John Cena recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of SI.com to talk about various topics. Here are the highlights.
On his sixteenth world title reign only lasting two weeks:
“To rebut the two-week, 16th title reign, if I’m correct, Ric Flair’s 16th title reign was only 24 hours,” said Cena. “They can’t all be these massive statements in the annals of history.”
On teaming up with Nikki Bella to take on The Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania 33:
“I know people have a perception of who I am,” said Cena. “There is nothing I can say in this interview that changes that perception, but I’ll say this: I don’t pitch ideas, I don’t go and say, ‘This is what I would like to do.’ I’ve had tremendous success in being a versatile poker player, if that’s a good analogy. I get my hand told to me, and I play it the best I possibly can. As far as WrestleMania is concerned, whatever I’m supposed to do I’m going to do to the best of my ability. I can reference last year as a great example. I was ready, healthy, and one-hundred percent activated by early March, and I was told that I would be assisting The Rock in WrestleMania. Quite honestly, if it weren’t for The Rock’s involvement in WrestleMania, I would have been told that I would have been sitting out WrestleMania. [People ask] why don’t I just go in there and say, ‘I want to do this’? Last year, I should have said, ‘I want to do this,’ but that’s just not what I do. This is why I love what I do. You sometimes get an off-the-beaten path request, and it’s your job, as a professional, to make it interesting and make it the best you can. To be quite honest, way, way, way back, AJ Styles was an off-the-beaten path request, and I loved that. It brought out the best in AJ Styles and it brought out the best in me. I’ll always try to do the best with what I’ve got.”
On his comments he made several years about The Rock being a “part-timer”:
“It was stupid of me,” admitted Cena. “It genuinely was. That was my perspective at the time. When you’re involved in the daily grind of WWE, and that’s something I never will let go of—I promise you that. I just love it, and I don’t think I need to say that, ever again, or have somebody question my allegiance to a brand, not the sport of professional wrestling, so to say, but a brand. I love the WWE. For me to not be able to see Dwayne’s vision on what he wanted to do personally, and how his personal success could affect a growing global brand, that was just ignorant on my part. We have our blinders on, sometimes, in these daily situations of life, and, to me, my thing was, ‘Hey man, as a fan, I loved you performing in this venue all the time, you left us high and dry, why aren’t you back here? It’s obvious you’re still healthy and obvious you’re still capable.’ On the other side of the fence, I didn’t see the man who is so driven to crush the stereotype of ‘pro wrestlers are just pro wrestlers, and they can do nothing more, period.’ Here we are, when Rock left in 2002, it didn’t happen overnight for him, and through fifteen years of hard work, he is the number one box office draw in the world. There is not more of a foot in the ground that you can stake your claim in and say, ‘WWE superstars are so much more than WWE superstars, and here’s proof.’ I was foolish and ignorant to not see that, because I just wanted him, selfishly, on Monday Night Raw and on Smackdown Live.”
“I like the fact that I talked enough trash that he eventually came back, and he hasn’t really left,” said Cena. “He periodically shows up, and the fans love him now, and they always have—it’s just that he’s around a little bit more. At the same time, I’ve apologized to him in person, I’ve apologized to him publicly. I was completely wrong in the approach that I took. It was one-sided and selfish, and I’m glad the way it worked out, but I apologize for not being able to see his side of the fence.”
You can read the entire interview here.