John Cena says influx of talents shows ‘bright future’ for WWE
John Cena made it clear that he has no qualms with the influx of talent in the promotion and even shared his excitement with the countless possibilities the opportunity presents.
“It’s a wonderful time for the WWE fans, and at my core, I’m a WWE fan, that’s why I continue to show up,” he told INQUIRER in an exclusive interview during his recent visit to Shanghai, China.
“Often times, we as a company look at one superstar to come pave the way. For the first time since I would say along my debut, when you had names like Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, John Cena, Dave Batista, Shelton Benjamin all at the same time, now we have such a plethora of gifted young talents and there’s no end in sight,” he said.
After being the company’s cornerstone for almost a decade, Cena now looks at guys like current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns as the torchbearers for the future of the WWE. These superstars first went to the promotion’s developmental show NXT before emerging to the main roster and impressively imprinting themselves, as seen now in the WWE’s main event picture.
“When multiple superstars make the transition to NXT to Raw or SmackDown, it seems like new superstars pop out every night at NXT. This is the most talent-rich environment I think WWE has ever had, and it just shows a tremendously bright future for WWE,” he said.
It hasn’t stopped there, as WWE continues to scour the world for global talents, at the same time, honing its future stars at the WWE Performance Center.
Cena could also relate to some of these new wrestlers, specifically pointing out trash talking Enzo Amore as someone who reminds him a bit of himself.
“I look like Enzo Amore and Big Cass only because they are so immediately identifiable as characters. It kind of reminds me when I was doing hip-hop piece of my persona. I like that because Enzo is not necessarily a typical mold of, ‘Hey, this is going to be awesome.’ But even back in his early days in NXT, he caught my attention,” he said.
“I remember going to an NXT broadcast and I was the special guest, and we’re supposed to do something at the end of the show and I was asked if I want to work with any talent, and I’d seen Enzo be destroyed at the end of a match, a forgettable match but he kept my attention. He was the one name I have and I don’t think he was on anybody’s radar. Kind of after that is where he kind of got a little bit more presence and a little bit more opportunity, but he immediately kept my attention. His energy is unbelievable.”
‘Get WWE to as many eyes’
Despite his unrelenting praise for the promotion’s new stars, Cena’s goal remains the same: to get back on top. And he knows that along the way, he will cross paths with these superstars and test their mettle in the squared circle.
“It’s a weird and fickle profession and you have to appreciate winning and losing the same. Me being able to win (the WWE championship) 15 times and me not being the current world champion means I lost it 15 times,” said Cena, who is now a title reign shy of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair’s record 16 world title reigns.
“I look at things through a weird glass. Here I am in a suit and tie, so I’ll say that my goal is the same as it is always been, to get WWE to as many eyes as we possibly can. But that attitude changes greatly when I step inside the ring. I firmly believe in my abilities and I believe that any match I’m attached to is nothing short of a championship effort. That’s why although I don’t pat myself in the back very often, I’m very vocal to proclaim that the future of the business have to go through me,” he said. “I think at one time or another, just to cement their legacy, the current state of the WWE championship is going to pass through my halls. If it’s my time, we’ll see. If it’s not, then maybe the enormous crop of future stars is here to stay.”
And this early, Cena has his eyes set on a superstar who he believes could fit the bill of a dream match
against him: Roman Reigns.
“I know that I always kind of test myself, whether it’s new superstars or established superstars, and I know Roman Reigns has carved up quite a niche for himself and he has all the attributes to be a successful WWE superstar for some time to come,” he said.
“I’ve heard he’s good. I’d like to find out how good he is.”
Reigns is part of the talent roster headed to Manila for the WWE Live Manila show on September 9.
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