Cena on his dad: “My dad was certainly a working man, worked his ass off, but wasn’t into watching sports. He’d never sit down and watch football on a Sunday. We would watch wrestling and he loved wrestling.”
“I never played catch with my dad. ‘Let’s go outside and work on fielding ground balls or work on your stance.’ That wasn’t my dad. My dad was, ‘Okay, let’s have a battle royal in the living room.’ It really was awesome.”
On how he handles his mixed reactions: “I’ve just been able to look at this product objectively. I take myself out of the equation. I kind of understand where I am. This is the stuff obsess over. I can’t stop thinking about this stuff. I think a lot of the reason the reactions are the way they 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 that if not making some noise that are about to make some serious noise. And I think you’ll see [the split reactions] go away and I’m objectively looking at it. When you have one dude trying to make and you’re trying to make superstars off of that dude, a majority of the audience just recognizes that one guy.”
“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.”
“It’s not that what we have isn’t good. I could waste four hours talking about the state of the business, setbacks I think guys can’t overcome. I think we have a locker room full of very, very talented superstars, but I also think we have a locker room full of superstars that are fearful for their employment and are not willing to take that one step, that ‘Austin 3:16 whooped your a**,’ or that put a hat on backwards and a chain around your neck when no one else is doing it.”
On what frustrates him most about the business: “I don’t get mad at a lot nowadays. The only thing that really frustrates me is when I see a guy with all of the tools or next to all of the tools who is just afraid to take that leap of faith.”
On the amount of creative input he has: “Oddly enough, you hear these stories about guys planning their own future and whatever, I’m not really good at ‘booking stuff.’ 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 going to take this and I’m going to try to make it great.”
“It’s helped me in a way because I never look forward to this or I never hang my hat on, ‘Well, I got this great idea and they didn’t use it.’ So many guys are like, ‘God, they didn’t use my idea.’ They just don’t that. You have to be able to take the steak that they give, even if it’s waffle-house thin, and it make taste good. So I get excited about working with new guys and giving new guys an opportunity.”
“There’s also so many people out there that will say, ‘He’s just hogging the spotlight and he won’t even give anybody a chance.’ I could give you a list [of wrestlers] as long as the Constitution.”
On his match at the Royal Rumble against Randy Orton: “Amazingly enough, disinterest is silence. It is absolute silence. When you see people walking up to the concourse to go get nachos and a beer, that’s when you got to reevaluate yourself as a professional. But if they’re just blatantly [yelling] catcall after catcall after catcall, a lot of the nights, I’ve often said this, the WWE Universe is our biggest superstar. Because you film our show in an empty arena, it’s not as exciting. But with all of that chaos going back in the crowd and our audience likes to be involved.”
“Through all of that, through the 30-minute catcall episode that we had there were undeniable moments where people regained interest in what we were doing. In those circumstances where the audience wants to be the star of the show, it’s best to just let them be the star of the show.”
“I wish I could have a magic hat to produce Daniel Bryan to whoop both of our a**** and save the day, but the company has a plan. That wasn’t on the plan that night. So, it’s Randy and I out there doing the best we can give the audience what they want. When they completely don’t want to see you and see another guy, at least they’re telling you they don’t want to see you. It’s not, ‘Well, let’s go get a t-shirt.’ Years of dealing with the mixed response have kind of ingrained that in my head. That one time you really need to be worried is when they go up and get a t-shirt.”
Austin also to talks to Cena about his passion about cars, learning Mandarin, WWE moving toward more action and less talking his visits to the WWE Performance Center and what he believes is the optimum time for a wrestling show.
To listen to the full interview, click HERE.