After the draft lottery which brought him to RAW, Cena's popularity with the fans slowly began to diminish. With the two biggest rivarlies being against Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho cult followings of both men were overwhemling in the crowd. Slowly boos began to emerge during Cena's matches most especially in the first blood match against Kurt Angle and at the Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution where not only Angle, but every other superstar was cheered for pulling off a move on Cena. The severly noticable jeers came to light in the main event of the October 10, 2005 edition of Monday Night RAW, in the match with Angle. It should also be noted that in the week prior to that match, Angle cleanly pinned Cena, in a Six-Man-Tag match.
Cena was reported as being frustrated by the jeers, although he stated that the fans obviously have a choice. Possible reasons for boos are the extremely predictable story lines that he has been placed in, questionable booking of his matches, and that his character has become more mainstream and less edgy over time as he received more exposure from the non-wrestling press and he became more of a typical face instead of his beloved tweener persona. Some point out that wrestling fans tend to decide for themselves who they will cheer for as was evident with Steve Austin who despite being billed as a top heel gained increasing popularity with his every appereance. On the other hand was Rocky Mavia who despite being pushed as a face was booed the more he tried to get the fans to side with him. Cena, during a spot on RAW's January 9, 2006 episode, claimed to not be bothered by the portion (roughly half) of the crowd that was booing him. Cena, in either an ill-advised move or an attempt to draw cheap heat, further divided the crowd by referring to anyone who was not following him and cheering him on as drinking "Haterade" then saying they could "kiss his ass." It seems that the in-ring interview worked in his favor, as the crowd was firmly behind him when he attacked Edge later that night, but whether it will work in the long run is in question. Considering that Edge is one of the most hated heels in the WWE, this feud could help Cena regain the fan support that he's lost. It seems to be working in his favor, as less and less people have booed Cena since he was defeated by Edge, and he also appears to be reverting back to his tweener persona.
The decision that Cena lose the title was, in reality a last-minute decision, obviously because of the mixed, or sometimes negative reactions he has received at WWE events, so Edge was then slated to win the title. According to wrestling insiders, the plan going into WrestleMania 22 was that he would remain the WWE Champion, where he would defend it against Triple H, but with this recent title change, that potential match is now in question. However, Cena will face Edge for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, and Triple H is in the Rumble match itself, so that match could still go on as planned.
After the championship
Cena has announced that he will use his rematch clause against Edge at the Royal Rumble. Vince McMahon is still using Cena as a face for the time being but is ultimately confused and angered by the recent negative fan reaction to Cena's character (according to ProWrestling). His future use is in question, as his negative reception from fans in New Jersey has left McMahon speculating how to market a face who is quickly becoming a perceived heel. This situation mirrors that of The Rock in his early WWE career.
On "Five Questions with John Cena", Cena took shots at fans as well as the National Football League. When asked how he felt about the name of the segment being changed from "Five Questions with the Champ", Cena responded by saying the show was named something simple because his fans are not very creative people. Cena also took shots at the NFL and the league's officiating. Recent "shoots" are expected to increase.