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A Candid Q&A With John Cena: WWE’s Polarizing Company Man
Thomas Golianopoulus and COMPLEX Sports sat down with WWE superstar John Cena on the eve of this weekend’s Wrestlemania for a shockingly open Q&A, speaking to everything from locker room issues to the public’s reaction to Roman Reigns to Fabolous and Jay Z backing out of a rap battle. He even drops the news that he’s medically cleared to wrestle, even if he’s not on the card for this Sunday’s WrestleMania 32.
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Cena on how close he is to returning to the ring:
“If you ask me today, I should’ve been back two weeks ago. I’ve logged almost 400 hours of physical therapy. I got 111 visits in twelve weeks time. I go every single second I can. People say I have a Wolverine-like style of recovery. I was given a nine month quota to come back and after three months I can tell you that I am ready to do anything asked of me possible. It’s a matter of when they call me.”
Cena on what WrestleMania match he’s most looking forward to:
“Shane-Undertaker because of what’s at stake—the stakes are what determines how important a match is. Yes, we all want to be champion, but Shane returning after a seven year absence to only have one match and if he loses, he’s gone. If he wins, things change drastically. If he beats the Undertaker I can confidently say that’s probably the last time we are going to see the Undertaker because if the Undertaker is as good as he says he is, for him to lose to someone coming off a seven year sabbatical, maybe you’ve lost a step kid. Maybe its time to move aside.”
Cena on whether the calls that he can’t wrestle bothers him:
“It’s people’s opinions and when you get a crowd of people who enjoy technical wrestling, I’m not Tiger Mask. I’m not Dean Malenko. I’m not William Regal. I’m not those guys. That ain’t me. But I’ll tell you I’m fired up, I’ll get you excited to see what will happen and I will give you my best. Through that journey amazingly enough, the same people who are chanting that in the beginning of the match are on their feet at the end. That never bothered me. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I know you pay money to come and see me. My job is to make you go afterwards, ‘Oh, that was awesome.’ Me trying to do something and failing miserably at it just to prove to some critic that I can “wrestle” in their interpretation is a waste of your money.”
Cena on his role in the locker room:
“It’s tough. I’m in a weird spot in being too old to be cool and too young to go to for advice. It’s really weird. For some reason there is a grand canyon divide. I honestly think it has something to do with my age or where I’m at. But I have all these secrets about this that I need to give away. Because if I take them with me and go quietly into the night, what good does that do for the brand? I need to help. I need to teach—or at least tell people, ‘Hey I did it this way.'”
Cena on when he knows to hang ’em up:
“When I can’t keep up. Talking the folks into a frenzy is certainly an asset to what we do, but you have to deliver. You have to deliver on stages like WrestleMania and beyond. When I can’t do that, I’m now taking the brand down, so I’ll have to reposition myself. It ain’t happened yet though, boss.”