WWE icon John Cena has claimed that he acted like a fan early in his WWE career and it almost led to his premature demise in the company.
With a career like no other, John Cena kicked off his WWE career with a display of ruthless aggression as he answered Kurt Angle’s open challenge on SmackDown. From there Cena became the Dr. of Thuganomics, winning over WWE audiences before winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21.
Over the next decade, John Cena became known as ‘Big Match John’ for good reason as he outlasted rivals and swept aside opponents to become a record-equalling sixteen-time champion of the world.
Now speaking on WWE Playback, the wrestler turned movie star has revealed that he feels early in his WWE run he acted like a fan, soaking it all in. When what he needed to do was find that engaging personality that launched him to superstardom:
“Just doing what I was told in performances like that almost got me fired. I could see why ’cause you look at the audience, nobody cares.”
“I guess looking back at it, I’m grateful for the moment, I’m grateful I debuted in such a historic arena with such an amazing performer [in Angle], but I’m also grateful it didn’t go well cause it taught me, especially when ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ character was introduced, I was neither ruthless nor aggressive. I was quite submissive, and passive, and acted like a fan, and I was. That’s okay, but you can’t do that there.”
“You have to stand out. You have to have a personality where somebody can attach to, and everybody would have done the exact same thing in my interaction with the Undertaker, whether they were a paying customer or backstage. Everybody would have done the same thing. So how does that make me different than anybody else? That stuff is nice, but it didn’t help at all.”
John Cena is set for a WWE return 20 years to the day that he debuted on SmackDown. Cena will be present on the 27th of June 2022 episode of Monday Night Raw with the expectation that Cena will be fighting at SummerSlam.