Long time listener, first time caller.
Right now the raging debate on message boards (at least the debates NOT centered on Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar) seems to focus on just how super or un-super Cena was during his run as the man. Most of the defense of Cena seems to center around his position being similar/identical to that of Rock's or Stone Cold's. The Pro-Cena people argue that while they were top faces, both Rock and Stone Cold did not have to job (cleanly) and that Cena is just fulfilling the character arc set down by Hogan or Rock. Also they argue that Anti-Cena people are butt hurt. That salient point comes up a lot.
I know you have said that Stone Cold Jobbed plenty, but putting wins and losses aside, I would argue that the reason most people got so very sick of John Cena has more to do with a lack of good feuds. A good feud does not just show up in the win column, it also reveals a new side of the players involved. HHH vs Rock showed that HHH was a politicking bastard, above nothing in his pursuit of the title, and it showed that Rock was willing to take obscene punishment and humiliation to achieve his goal. Corporate Rock vs Mick Foley provided sympathy for the stubborn Foley and showed that the Rock's God Given magnetism could be used for evil as well as good. It also allowed the Rock to reveal that he was still nursing his ego from "Die Rocky, Die." If you look at the Austin from Austin v McMahon and compare it to the Austin from the two man power trip, it's two different people. One is a red neck SOB who's proud of his shit kicking life, and the other is a paranoid coward who's only sense of worth comes from the titles he carries to the ring (Austin's acting during two man power trip was Method Acting on par with some of the greats).
So that long winded intro brings me to my question: In the time I stopped watching WWE (2005-2011) did John Cena have any memorable feuds that revealed new facets to his character? And by new facets I don't mean his ability to rise above the hate, or his ability to become less visible. This is not to start a war, I'm genuinely curious as I see nothing interesting about Cena, and would really like to know if I'm missing something.
Other than that…uh…Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Purple Monkey Dishwasher.
You're definitely not missing much with Cena's run in terms of memorable feuds. The Orton stuff was good and suitably epic for a while, but got run into the ground, and then dug up and run into the ground all over again until you just never wanted to see them even touch each other again. They had mad chemistry in 08/09, though, and probably could have done well as a Megapowers type tag team if it was 1986. The initial Edge feud was pretty great, too, especially when he got sucker-punched after winning the Elimination Chamber and actually looked vulnerable for 5 seconds. Then he won the belt back right away. However, Lita was SMOKING HOT during that period, so there's that.
Aside from that, most of Cena's big stuff isn't really "feuds" per se, but "Cena is the champion and this guy is the challenger and Cena overcomes the odds to triumph" which is fine because it makes the champion seem like a big deal, but it's really boring from a storyline perspective.