For a good part of his long main event run in the WWE, there have been many claims that John Cena “buries” younger wrestlers. That was one thing the 16-time World Champion wanted to clarify in a recent interview, and as he explains it, it’s less of a case of him making his opponents look weak, and more of these wrestlers not having enough motivation in the grand scheme of things.
Speaking to the Wrap on Tuesday, Cena opened up about a number of topics, including the new season of American Grit, a Fox reality show where he serves as host and executive producer. But being that the 40-year-old WWE Superstar is far better known for his many years of success in the squared circle, it wasn’t too surprising that the interview focused mainly on wrestling. And while it wasn’t suggested that John Cena buried The Miz in their memorable feud on SmackDown Live earlier this year, the Wrap looked at how Cena appeared to be so willing to let Miz fire away with comments that, while part of a scripted storyline, oftentimes hit so close to home.
“If you look at my existence in WWE, I have never asked anyone and will never ask anyone to pull any punches,” Cena explained.
“I believe that it’s a ‘Strong Survive’ environment, and accept nothing less.”
Cena also denied the suggestion that WWE officials tend to protect him more than they do other on-air talent, given the fact he’s tied with Ric Flair for having the most World Championships in WWE history, as well as the arguable “face of the company.” According to John, he had to work his way to the top and “earn every inch” of his success, and it’s easy for fans to forget his early struggles in the business.
The Wrap also addressed the constant allegations of John Cena “burying” younger, less-experienced wrestlers, or making these opponents or rivals of his look weak in the long run, oftentimes with the other wrestlers failing to regain their standing within WWE as a result of looking weak against Cena.
“This is why I have the reputation of quote-unquote ‘burying younger talent,’ because I will let them do whatever they want with me — and then after they get done, they’re not as motivated. So, it’s not that I sink their ship, it’s that they fail to operate at an elite level. And I’m on to the next person, [to] whom I say, ‘Hey man, bring your best punch and I’m gonna punch back’ — and they don’t take that attitude beyond me.”
A few former WWE Superstars have notably unloaded on John Cena and how he “buried” them and killed any semblance of promise they may have had in the company. One such example is Ryback, who has made unsavory comments about Cena on multiple episodes of his podcast, Conversation with the Big Guy. Ryback had arguably reached the peak of his WWE career after his 2013 heel turn, but wasn’t able to escape the mid-card after he had lost the feud he had with Cena in the months following WrestleMania XXIX.
“And again, this is my opinion, but I think I’m pretty accurate on this…I think he’s done so much harm for so long to new talent to getting over, breaking out, over there [in WWE],” said Ryback in quotes from a January 2017 podcast episode published by WrestleZone.
Also in January of 2017, former WWE mid-carder Alex Riley appeared on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast, and as the Inquisitr reported, Riley alleged that John Cena buried him during his WWE run, due to an unspecified backstage incident that “changed the path in (his) career.”
A 2013 article from Bleacher Report listed a number of reasons why John Cena is supposedly ruining WWE’s product, and one of the top reasons was the perceived “burial” of the promising Nexus faction. At SummerSlam in 2010, Cena had almost singlehandedly helped Team WWE defeat The Nexus in a seven-on-seven elimination match, and had later convincingly defeated Nexus leader Wade Barrett in the main event of that year’s TLC pay-per-view, emerging victorious despite being fired in storyline at one point in his rivalry with the stable.
What are your thoughts on how John Cena addressed the accusation that he “buries” younger wrestlers?
[Featured Image by WWE]