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John Cena talks about his first gimmick as “The Prototype”

John Cena recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show to promote the WWE’s upcoming event at the Madison Square Garden on December 26th, along with his film Bumblebee. Alongside Cena were Jamie Oliver, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matthew McConaughey.

While there, Norton brought up Cena’s original name in wrestling, “The Prototype.” Cena wasn’t a fan of the persona then, and he definitely isn’t now.

When you were starting off, you had a persona that…am I right…was half man and half machine called The Prototype?

Yes, uh…it was awful. You wanna try to find a gimmick so that when you walk out people notice you. But it’s a trial and error process with a lot of errors.

My first trial was The Prototype, which was half man and half machine and 100% crap.

Given that you were not half of a machine, how would you demonstrate you were a machine? 

Well, I used this ability to talk rather monotone and would say things authoritative, and when I said ‘I’ll kick your ass at the Fairgrounds on Sunday,’ I’d rewind and say again, ‘I’ll kick your ass at the Fairgrounds on Sunday.’

When asked if it worked, Cena, admitting defeat, said it didn’t. Though, McConaughey was clearly a fan.

You can check out the full segment below. Oliver and McConaughey briefly went over their love of wrestling when they were kids, and McConaughey even had a short entertaining story involving Skandor Akbar. John Cena also revealed the origin of the “You Can’t See Me” hand gesture.


  • MT McGee

    I want to hear him speak on his time as Big Tim and if he stays in touch with Rain and Koa.