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John Cena Interview – Why He Doesn’t Like The Rock, Dispels “Super Cena” Tag

John Cena appeared on Busted Open with Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca, which airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sirius 92 and XM 207. Highlights from his interview are as follows:

If his showdown with The Rock on Sunday will be the biggest match of his career: “Absolutely. And amazingly enough, there is no physical championship on the line. But I truly believe anyone who’s everyone knows that it Is Number One versus Number One.

“Honestly, I don’t wanna say it’s like another day at the office ‘cause it’s not. But not only have I been in high-profile matches, I’ve been in some pretty hostile crowds as well. Like everybody’s like, Ooh! You worried it’s Miami? It’s The Rock’s backyard! I’ve been in Hammerstein ballroom in New York facing the ECW faithful, I’ve face Edge in Toronto in a TLC ladder match, I’ve faced CM Punk in Chicago in Money in the Bank. I’ve been in some pretty savvy home crowds. This one’s gonna be fun. The year is over, it’s now to the point where we’re counting down the hours. This is really cool! It’s gonna be fun.”

Mixed crowd reactions: “Well, it’s always been back and forth. And in the entertainment business—what’s the line in Batman? “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”—I’ve been here ten years; people have the way they feel about you. I’ve never been one to shun people feeling negative, and I think that I’m the first guy to do that, to not “turn heel” when they boo you. I kind of embrace it as, You are the ticket-buyer, do as you please. And just as we’ve seen the waves go one way, they go crashing back another way. It’ll change, it’ll go back and forth, but the one thing that’ll remain constant is who I am and what I stand for.

“It’s been a wonderful ride. I think it’s something you have to tune in to Raw every week to see what are they gonna do with Cena this week. It’s been wonderful, and along the same vein, it lets our audience be honest. We’re not preaching a program that is untrue to anybody. If you like this guy, cheer for him; if you don’t like this guy, boo him, but feel however you want about him. It’s a never-been-done-before scenario. It’s been a hell of a ride for me.

“I think that’s the most important thing when people ask why don’t I change who I am? Because I know there are mass majority from the “Attitude Era” that will want me strung up and burned as a witch. But for every guy who says “Cena sucks!” there is a mom or a dad who will come up to me privately and say, “Thank you for being a good role model for my kids.” And there’s the kids: You’re eight-year-old daughter, her friends, the little kids that I meet, their friends, the Make-A-Wish families that I meet. I think to be a bad guy in this business, you’ve gotta be a genuinely bad guy. As long as we have those families showing up, I’m gonna be who I am. And I think that’s most important, and that’s why I don’t care that there’s a split in the crowd.”

This year’s WrestleMania build-up: “It’s been extremely hard. Especially on me, it’s been a lot of pressure; it’s been very mentally draining. But after the last Monday in Atlanta, I took a deep breath, thought about it, and realized that I couldn’t possibly do anymore to build up April 1st. I think it is the biggest it can be. People realize what’s at stake. Not only do they realize it’s a marquee matchup—we have a lot of those—but they realize that I really don’t like the guy that I’m facing, which, in our business, is becoming more and more rare. It’s everything that a big fight is supposed to be.”

Why he doesn’t like The Rock: “There’s no other reason needed. I am company-proud through the good times and bad. We’ve gone through some difficult times in the WWE, and I’ve been the guy on front street trying to mend fences and make sure everybody knows that we still got a great product. And even in good times, I’m the guy who says this is the best business in the world. There are a lot of those, this business is a lot about making me the biggest superstar that “me” can be. I guess I’m just too much of a company guy. The guy leaves and drops his name and drops the business, and tells everybody that he’s done with it. Even up until before he came back last year to host Wrestlemania, he was very adamant about, No, I’m not going back there. Now he’s back and the first thing he does when he say he’s back is he’s never leaving, he loves everybody, and then we lose him for another amount of time, and then he comes back again… I truly couldn’t ask for a better opponent because he’s the biggest superstar the WWE has ever had. I just disagree with the way he thinks.

“Cena-Lovers” vs. “Cena-Haters”: “People who are vocal of their criticism, I get that. But at the same time, you can’t argue with what the company is doing business-wise. I was the first to beat the drum of Guys, we may need to switch the content because I would watch the people coming into the building every night. Go to a live show, see the audience, tell me I’m wrong. I’m on top of this stuff. I’m the guy walking through Access at 5:50am to make sure the set-up’s correct. I’m the guy who’s in the crowd somewhere that you can’t see when people file into the Garden for a live event. I’m on top of this, this is what I do. When I say I love the business, I don’t just love hitting the ropes and falling down in the ring; that’s beautiful. But I love the business, and I want it to be the best it can. I want it globally to be the biggest phenomenon it can. We just have to be here right now. And as frustrating as it is for some, I still think the program is unbelievably entertaining. We still have an unreal stable of superstars, and we’re able to go more places and more people can enjoy it.

“It’s almost like when a garage band makes it. There’s those people who are like, Ah I wish they would be back to the garage band days! But then they go play sold-out stadiums and they’re on the Top 40 charts. You have to adapt and overcome. It’s just the way we have to be now.”

The “Super Cena” moniker: “I’ve also lost a lot. And I think that’s another thing that critics tend to savor their own flavor of soup. You can look at my win-loss record. It’s as good as an average superstar. I mean, I’ve won a lot of marquee matches, but I’ve lost a lot of marquee matches. Who was in the main event last year at Wrestlemania?

Doug: You.

Cena: Against who?

Doug: The Miz.

Cena: Who won that match?

Doug: The Miz.

Cena: ‘Nuff said.”

  • JOE

    @ant when did john cena put over Brock lesnar or Eddie guerrero???

  • JayHawk

    That is right he has put so many people over. He is just like people have said the next hulk Hogan except Hogan actually was willing to turn heel which was a major thing and did allot for wrestling. Cena is a great guy so what allot of the guys who cant move up are great guys. How about this don’t turn him heel switch his brand let him go to smackdown. After his match with the rock let him go to smackdown to build more of the feud by putting him on smackdown the rocks show let someone else be built up as the face of raw like punk Jericho or even when he get healthy wade barret.

  • Buttercastle

    @1919dpg I sorta thought that too, but a lot of that crap happened in the past. These days kids don’t have a lot of “non fictional” people to look up to. Look at children’s programming, specifically Disney. I have the unfortunate pleasure of having younger cousins who watch that channel and if you aren’t paying much attention to the tv, you can’t tell when one show ends and another begins. By that I mean it’s all the same crap, there’s a main character with a best friend who is loud and outspoken, and the show takes place either in a school or in the main character’s house with the occasional added scenery of a mall or restaurant. There’s the wacky mom and dad who try to be hip, the younger siblings who are always annoying. Everything they show, kids can relate to because they are watching a show about themselves basically. Those shows teach you nothing.

    With wrestling, and I guess Cena in particular, it’s all very heroic and it’s the closest thing to real life super heroes as you can get. He’s the good guy fighting the bad guy and standing up for what he believes in, etc etc. Sure people hate him or get bored of him but it’s not like he goes out there and decides what happens. He goes out there and does what he’s told to do like 100% of every other person who appears on a television show. Sure he may adlib every so often but I mean speech is basically their only freedom in WWE.

    Long story short, he’s been here forever and has done a lot for not only the company but the fans too. In a lot of ways he’s a better role model than a lot of people I can think of that appear on tv. He doesn’t promote anger or violence, instead his whole mantra is never give up and stand up for yourself.

  • Devil_Rising

    Duh. The Miz didn’t win clean. He beat you because of The Rock. So it was STILL Super Cena. The only time in the last many years I can even think of a time when someone beat you clean, was CM Punk in Chicago.

  • Ant

    1.cenas put over soooooo many people numbnuts such as brock lesnar,umaga,eddie guerrero,sheamus,edge(who if everyone remembers one his first world title from cena),the miz,rvd,etc etc
    2.poko youre a moron
    3.we all know cenas a great guy and his character actually makes sense cuz hes the man who wont turn heel no matter how u marks think which is genuis in my opinion
    4.cena is a role model for lil kids cuz he fights off the bad guys and gives to charities and smiles for the kiddies and kisses the heads of kids that have cancer so if u guys dont like may u all burn in eternal fire in the pit of hell
    5.cenas win loss record is pretty equal to that of a triple h or undertaker if anything id say takers won wayyyy more matches than hes lost and i know cenas not better than taker so nuff said

  • Ant

    @bloodstone..thanks for being the only sane one on the site i really appreciate it

  • bloodstone

    people do relize cena has nothing to do with who wins the match right? you understand he has to follow a script right? .crack me up

  • 1919dpg

    having a wrestler as a role model is such a terrible idea lol.
    aisde from resolving every problem on tv with exagerrated violence, how bout the history of drugs, partying, rats, and deaths wich plauge wrestling.

  • robc

    Cena equals money. That is why he is always winning.He has been the face of the company since 05/06 which is long time. He’s actually been the face of the company for longer then austin or the rock and when they were active there was more superstar power around then to carry the company but cena has been doin it on his own. There’s not to many people around who can take cena’s spot. Randy orton is not good enough on the mic to be the main guy. His promo’s are crap and his character is boring. He was actually better when he was the cocky guy in evolution. CM Punk as good as he is, will not be the face of the company cos he doesnt look that different from normal people walking down the street. No offense to punk iam sure he’s a tough dude but i wouldnt be worried to much about him if he was threatening me. Danial bryan is to small. If anyone has any chance of taking cena’s spot its sheamus cos he has a different look and he can talk. But until that time comes cena is gonna be the man in wwe and the people who dont like should just not watch him. In all fairness cena is a good person all the work he does with charities and stuff, he brings alot of happiness to terminally ill kids and for that reason alone he should be the face of the company for a long time.

  • True Hate

    Rock lost alot of matches putting over people like Jericho and Brock Lesnar. Who has Cena rly put over? The big prob with WWE is Cena only cares about himself. He says he’s fightin for the people in teh back, the same people he held down all these years. CM Punk pushed himself, his win over Cena didn’t mean much. He was already over with the crowd. Cena won’t turn heel, but at the same time, by him not turning heel. He keeps heel wrestlers from generating any hate from fans. At Mania people were cheering on Miz. People cheer on Cena’s opponents which are typically heels. So they never get over as badguys. CM Punk became a babyface and got over rather quickly cuz Cena had all the hate in the world. If Cena went heel, people will hate him as they do now, only it will work properly. You can build up more babyfaces, then Cena can make a face turn over time and win over the crowd, then heels can be built up. But Cena don’t see that. Cena sees all this “be myself” bullshit. Started a movement of wrestlers not having characters and gimmicks anymore, just plain ass dudes boring the shit out of us everyday.

  • JIR

    The real deal here is that Cena was a huge fan of the Rock then Cena becomes a wrestler, meets his idol and is disappointed that Rock wasn’t like he imagined. Now they don’t like each other but they do respect each other

  • Stevie P

    Super Cena =/= Winning and Losing. Take the I Quit match he had with The Miz sometime last year. Cena had both Miz AND Riley beating on him for about 99% of the match.. He literally comes out of nowhere, does 3 moves and wins. That is Super Cena. Plus if he loses, it’s never clean. Orton and now Sheamus get the same treatment. They rarely lose clean. It really isn’t his fault as it is crappy booking though. It makes the opponents look incredibly weak and diminishes any sort of push that they’ve got plus not anything credible if they were to be champ later on.

    This really isn’t new though. Hogan did this for years for WWF and WCW. Wrestlemania 9 is a perfect example of this where Yokozuna got a monster push where he beats Bret Hart in the Main Event only to have Hogan come out and squash Yoko in 5 seconds. It not only made Bret look weak but also Yoko for having to do that right after the Main Event. Another good example is the World War 3 where Hogan didn’t technically get eliminated by Savage won. That way Hogan still doesn’t look bad but Savage is still champ.

    They just didn’t/don’t like guys getting over on Cena/Hogan/Orton etc. It’s lame and it looks terrible and makes matches incredibly predictable. At least Hogan only wrestled once every 4 months or so but Cena does it every month and it gets boring.

  • poko

    I don’t think the win/loss record even matters that much when talking about the “Super Cena” era. The complaint wasn’t really that he didn’t lose matches officially now and then, but that he almost never even came close to losing cleanly, and if he DID lose because of cheating or interference, or “bad luck” like in the Sheamus match, then everyone in the entire world knew that he would win the deciding match of the feud, and likely end the feud with a squash win on RAW the next night.

    The “Super Cena” criticism isn’t even really “John Cena” criticism, but criticism of WWE booking. Professional wrestling loses a lot of its excitement when almost everyone knows what the outcome of a feud is going to be from the start, and that’s the atmosphere the WWE created. Many fans became bored with the predictability of it. Even worse, it completely devalued all the heels on the roster, to the point that they had to keep bringing in new guys for Cena to face because everyone else had been discounted as being believable contenders.

    You can’t have drama without uncertainty. How many times did you hear someone say “even if Cena loses, he’ll get the belt back the next PVP”–and how many times were they exactly right? I’m not a fan of the Cena character by any means, but I’ll be the first to admit that the WWE bears most of the responsibility for his loss of popularity. The way they booked Cena’s feuds tells me that they cared more about the money he was bringing in as “the face of the WWE” than they did about the quality of the product they were producing.

  • b c Mitchell

    Where are you getting the win loss record at? Pretty sure its about as reliable as saying Spider Man has won 2901 fights and lost 72 fights. Pretty sure they don’t keep an accurate record of choreographed fights

  • Jacky

    ok but whens the last time you lost cleany? yea shut up super cena

  • Deva

    Cena tried to be a movie star too but failed with those horrible movies, but I’m sure if he was successful he would do movies as well, rock did the same thing but was successful and rock wants to entertain wrestling fans and beyond that.. so he does and cena knocks him for that? The rock help build the future stars just like undertaker, shawn , stonecold during the attitude era, HELPED win the monday night wars.. though that was kinda a bad thing cause competition is what made wwf/wwe right great storylines and build a great product. The rock wrestle for years and cena does not like him cause the rock pursued his dreams and aspirations. Cena should be grateful for past wrestlers like the rock and not bashing them.

  • gtsaarko

    He may lose, but when is the last time he lost clean? Yeah he lost to the Miz but that was before the Rock, gave him the Rock Bottom.

  • Valo487

    He’s well spoken. The only problem is I disagree with almost everything he said. He seems to dismiss criticism of his character by pretending it’s been like that for everybody. Umm, no? The crowd didn’t boo The Undertaker or Shawn Michaels until they were supposed to, and his comment about having to be a bad guy legitimately to play one is just asinine. Like others have said, he’s quick to toot his own horn when it works in his favor, but then dismisses any criticism as if he has nothing to do with it. Sorry John, not buying it.

  • poko

    For a supposedly humble guy, damn if he doesn’t toot his own horn a LOT.

    Also, no offense intended to Cena, but any parent who encourages their kids to look to a professional wrestler to be a role model might want to pay better attention. That is, unless they don’t mind their kids running around calling people “hoe-ski”.

    And did “I think to be a bad guy in this business, you’ve gotta be a genuinely bad guy” bug anyone else? That’s either plain stupidity, or this entire interview was done in-character.

  • dave

    The Rock is a wrestling legend. and a major hollywood star. whats he suppose to do? he was there for 8 years. he DID it. whats cenas options?

  • True Hate

    Rock was a great superstar and lost on average alot more than Cena. Lets compare teh wins and losses. Cena has a win-loss-draw record of 354-141-42. The Rock has a record of 244-145-38. Rock is a better superstar with less wins and more losses than Cena. As u can clearly read, Cena won over 100 more matches than The Rock. Rock actually lost matches to boost the credibility of other wrestlers, which made the WWf/WWE much better to watch. I’ll be back later to share more info on why/how Cena ruined WWE.

  • Bastion Booger

    I like many others hate the Cena character but i respect the hell out of him. I do hope the Rock wins though

  • ##

    It is true he’s lost his far share. Cena is good for the business. Gotta respect him. I just wonder who going to carry whom inthis match, cause it’s not gonna be Steamboat vs Flair in there.