John Cena Believes Another WWE Star Is The Greatest Of All Time, Not Him

WWE has been referring to John Cena as the "Greatest of All Time" across its television shows, marketing campaigns, and online content, but Cena does not view himself in that light. If anything, the humble Cena believes "The Tribal Chief" Roman Reigns has surpassed the likes of him, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, and others to earn the G.O.A.T. title. 


On "After the Bell," Cena praised Reigns for "feeling the energy of the audience" in ways that he used to in his heyday, adding that a lot of their younger peers have yet to figure out those nuances of the business. "Roman is a very improvisational guy and works that style. He's really incredible," Cena said. The 16-time World Champion then explained why the 2020 pandemic era was a blessing in disguise for Reigns, who had been previously rejected by audiences. "He's a sponge and he's athletic and super intelligent. He's a fan of this — and I mean all of this. And most importantly, [he's] a fan of psychology. I say the WWE Universe is the biggest superstar we have. Roman navigated those waters without them ... I don't think Roman is Roman if he doesn't have a time to work in front of no crowd because the crowd was so against the fact that the company believed in Roman Reigns ... everyone has a tough hill to climb once they become pushed." 


"When the crowd wasn't there [during the pandemic], ... Roman could be himself," Cena continued. "Night after night, he becomes this extremely nuanced, soft-spoken character, ... and as soon as they bring people back in, he had done such riveting programming that it's like, 'Man, now I want to see this guy.' And he has just done it better than [anyone] I've ever seen. He's the greatest of all time, in my opinion."

John Cena Explains Why Roman Reigns Is The GOAT

Cena believes that, unlike Reigns, he would have struggled to operate at a high level in front of empty arenas, and that "Roman leaned into everything that it gave him" and "made it cinematic" in ways that no wrestler had previously accomplished. Cena also credits Reigns for getting The Bloodline's "We the ones" hand gesture over with the ThunderDome video crowd, which, he says is another testament to his ability to have the fans in the palm of his hands. 


Another reason for Cena anointing Reigns the G.O.A.T. is the current state of WWE's business, pointing to the promotion shattering live gate and attendance records over the past year or so — all without his involvement as a full-time wrestler. "We're doing the best we've ever done, and that's very little thanks to me," Cena stressed, adding that it's rare for the torch to be passed up the way he has with the likes of Reigns, Cody Rhodes, and Seth Rollins. 

When asked if he greenlit WWE's strategy to proclaim him to be the G.O.A.T at recent WWE shows, Cena clarified, "That is an idea that doesn't belong to me, sir. That is not my opinion." Cena — who recently hinted at retiring from in-ring competition — will wrestle Solo Sikoa at today's Crown Jewel premium live event. While the match could be one of his final few WWE appearances, Cena sounded optimistic about some of his unaccomplished goals. "The great thing about WWE is there's always another show. There's always something [else] to accomplish. I think individuals tend to look at it selfishly. Can I win a 17th [World] Championship? I haven't won the Intercontinental Championship. I wanna win another Money in the Bank. I wanna win another Royal Rumble. It could be like, I'd like to help Roman Reigns become a larger, global phenomenon. I would like to be Austin Theory's mentor ... I don't think I'll ever run out of things to possibly accomplish."