John Cena was a megastar in WWE. During his prime he main-evented multiple PPVs including WrestleManias, won countless titles, awards, and accolades, and made a fortune as a major box office draw.
But despite all of his success, one former WWE superstar has argued that Cena wasn’t so confident behind the scenes.
John Cena “threatened” by wrestlers with similar physiques
Despite Cena’s incredible success, little of it, if any, was actually planned out. As has been stated many times, John Cena was actually scheduled to be fired in 2002 after Vince McMahon and others in WWE management didn’t see much in him.
It wasn’t until he started freestyle rapping on a tour bus that Stephanie McMahon caught wind of his skill and created a perfect gimmick for him.
Maybe it was the fact that he was so close to being fired, but something allegedly made John Cena feel threatened by other wrestlers that looked like him. That’s what former WWE superstar Rene Dupree said on his podcast during a Q&A and a question came up about Cena being worried about wrestlers with similar physiques as his.
“Very much so. Very much so. Yeah. The American with muscular physiques and tall and good-looking, yep. 100%.”
Around that early-to-mid-2000s era, many wrestlers came in fitting Duprée’s description above: Chris Masters, Bobby Lashley, Mark Jindrak, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, and Dupree himself.
Cena and Rene Dupree feuded briefly while both were on SmackDown in mid-to-late 2004 and early 2005 before Cena’s first world title win at WrestleMania 21 against JBL,
Duprée managed some interesting achievements of his own in WWE as he is the youngest person to ever sign a WWE contract and the youngest person to ever win a championship as he was only eighteen years old when he won the World Tag Team Championships in 2003 alongside Rob Conway.
h/t EWrestlingNews for the transcription