John Cena is very aware of all the rumor and innuendo that is associated with professional wrestling and/or sports entertainment, and he has incorporated it ever so subtlety into his storyline in any given year. Either by literally turning his heel on the canvas or addressing “Under-taker” chants from the live crowd, Cena is not naive to the profession of backstage reporting.
John has also certainly gotten to the point in his career where he doesn’t have to listen or succumb to any of it. As noted, upon his return to WWE programming after a nearly three-month hiatus in December, Cena was met with Undertaker chants from the audience. John acknowledged the chant and quickly changed the tune of his promo, saying that he wasn’t going to let speculation run his career or reports of him being damaged goods hurt his reputation.
It’s true that a WrestleMania match between John Cena and the Undertaker was on the table at one point — it was on the table for several years, as a matter of fact. However, once again, Vince McMahon scrapped those plans at some point in December, although it’s not clear whether that happened before or after Cena’s return and fiery address.
At that point, Cena was on his way to becoming a record-tying 16-time world champion. The John Cena-AJ Styles match at the Royal Rumble remains an early candidate for Match of the Year and still had fans and reporters believing that something big was on the horizon for his WrestleMania program. However, his reign lasted all of two weeks, as it became evident that WWE officials had plans for Bray Wyatt to ascend up the ladder and carry the title into Orlando on April 2.
It only took a day after the Royal Rumble for news to leak that Cena’s championship reign would only last a fortnight, and two days to uncover that his new proposed feud for WrestleMania was a bit of a head-scratcher. It would soon be revealed that the WWE was planning on having John team with his real-life girlfriend, Nikki Bella, to take on The Miz and his wife, Maryse, in a mixed tag team match.
That program started to come into focus at the Elimination Chamber. Maryse found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time during Nikki’s match with Natalya, both at the pay-per-view and on last week’s SmackDown. John Cena eliminated The Miz, both from the Chamber main event and the number one contender’s Battle Royal last week, to wit The Miz responded by sneaking back in the ring and returning the favor to Cena.
Cena is set to appear on MizTV this week, which should cement the program as they move toward WrestleMania. John was interviewed by Sports Illustrated recently and was asked about the rumors that have swirled around the idea of the mixed tag match that seems inevitable at this point, as reported by Daily Wrestling News.
“I know people have a perception of who I am. There is nothing I can say in this interview that changes that perception, but I’ll say this: I don’t pitch ideas, I don’t go and say, ‘This is what I would like to do.’ I’ve had tremendous success in being a versatile poker player, if that’s a good analogy. I get my hand told to me, and I play it the best I possibly can.”
John Cena, who has been on top of the WWE perhaps longer than any other superstar in the history of the company, is refuting what fans have thought to be true for over a decade. Creative control has been a widely-discussed topic among internet wrestling fans, with Cena’s most infamous example coming in 2010 when he refused to put The Nexus over at SummerSlam. However, Cena insists that the booking is not up to him, as he would continue.
“As far as WrestleMania is concerned, whatever I’m supposed to do I’m going to do to the best of my ability. I can reference last year as a great example. I was ready, healthy, and one-hundred percent activated by early March, and I was told that I would be assisting The Rock in WrestleMania. Quite honestly, if it weren’t for The Rock’s involvement in WrestleMania, I would have been told that I would have been sitting out WrestleMania. [People ask] why don’t I just go in there and say, ‘I want to do this’? Last year, I should have said, ‘I want to do this,’ but that’s just not what I do. This is why I love what I do. You sometimes get an off-the-beaten path request, and it’s your job, as a professional, to make it interesting and make it the best you can. To be quite honest, way, way, way back, AJ Styles was an off-the-beaten path request, and I loved that. It brought out the best in AJ Styles and it brought out the best in me. I’ll always try to do the best with what I’ve got.”
Do you believe John Cena, or do you think he has more power than he seems to be letting on? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]