Yeah, I forgot about those awesome matches he had with Umaga, actually. And the Shawn match at WM23 was easily one of Cena's best ever, probably only behind the Punk and Brock matches. And I think I reviewed one of the Khali matches and it was pretty good for Khali.
(I *think* that was the year where Cena got hurt and they had the three title switches in one night?)
I'm with you in that I have no idea what the hell happened in the lower card, but all I remember is that Cena was on the hot streak of a f'n lifetime for the first half of the year - the two great matches with Umaga, WM v Shawn, the Raw 45-minute match with Shawn, and then the Backlash 4-way.Shit, I think there's even Khali's best match sprinkled in there somewhere too, even though that's damning with faint praise.
So I think this Cena guy might have a future on top.