In a new wide-ranging interview, John Cena has lifted the lid on his relationship with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
From the moment that Cena debuted on SmackDown promising to show some “Ruthless Aggression” in response to McMahon’s promo just days earlier, it felt as though the two are forever destined to be linked. Following Cena’s debut, he became heavily featured on WWE television, winning the first of 16 world titles at WrestleMania 21.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, Cena reflected on his relationship with McMahon, calling him “a close friend, a mentor, a father figure.”
“Vince McMahon to me is more than anyone could realize,” Cena said. “He’s a close friend, a mentor, a father figure. He means a tremendous amount to me. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to conceptualize how much I love him and how much he means to me.”
Cena expanded further detailing how McMahon has always supported him in his projects outside of WWE.
“It’s also appreciative that someone like that understands what I’m doing and approaches my choices with empathy rather than apathy,” he said. “The guy who runs the joint isn’t saying, ‘Screw it, get down here! It’s on a weekend, I know you’re not working!’ He approaches those choices with empathy, saying, ‘This is a great opportunity for you, John. You’re always a part of this family, and if you do well, we all do well.’ I reciprocate in saying that I want the WWE to thrive.
“That’s why I’ve invested so much of my blood, sweat and tears. I don’t want to see it fall off. I want to see it be everywhere. I want to see it be larger. I want to see it have more success. I want people to look back and not say, ‘Oh, man, it was great when…’ I want people to say, ‘He kind of opened the door for what’s going on now.'”
Elsewhere during the interview, Cena also seemingly addressed his current WWE status. The veteran hasn’t been seen inside a WWE ring since WrestleMania 36, but said that “I have been, am and always will be a WWE Superstar.”
As his WWE appearances have become more infrequent, Cena has been steadily building a reputation in Hollywood. With the wrestler turned actor set to appear in Fast & Furious 9 in June and Suicide Squad in August.