WWE superstar John Cena was the latest guest on Steve Austin’s podcast where he discussed his position in the WWE, why some talent are not breaking through to the next level, why he’s learning Mandarin. Cena also joked with Austin and invited him to return to the ring for WrestleMania 31 in 2015.
Highlights of the interview are below:
On the mixed reactions from the fans: “I think a lot of the reason the reactions are the way the are is, for quite a few years, WWE didn’t step up to the plate and correctly build new superstars and correctly provide new main event talent. I often tell people that I’m working with, if they’re in the ring and half the fans are cheering me and the other half are booing me, shouldn’t you be the one that’s mad, because they’re not noticing you at all. People talk about being a babyface and being a heel, what happens when there’s no one. Right now I’m very excited, not only for stuff like the WWE Network, but I think we are on the cusp of getting a true all-star lineup for the first time in a long time. We have a lot of guys who, if not making some noise, that are about to make some serious noise and I think you’ll see that go away and I’m objectively looking at it, because when you have one dude and you’re trying to make superstars off of that dude, a majority of the audience just recognizes that one guy and that’s why when you have a feud with Daniel Bryan or a feud with The Rock, you don’t hear the “Let’s Go Cena, Cena Sucks” as much. It’s cheer for one guy, boo the other guy, but when it’s a one-man party out there, often times, the crowd is attached to the one man.”
On how much creative input he has on his character: “Oddly enough, you hear these stories about guys planning their own future or whatever, I’m not really good at quote, unquote, booking stuff. I don’t understand, I don’t want to say it doesn’t interest me, but I’m good with, hey, we have this for you. Okay I’m gonna take this, I’m gonna try to make it great. That’s actually helped me in a way, because I never look forward to this or hang my hat on, “Well, I got this great idea and they didn’t use it.” So many guys are like, “Oh, they didn’t use my idea”. They just don’t do that, you have to be able to take the steak that they give you, even if it’s Waffle House-thin and make it taste good, so I get excited about working with new guys or giving new guys an opportunity. There’s also so many people that will say, “Oh, he’s just hogging the spotlight. He won’t even give anybody a chance”. I could give you a list as long as the Constitution of “Please, let’s do this! I think this guy has potential, let’s go with him” and that started back in Albany with Edge when we did the Elimination Chamber when he won his first Championship. Every single person who had a thought on that told me not to do it, but I thought it was going to be great.”
On his advice to talent about pitching their ideas and reaching the next level in the company: “If I could use your airtime, because hopefully some of my colleagues are going to be listening, people think Vince McMahon is unattainable and this is an individual business. It’s built on individual personalities, I am the guy who’s the total other way, I’m a company guy, I’m a team guy, but if you’re an individual and you have something you believe is successful, why don’t you take it to your boss? Why don’t you take it, “I have this, I want to do this”. Let him say no, but a lot of people get stuck at that door and that’s where the gossip sites or whatever develop this black cloud of “Oh, there’s this sort of politics and there’s this sort of BS.” The politics for me at the end of the day is to make sure our bottom line is the best it can be, so if I got a guy who I think is going to make some noise out there, why wouldn’t I? No matter what he looks like, no matter what he works like, we’re in the business of making individuals and all creative can do is do its best to estimate what that individual wants to say and a lot of times, you’ve got someone who isn’t you, trying to create for you and if you don’t take your destiny into your own hands, you’re going to be reading off the paper.
The podcast is available in full at this link.