The latest issue of ESPN: The Magazine has an interview with John Cena called “7 Things You Should Know About Being a WWE Superstar.” Here is the interview in its entirety:
7 Things You Should Know About Being a WWE Superstar
1. Writers write, fighters fight.
“I see myself as an actor, and I choose not to have much input in my story. So I find out only a few hours before the broadcast what will happen. The creative team doesn’t know inside-the-ring stuff, though. They tell us who’s going to win or be disqualified and we take it from there.”
2. I had to find myself.
“One of the big reasons for my success is I get to be me. At first, I was a white rapper thug from the mean streets of West Newbury, Mass. Some fans hated me but that’s how it goes. We have guys who save the day and others who deserve to get hit. But once I got in the door, I spent the next four years tranforming into John Cena.”
3. We’re more than just action figures.
“I try to manage my likeness, but the WWE does a lot of licensing, so I end up seeing a lot of products that make me cringe. I’m all for merchandising, but John Cena car floor mats or nesting dolls don’t seem right.”
4. En Garde? Always.
“Most people I meet try to wrestle me. It happens at least once a day – especially at the airport. When I’m carrying the champion’s belt in my bag, it usually leads to a ‘random’ search. Everyone crowds around, and someone says, “Let’s fight.” I’m like, “I’m just trying to catch a flight.”
5. There are no timeouts.
“I once tore a pectoral muscle
doing a routine hip throw. There was 18 minutes left in the fight. I figured since I was going to the hospital afterward anyway, I might as well finish. You think it’s all painless, but this stuff can hurt extremely badly.”
6. Things change – unless they don’t.
“Consumers are smarter now, so we admit what we do is entertainment. And we’ve changed programming. But the bones are the same. Pro wrestling like action films, is still about good vs. evil.”
7. I won’t bite the hand.
“A lot of wrestlers reach a point where they feel it’s not cool to be in WWE. Not me. I can do movies and work full-time here. Why would I ever say it’s not good enough?”