On episode 28 of the Playback podcast, 16-time world champion John Cena talked about the film, The Wrestler, premature deaths in pro wrestling, and the upcoming Vince McMahon biopic, Pandemonium.
On the subject of The Wrestler, Cena said he loved the film as well as lead actor Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of an aged indie wrestler. ‘The Franchise’ described the film as an excellent depiction of an 80s star who attempts to relive past glory and it can be applied to any number of fields such as entertainment and sports.
“I thought it was wonderful and everyone always asks me about that so cautiously, like, ‘what do you think of The Wrestler?’ I loved it because I thought the film could have been called The Ball Player [or] The Rockstar. The story could have been anything. It was about the life and a guy who was so entrenched in the life that he couldn’t let go. And that happened a lot to 80s superstars. You get caught up in this whirlwind and it is, man. And this is just for us, you leave on Friday [and] you get back on Tuesday. You leave Friday and you get back Tuesday again and it’s constant. You just get institutionalized. For the guys in the 80s, you had even more, sometimes double-shots, you do a show at 11 [am] and you do a show at 7 [pm]. You’re gone 41 days, and then, you’re home for 10 [days]. Then, you’re gone for another 41. Like, that is a lifestyle, man. It happens in entertainment all the time. It happens in athletics all the time.”
Cena continued, “and I thought they took our genre and they used it so wonderfully. And man, what a wonderful performance Mickey did and just, it was real, man. It was just a great depiction of how someone can’t get rid of the rush and they still want that one last try. Do you know what? It’s gone. It’s gone.”
With respect to premature deaths in pro wrestling, Cena professed that it all comes down to personal choice and there are a lot of performers who go on the road and leave the pro wrestling business unscathed.
“I think it all comes down to personal choice. You look at choices in the entertainment industry, there are great entertainers that we lose too soon all because it comes down to personal choice, so it’s not necessarily the life. There are a lot of guys that did all those dates on the road and they’re fine. And there are a lot of guys who lived like there was no tomorrow and guess what: when you do that there’s no tomorrow. Like, that stuff catches up with you plain and simple, so it’s again, not [relegated] to a profession.”
Moreover, Cena claimed that WWE looks after talent like family even though they are all independent contractors.
“What I admire about the WWE nowadays is that even though the way we are set up, as independent contractors, they take care of us as if we are family. They offer financial assistance, onsite healthcare if you get injured. We get injury pay now. They offer secondary education. They offer a second language program. The depth that they go to make sure we are protected is… they don’t need to do that and they do it anyway. It’s a great testament to how much they care about their current talent and talent of life after the [pro wrestling] business.”
According to Cena, he would love to play McMahon in the upcoming film about the life of WWE’s Chairman. ‘The Leader Of The Cenation’ said whoever gets the role will be given an interesting challenge because McMahon is truly unique.
“That script is amazing! That is something that I read in one sitting and, like, man, I need to be a part of this movie.” Cena admitted, “man, I don’t want to get myself in hot water with him, but I’d love to. I’d love to. I just love the story. The words jump off the page. I certainly know and admire the man. He’s literally one of my heroes. He has been a friend, a father, a mentor. Whoever does that, they have a wonderfully crafted challenge in front of them because he is one-of-a-kind.”
Cena went on to say that actor Tom Hardy would be a fantastic choice for the part of McMahon.
“I think [Tom Hardy] would be a fantastic choice. I don’t know if he has final say. I think the people making the movie do, but that’s a fantastic choice. Vince is just so unique, man. I can’t wait to see the movie. They already have my ticket money.”
Check out the podcast here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Playback with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
thenikkibella’s video https://t.co/pSk58PDwkR one of the many reasons I love u.On no sleep and crazy travel still inspiring people. Fearless
— John Cena (@JohnCena) May 22, 2017
Above is video of John Cena and Nikki Bella on the red carpet at the FOX Upfronts in New York City last week. Cena was there to promote American Grit. As noted, they also attended the NBCUniversal Upfronts. Regarding Brie Bella giving birth earlier this month, Nikki revealed that Brie had to get a C-section. She said, “She tried to go natural, and it was like eight or 10 hours into it had to get an epidural and then in the end had to get a C-section. Her abs were too tight! Go figure. Leave it to the WWE Superstar, abs too tight!”
When asked about being Birdie Joe’s uncle, Cena said he’s still getting used to the idea of being an uncle. He said, “It’s uncharted waters for me, but we’ll figure out.”
Fast Track Events has announced special “Evening with John Cena: The Untold Story, In His Words” events for Australia in early July. The first event will be on Friday, July 7th on the Gold Coast. The second show will take place the next night in Melbourne and then the series will wrap that Sunday night in Sydney. Australian TV host Karl Stefanovic will be hosting the event and there will be a live audience Q&A after.
Promotional material for the event reads like this, “A world exclusive event, Live on stage! A Global Superstar who’s adored by millions around the world. Philanthropist, Pro Wrestler, Rapper, Actor, and TV Host. John Cena is a modern day success story, hear his story live on stage.”
John Cena recently spoke with Justin Barrasso for Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard website. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
Roman Reigns claiming “The Yard” as his:
“Roman is in the trenches every night and he’s performing at an elite level with a champion caliber attitude. His performance and the response that he gets from certain audiences is indicative of an elite-level performer. He’s doing what I did in 2006, 2007, and 2008. He has all the justification in the world in saying it’s his yard.”
Reigns, Cena’s own return and why it’s a good time to be a WWE fan:
“I’m not going to take anything away from Roman. He handles his business with the utmost professionalism. He’s doing it on his own watch. He’s not one of the those guys that comes over to me and asks me, ‘What happens next?’ He’s doing it his way, and I think that’s the best way to do it. He’s not trying to be the next John Cena, but he is being the only Roman Reigns-and that’s why it’s met with so much adversity.
“I can tell you from first-hand because I know. I wasn’t trying to be Stone Cold or The Rock, I was John Cena. That was met with adversity from people looking for the next Stone Cold or the next Rock. That’s what creates the dichotomy, the polarizing environment. I think Roman is doing a fantastic job, and he has an entire roster stacked with unbelievably gifted performers. It’s a good time to be a member of the WWE Universe. You’re seeing multiple brands operating at very high capacity, and I just can’t wait to get back. I’m doing what I’m doing now, but I really can’t wait to get back in the ring. As soon as they cut me loose from this movie in Atlanta, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Wearing sneakers to the ring:
“I’m a very weird thinker when it comes to WWE. If you look at every major sport, their uniforms continue to evolve and change. I think patent leather boots are archaic. We have wonderful technology as far as footwear. I certainly am glad to come out in shoes because I can now wear a more functional cross-training shoe in the ring, whether it’s a low top or high top or three-quarter.”
“The football helmet used to look different, too. Change is always met with adversity. When some people read this, they’ll want me strung from the tallest tree, but that would only make the thousandth time they’d want that. I believe our uniforms, in some cases, are archaic. That deters some people from showing their personality because they get latched onto this ideology. If you go back and trace the history of professional wrestling, the reason that people wore the high boots, the flashy tights, and the robes was to define personality. The high boots are just an extension of a wrestling shoe. I would like to see more diversity in terms of uniforms as a whole.”
“[Shinsuke] Nakamura’s costuming and appearance directly relate to his personality. Picture him in classic wrestling attire and you wouldn’t have the same personality. There are, however, folks that it works for, and I think it works brilliantly for Randy Orton. On the aspect of Roman Reigns, he belongs in the gear that he’s in. I don’t know him in anything else. I’m in jorts and a ball cap, and that defines me.”
Check out the full interview with Cena at this link.
John Cena recently spoke with The Toronto Sun to promote last week’s limited theatrical release of The Wall. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
So do you now have a whole second career in the movies?
Man, that would be great if it could happen. [Laughs] I’m certainly more comfortable now with the roles I have than I was 10 years ago. Anyway, I’m glad if you think so — hopefully it means I can make some more movies!
What’s the secret behind your drive, your motivation, your success?
I show up on time, I try to work really, really hard, and I approach everything like it’s the first day on the job. Also, I have a saying: ‘Don’t be an A-hole’ and I’m guided by that. [Laughs]. I just try to be a nice person, treat everyone with respect, and work hard.
You’ve described your wrestling persona as, ‘Goodie-Two-Shoes Superman’ and you’re a major role model to kids. Is that job one?
I don’t consider that a job. I consider that a privilege, that I have a message powerful enough to get young people to listen — ‘Never give up.’ And to get them to pay attention to stuff like the impression they leave on people. And sometimes it doesn’t make me the coolest kid in school, but I’m very happy with the message I have to send. Very happy to be a role model.
As your movie career continues, should we expect to see you in a superhero’s cape and tights one day?
I do my cape wearing for the WWE.
John Cena recently did an interview with Business Insider to talk about his diet and workout regimen. You can check out what he had to say below:
His weekly workout routine:
“Weekly workout routine, there is no day-by-day because the travel is crazy. The days very, there’s no daily schedule.
“Four days on, three days off usually. Two days of compound strength movements, which is like, multiple joint stuff. Two days of push-pull, with the goal of being stronger every day.”
“My daily diet – Stay away from the junk. If it breathes or if it’s green, eat it. And just overall make good decisions.”