John Cena On WWE Rap Gimmick, Making People Want To See Him Get Punched In The Face

Former WWE Champion John Cena was originally "The Doctor of Thuganomics," a cross between Vanilla Ice and Eminem, which launched Cena into the upper-levels of WWE talent. In an interview with "The Armchair Expert," Cena told Dax Shepard that he was parodying the wannabe rappers of his own home region.


"I used to see these kids thinking they were street hard. We're from West Newberry. That doesn't exist," Cena chuckled. The future "Doctor of Thuganomics" remembered these kids when it came time to craft a rap persona for WWE. "Because I wanted to punch them in the face, people will want to punch me in the face."

Cena specifically asked to be billed from the affluent suburb of West Newberry, MA to further lampoon the wannabe tough kids. The 16-time world champion said he started to act and dress as ridiculous as possible to annoy WWE fans. 

"24/7 I was in the rap gimmick," Cena said, noting that he even defied a new dress code which was instituted not long after the rap gimmick was given to him, as he had to commit to the character from the car rental booth to the arena parking lot. "I used to freestyle battle kids in front of parking lots."


He said freestyling was a hobby for him, at best, when he was growing up, but he managed to stay good enough at it that it propelled him to WWE stardom. Cena, whose appearances in WWE have been infrequent lately and has teased retirement, recently appeared at WrestleMania 40, helping Cody Rhodes fight off The Bloodline in the main event.