know, now that I think about it, its about time you started inducting some of the horrible guests hosts Raw has had over the years. Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb come to mind.

  12. Geoff says:

    I still say that the Raw Guest hosts should’ve been the Gooker award winner of the year

  13. Geoff says:

    On a side note: I miss Melina. One of the greatest Divas WWE has ever produced. Up there with Lita, Trish, Victoria…

  14. Alexandru says:

    So some no talent douche could beat Cena but the entire roster has been unable too for the last 8 years? Yet WWE wonders why they can’t make new stars. 2006-early 2011 was a horrendous time in wrestling. This shitty year 2015 is a culmination of how bad WWE started to become in that time frame

  15. Thebabyfacekiller says:

    I have to disagree with this being inducted as crap. K-Fed was a better heel than most of the current roster, including Champion Sheamus…

  16. RD Reynolds says:

    Why did that dirty secret of mine once more rear its ugly head? Curse you, Art!!!!

  17. lipe.cl says:

    i don’t agree with the thesis used at the beginning of this induction. WWE HAS used celebrities that were, indeed, very reviled with the audience. Just two examples:
    1) Mike Tyson. Although his appereance with the Fed indeed must have helped in the ratings war and selling Wrestlemania 14, let’s not forget that at the time “Iron” was very reviled, especially after he bit Holyfield.
    2) Donald J. Trump. I have to recognize that a lot of americans feel like him when it comes to the inmigratory issue, but I won’t forget the loud boos he received when he got inducted to the Hall of Fame, at Metlife.
    Otherwise, great induction, but a very sad so, when realizing Cena jobbed to the former Mrs Spear, and then you can count with the fingers of your right hand how many people he jobbed to from that point.

  18. King Of Kings says:

    Artodonnell: Wrestlecrap’s very own Informer. You make us proud buddy 🙂

  19. AK says:

    To think Kevin Federline has a better win-loss record against John Cena then possibly well everyone else in the company, past and present.

    It’s too bad Jim Ross didn’t oversell the victory with “Federline wins! Federline wins!”

    Also it wouldn’t surprise me if the WWE inducts Kevin Federline into the Hall of Fame because why the heck not? If Drew Carey could get in, I’d say Federline is a first-ballot HOF for the Celebrity Wing by comparison.

  20. Mister Forth says:

    When the first match of the year has a non-wrestling celebrity pin the Heavyweight Champion, under ANY circumstances, you have screwed up.

  21. The Kid From Iowa says:

    Needlessly to say I wasn’t even watching at this time. Stopped paying attention by the end of summer ’03. Didn’t start watching on a consistent basis again ’til summer ’12. Never stopped liking wrestling just that my interest was almost exclusively in old school.

  22. Justin says:

    Dynamite Fawlty Towers drop-in!

    I’m still baffled they had Cena lose to K-Fed.

  23. Zero says:

    You’re missing a fourth time Cena was pinned in his 13 month title run. Khali pinned him clean on Saturday Night Main Event right before their Falls Count Anywhere match at One Night Stand.

    Great induction though. To think 2007 started out so horrible with this match and the Rosie/Trump mess a week later

  24. Eddie says:

    Long overdue! Also, Great Khali pinned Cena in a singles match on one of the Saturday Night’s Main Event shows in 2007. So the list is four. HBK, Carlito, Khali, and K-Fed.

    Some Murderer’s Row, amirite?

  25. Michael says:

    You know, Playing With Fire is listed in TVTropes’s “So Bad, It’s Horrible” music page, I’m shocked no one has had this part of promoting it put into that entry.

  26. segaz says:

    ‘I’m-a let the ghouls and the ghosts get on Cena’

    Were the kids really talking like that at the time?

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