John Cena and former pro wrestler turned Hollywood megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson headlined two consecutive WrestleMania events with each other in 2012 and 2013, and both events ended up being some of the biggest money-makers in the history of the company due to the bad blood between the two WWE legends. But, that doesn’t mean that Cena is happy about how things went down between himself and The Rock.
Before The Rock returned to WWE in 2011, it looked like he might never come back to the company as he had been away making movies for roughly seven years. Also during his time away, he didn’t want people to call him by the name that made him famous, The Rock. He preferred to be called by his real name, thus making it seem like he didn’t want anything to do with pro wrestling.
During The Rock’s time away, John Cena, who had taken his place as the face of the company, called him out on numerous occasions, but the most famous call out came during his appearance on a UK show called WrestleCast, where he doubted his rival’s love for professional wrestling.
“This is my take on The Rock, and he’s genuinely nice guy. I’ve met him, and he’s a fantastic human being. What I kinda get peeved about is, and I guess this is my flaw because I hear it everyday with young talent, mid card talent, with people aspiring to make it in this business, I hear ‘I’ve wanted to do this my whole life.’ Rock falls into that category. At one point he loved wrestling, and wanted to do this his whole life. Then explain to me why he can’t come back for an anniversary show, why he can’t make an appearance at WrestleMania. Simply put, it’s because he wants to be an actor, and there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s a very good actor, he’s very successful, he’s done very well for himself, and associating with sports entertainment doesn’t do much for his acting career, so I get why he doesn’t come back. Just, don’t f**k me around and tell me that you love [wrestling] when you’re just doing it to do something else.”
When The Rock returned to WWE television, he wasted no time in calling out John Cena, and he made reference to Cena’s interview in the UK, which took place three years before his return. It also took them one year to build to their first match together, and during that one year, they said some pretty harsh things to each other, some of which was actually reality-based.
While Cena hasn’t completely left WWE, it’s obvious that he’s starting to look towards life after wrestling as he’s been accepting more non-WWE related work, and because of that, he now understands why The Rock was away for so long, which is why he regrets calling him out during the WrestleCast interview.
During a recent chat with Sports Illustrated, Cena explained why him deciding to personally attack Dwayne Johnson was, in his words, a stupid move.
“It was stupid of me. It genuinely was. That was my perspective at the time. When you’re involved in the daily grind of WWE, and that’s something I never will let go of — I promise you that. I just love it, and I don’t think I need to say that, ever again, or have somebody question my allegiance to a brand, not the sport of professional wrestling, so to say, but a brand. I love the WWE. For me to not be able to see Dwayne’s vision on what he wanted to do personally, and how his personal success could affect a growing global brand, that was just ignorant on my part.”
Before last year’s WrestleMania in Dallas, The Rock appeared on ESPN’s Sports Center, and he told former WWE commentator Jonathan Coachman that he and Cena no longer have any personal heat with one another, and now they’re friends.
The Rock’s match with John Cena at WrestleMania 29 might end up being the last match of his legendary WWE career. Of course, he officially wrestled again when he squashed Erick Rowan at last year’s WrestleMania, but the match wasn’t a competitive match, and it probably won’t be considered as The Rock’s retirement match if he never wrestles again.
[Featured Image by WWE]