WWE 2K23 Showcase Guide, John Cena Match List, All Rewards and Unlockables

Dive into the career of John Cena and use this WWE 2K23 Showcase guide to snag all of the rewards and unlockables that are up for grabs.

WWE 2K23 Showcase Guide John Cena Featured

With cover star John Cena as the focal point, this WWE 2K23 Showcase guide dives into all of the iconic matches fans can look forward to playing. Unlike last year’s 2K Showcase featuring Rey Mysterio, you’ll actually be on the other side of the ring as you attempt to defeat John Cena using some of his most memorable opponents.

Along the way, there are dozens of unlockables on the table as rewards if you can complete all the objectives in each WWE 2K23 Showcase match. If you’re worried about just how strong Cena might be, this WWE 2K23 Showcase guide has all the tips and tricks you’ll need.

In this guide you will learn: 

  • Tips and tricks to defeat John Cena 
  • The full WWE 2K23 Showcase match list
  • All the rewards and unlockables for each match

WWE 2K23 Showcase guide and tips to defeat John Cena

Nearly a decade after he was the focal point of the 2K Showcase in WWE 2K15, the WWE 2K23 Showcase puts John Cena front and center. However, this year you’ll be playing against the Showcase star rather than using them to defeat past opponents. Ahead of launch, developer Visual Concepts explained in a preview of the WWE 2K23 Showcase that they’d received fan feedback over the years about how repetitive playing as the same superstar for an entire Showcase could become. 

As a result, the WWE 2K23 Showcase flipped things entirely by having you play as his opponent in some of John Cena’s most iconic losses. As you dive into each match, you’ll be greeted with a series of mid-match objectives requiring you to execute specific moves. Always keep an eye on capitalization, as capitalized phrases such as “Front Heavy Grapple” indicate the controls you’ll need. 

If you’re struggling to remember the WWE 2K23 controls for a specific objective, keep in mind that you can always pause the match and see a detailed breakdown of the controls you’ll need to use. Pausing to refer to this as you tick off the objectives in each match will become extra useful in some of the later contests as it asks for more complex maneuvers.

Your biggest hurdle at times is likely going to be timing of counters. With so many objectives, some of them often require multiple actions and offer several opportunities for John Cena to reverse your offense. As he shifts the tide, you may need a well-timed reversal to get back in control and execute whatever maneuver the current match objective is asking for. 

If you started the mode off on Normal difficulty, go ahead and knock it down to Easy if these Showcase matches are giving you any trouble. None of the unlockables connected to them are difficulty gated, so there’s no harm in making Cena a little less powerful. 

After you’ve worked through the core set of matches, there are a few bonus matches where you’ll choose one of his previous opponents for a rematch. There’s no wrong answer here, so go with the superstar whose moveset and style you most enjoyed using and felt most capable with. Unfortunately, your second “pick the opponent” match is against a version of John Cena that’s been maxed out to a 100 OVR rating with the highest possible attributes across the board. 

This means you’ll likely have to put him down with multiple finishers in order to secure the win. But with that win, you’ll unlock the ability to use this nearly invincible version of John Cena elsewhere in WWE 2K23. In the final match of the WWE 2K23 Showcase, you’ll flip the script and play as John Cena against three legends in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match. 

Your only objective will be to defeat and eliminate all three of those legendary opponents. The good news is that like any Fatal 4-Way, you’ll be allowed to use weapons and fight safely on the outside with the risk of getting counted out.

The bad news is that a Fatal 4-Way tends to be extremely chaotic, and often as soon as you feel in control, you’ll get blindsided by one of the other opponents. Do your best to toss others out of the ring if possible so you can isolate one challenger at a time, and with enough finishers, you should topple each of them. 

While new fans may enjoy the retrospective on Cena’s career, longtime fans may be better off skipping cutscenes to speed through the WWE 2K23 Showcase. Fortunately, there’s an easily accessible video library of clips in Showcase should you want to watch (or rewatch) the clips introducing and discussing each match. You can even toggle on Continuous Play to enjoy the full set of John Cena interviews and match clips as one uninterrupted movie. 

Full match list, rewards, and all unlockables

There are a total of 17 matches in the complete WWE 2K23 Showcase. The rewards are technically divided up with some qualifying as Match Rewards and Objective Rewards, but the menu setup in WWE 2K23 Showcase Mode doesn’t actually tell you which rewards are which.

There are also a few rewards that will initially be locked until you finish later matches. Most of these are due to the fact that an attire is linked to a base model you’ve not yet unlocked, such as the John Cena One Night Stand 2006 Attire, which isn’t usable until you’ve later unlocked the John Cena ‘06 model in your New Year’s Revolution clash with Edge.

Here is the full WWE 2K23 Showcase match list in order and all the unlockables you’ll receive as rewards by finishing all objectives and winning each match:

  • One of a Kind: Rob Van Dam vs John Cena (June 11, 2006)
    • ECW One Night Stand 2006 Arena
    • WWE Championship ‘05-’13
    • Rob Van Dam
    • John Cena One Night Stand 2006 Attire 
  • The Gold Medal Debut: Kurt Angle vs. John Cena (June 27, 2002)
    • SmackDown 2002 Arena
    • John Cena ‘02
    • Kurt Angle
  • Dead Man Walking: Undertaker vs. John Cena (July 27, 2003)
    • Vengeance 2003 Arena
    • Undertaker ‘03
    • John Cena Vengeance 2003 Attire 
  • An Iconic WrestleMania: Undertaker vs. John Cena (April 8, 2018)
    • WrestleMania 34 Arena
    • John Cena ‘18
    • Undertaker ‘18 
  • Time to Play the Game: Triple H vs. John Cena (June 29, 2008)
    • Night of Champions 2008 Arena
    • John Cena ‘08
    • Triple H ‘08
  • A Phenomenal Clash: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (August 21, 2016)
    • SummerSlam 2016 Arena
    • AJ Styles SummerSlam 2016 Attire
    • John Cena ‘16
  • Masterfully Manipulated: Edge vs. John Cena (August 20, 2006)
    • SummerSlam 2006 Arena
    • John Cena SummerSlam 2006 Attire
    • Edge SummerSlam 2006 Attire
    • Lita SummerSlam 2006 Attire 
  • A Revolutionary Cashing In: Edge vs. John Cena (January 8, 2006)
    • New Year’s Revolution 2006 Arena
    • John Cena ‘06
    • Edge ‘06
    • Lita New Year’s Revolution 2006 Attire
  • Greatness Acknowledged: Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (August 21, 2021)
    • SummerSlam 2021 Arena
    • Roman Reigns SummerSlam 2021 Attire
    • Paul Heyman SummerSlam 2021 Attire 
  • One-on-One with The Great One: The Rock vs. John Cena (April 1, 2012)
    • WrestleMania 28 Arena
    • John Cena ‘12
    • The Rock ‘12
  • Suplex – Rinse – Repeat: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (August 17, 2014)
    • SummerSlam 2014 Arena
    • WWE Championship ‘13-’14
    • World Heavyweight Championship
    • John Cena ‘14
    • Brock Lesnar ‘14
    • Paul Heyman SummerSlam 2014 Attire 
  • Breaking the Chains: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (April 27, 2003)
    • Backlash 2003 Arena
    • WWE Undisputed Championship
    • John Cena ‘03
    • Brock Lesnar ‘03
  • The Animal’s Rage: Batista vs. John Cena (August 17, 2008)
    • SummerSlam 2008 Arena
    • John Cena SummerSlam 2008 Attire
    • Batista ‘08
  • The Viper Strikes: Randy Orton vs. John Cena (October 4, 2009)
    • Hell in a Cell 2009 Arena
    • John Cena ‘09
    • Randy Orton ‘09
  • The Choice: You Pick John Cena’s Opponent! (Right Now!)
    • You get nothing because LOLCENAWINS 
  • Didn’t See That Coming: You Pick John Cena’s Opponent! (Right Now!)
    • Super Cena
  • Council of Legends: John Cena vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan vs. Bruno Sammartino (Right Now!)
    • Bruno Sammartino
    • Hulk Hogan

After you’ve wrapped up the objectives in every single WWE 2K23 Showcase match, you’ll have successfully unlocked 14 new arenas, 23 new playable character models, 11 alternate attires, and 4 championships.

While some of them can seem daunting, the tips outlined above in this WWE 2K23 Showcase guide should help you become “The Face That Runs Showcase.” 

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