John Cena spoke with Co.Create Editor Eric Alt on stage at Fast Company's conference in Los Angeles earlier this week. You can check out their full article on Cena at this link. Below are highlights:
"The reason that everybody wants to attach themselves to being authentic [is] because the word 'authentic' means, pardon my French, you give a s--t. But 'authentic' is thrown around as 'think outside the box' and all the other B.S. we hear."
Getting involved with something new and being involved in WWE:
"The first question I ask myself is, do I want to do it? I think the first question a lot of folks ask themselves is, is this good business? Does it pay me a lot of money? That is short-term success in life. I know [the WWE has] half a billion social followers. I know our business model to drive more people toward the network. I know our t-shirt sales. I know our consumer fan base. I know our attendance for live events. I know we're not deep enough business-wise in China so I'm doing what I can to get us into China. I'm not just a dude who laces his shoes up and slides into the ring—I love the brand. And if I'm not active in the brand physically, I will be active in the brand mentally. And I do not align myself with properties that I don't feel that passionate about. To me, that's what being authentic is all about."
Looking for opportunities outside of WWE:
"As a 39-year-old adult, I certainly would love to be a bad guy or to push the limits of the broadcast, but that is not my job. My job is to work for a company that produces PG television and do the best I can. In redefining my brand, I'm looking for opportunities outside of the WWE because I realize I have to play within certain goalposts. When I came in [to the WWE] in 2002, it was more like the Jerry Springer show and now it's really a good family program. So I've had to change the tools in my toolbox and adapt to my surroundings yet stay authentic to myself. My experiences in the wrestling ring have set me up for what I'm trying to do outside."