John Cena Discusses His Reputation, Passing the Torch, and WrestleMania 39

In an exclusive interview with Busted Open Radio, WWE superstar John Cena reflected on his reputation for “burying talent” and the concept of “passing the torch”. Cena, who faced Austin Theory at WrestleMania 39, believes that the torch isn’t passed, but potential is sparked. He praised Roman Reigns, highlighting his approach to crafting his own personality and raising the profiles of those around him.

“You don’t pass it to anybody. You just hope to put energy out there and anyone with potential can get it. It was said that I passed the torch to Roman years ago, and he absolutely is the face of the franchise.”

“In my mind, he’s the greatest of all time. I tried to do what I could, and when I did it, it wasn’t the miracle. Like, it didn’t happen. He got it on his own terms. I just like seeing people who are passionate about the business, who want to be there, who want to show up, who aren’t using it as a vehicle to do something else because the thing itself is awesome. It’s okay if you get other opportunities outside. That’s a testament to your work, but man, I wish I was still there every day.”

Cena admitted his body couldn’t compete as much as before, prioritizing quality over quantity. He emphasized the importance of giving his all during performances, despite physical and mental strains. He also detailed his preparation with Austin Theory, investing time to understand their storyline, a practice he maintains with all his opponents.

“I sat with Austin Theory for like 10 hours. Not wasted a day, invested a day, to talk about our why, like, what’s our story going to be? I would do that with everyone. I live it. My heart is on the plate. But after they were with me, they didn’t take that energy with them, but I gave it to the next guy.”

“So okay, who’s next? It was AJ and now it’s Kevin Owens. Alright, ‘Kevin, come here. We’re gonna sit down for two weeks and just talk about stuff. Then we’re gonna go out there and try some crazy stuff, see what works, and then put our best foot forward.’ Kevin’s done, Sami, no problem.”

“What Roman does, just being affiliated with his energy, he gets so many people over. That’s something I could never do, ever, period.”

“Like, you’re with me and you got a chance when you’re there, but a lot of times you went off to do stuff that wasn’t looked at in the same way, and then the perception of the audience is, ‘Oh my god, he buried him.’ Winning and losing doesn’t matter. I haven’t won a match in five years. It doesn’t matter.”

“Roman’s ability to be that good, to spread his energy so thin that he makes other talents, and do it exclusive. That’s the difference between Ric. Ric was always the centerpiece. Roman has off days. but he’s still there, like, his presence is so great. I think that’s never been done. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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