World Heavyweight Champion John Cena spoke to Kevin Eck of the Baltimore Sun last week about his upcoming film “12 Rounds” (opening March 27th), The Wrestler, how acting is different than wrestling and more. You can read the entire interview at BaltimoreSun.com. Here are some of the wrestling-related highlights:
He and Randy Orton came up through WWE’s developmental system together. Did he and Orton ever think they’d be headlining WrestleMania one day?
No. As a matter of fact, when we were in OVW, we thought we wouldn’t make it out of Kentucky. I don’t want to say we were two lost souls, but we were surrounded by talent that was one of the greatest developmental units to ever be assembled. I think WWE started the developmental system in the mid ’90s, and that class of 2000 through ’02 I think is the most successful that has ever been. We were literally just two average guys among some very gifted performers, and never once did we think we’d be headlining WrestleMania.
What doess he think about Orton’s recent work?
I’ve said this before and I said this before his – what is this, his fifth or sixth “breakout?” – that he is the best guy we’ve got. He is certainly the best performer of my generation.
About a year ago, Cena made some negative comments towards The Rock, saying he hasn’t given back to the business after making it in Hollywood. Does he still have beef with The Great one and did they talk about it when he was at the Hall of Fame ceremony last year?
No. I don’t want to say that you misread it; I may have been misquoted. What I actually said, and I’ll stand true to it to this day, I don’t even care, is that here’s a guy who, when he was with the WWE, pounded his chest that he really loved the WWE, and that wasn’t the truth. The truth is that Dwayne Johnson is a great actor and I think always wanted to be an actor, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s like an athlete saying, “Hey, I don’t do drugs,” and then getting busted for drugs. It’s not the truth. I mean here’s a guy who said he was WWE through and through, and then the first chance to take a road to a different career path, he took it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Dwayne’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s one of the hardest workers you’ll ever meet, and he certainly is a great actor. The roadblock that I have, because I certainly am in love with this business and I don’t see myself leaving it any time, is when someone says that and then leaves, it cheapens our business. If he’s going to say that, then back your word. That’s the only beef that I have and that’s what I told the people at The U.K. Sun. It just cheapens that phrase: “Oh, I love this business.” So then next time I come up and say I love this business, well, the guy before me who said that left. That doesn’t look good for me or our business.