John Cena is one of the most successful superstars in the history of WWE, and he has more control over his creative direction than most performers do. However, according to one former superstar, the 16-time world champion has stolen other people’s ideas and passed them off as his own.
As quoted by Republic World, former superstar Tyler Reks told British interviewer Lewis Nicholls that he and Curt Hawkins opened up about an idea they had in front of Cena. Reks and Hawkins were tag team partners at the time, and they wanted to do a storyline where they got fired and tried to sneak into the arena every week.
Cena was reportedly supportive of their plan at first and told to record promos onto a DVD, which he would then forward to WWE chairman Vince McMahon on their behalf. The tag team partners took his advice, and Cena passed the DVD onto the boss. However, when they tuned in to watch the next show, they noticed that R-Truth and The Miz — who had been feuding with Cena at the time — were featured in a segment that was almost identical to their idea.
According to Reks, the tag team confronted Cena about their storyline being used by Miz and R-Truth. The former WWE Champion reportedly didn’t deny using their idea to his advantage either.
“We had a term that we used ‘Being Burchilled’ because [former superstar] Paul Burchill would pitch stuff all the time and creative would take it and use it for someone else. At one point we just asked Cena ‘are we being Burchilled?’ and he’s like, ‘yeah, you did.’ Blatantly telling us that he stole our stuff and used it and left us at the bottom.”
Reks went on to say that he was initially angry about Cena’s actions, but he doesn’t harbor any grudges toward the WWE legend these days. According to Reks, Cena is “the top guy for a reason” and the former superstar understands why he did it. He now views it as a learning experience, now that he has a better understanding of the wrestling business.
Rex was a member of the WWE roster between 2008 and 2012, leaving the company after having his release request granted. He has competed on the independent scene on occasion, but he’s mostly retired from the business and now works in marketing.
Hawkins, meanwhile, was let go in 2014, only to return to the company in 2016. However, he was released again last month as part of WWE’s mass cutbacks.