John Cena was interviewed by BeneathTheMat.com at the Mix106.1 Studios in Philadelphia discussing a number of topics. During the interview, Cena discussed; growing up a wrestling fan, younger talent and his dream opponent outside of The Rock. Here are the highlights:
On how enjoyment of wrestling as a young kid: “I’m like a lot of our young fans out there in the WWE Universe today. I watched as a young kid. I tried to emulate my favorite superstars of the time. Back then, it was; Hulk Hogan, Koko B. Ware, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, the Ultimate Warrior. I grew up with it.
“It’s a business that not a lot of people are in. But I truly believe that — and I’ve traveled the world eight to ten times over — everyone always has a story about wrestling. If they don’t watch WWE currently, they’re always like, ‘Oh. I remember when!’ From Gorgeous George to Bruno Sammartino to (Bob) Backlund to anyone. They always have an ‘I remember when’ story. I was that kid. I grew up with it.”
On the “spinner belt” and if he came up with the concept: “I absolutely [did]. I’m the one that needs to be tied to a stake and burned as a witch. I’m the one who ‘disgraced the WWE championship’. Side note: The WWE spinning championship is not only the most requested item for anyone who wants any item from the WWE — and that goes for Aaron Rodger’s Green Bay Packers people — but it’s also the most sold item of all time. So, disgrace or not? I guess the debate will continue.
“I don’t know if it will go back to the winged eagle but — being the guy who truly invented it — it needs to change. It has been the way it’s been for years now. It’s had it’s run. It doesn’t even spin anymore. It’s heavy, it’s awkward. It really is. An average championship belt weighs about 12 pounds. The current WWE spinning championship weighs 27 pounds. We need a rehash. I’m proactively try to do that. I only have so much stroke, guys. [Laughs.] I can’t do everything.”
On whether or not he ever gets upset about being booed: “No, not at all. One of my greatest lessons about the business was from Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels; ‘If they’re really loud, it’s really good.’ He didn’t say, ‘If they’re really positive, it’s really good.’ He said, ‘If they’re really loud, it’s really good.’
“Our job is to make people escape and to make people enjoy and be entertained. I don’t care if they like me or they don’t. I’m me and that’s where they attachment is.”
On which under-used or unsigned wrestler he sees something in: “I just saw Seth Rollins have a dark match in Cleveland. I’ve heard a lot about him. Not a real guy that I followed a lot in FCW. Man, was I impressed with his dark match. I thought he did unbelievable.
“For those that don’t know — opening contest. I shouldn’t use dark match, it’s opening contest. He had the first match of the night and he did extremely well.
“I think under-used right now (is) Dolph Ziggler, definitely. Zack Ryder was amazing for our November-December run and has kind of fallen off the face of the Earth. I’ve often said this: Look for great things out of Cody Rhodes. He’s already doing great things but that kid won me over when he inducted his dad into the Hall of Fame. An unknown just came and knocked it out of the park with a public speaking engagement. I thought he was unreal.
“I think it’s a great time for WWE because we’re in that transition that we were in in 2002. I think it’s me and Randy (Orton) left. We’re the old guys now. We’re ten years in the game and we’re looking at a new group of people. It’s a really exciting time…”
On which wrestler throughout time he would want to wrestler aside from The Rock: “My answer is The Rock but that’s OK. You said except for The Rock. One more, I would say Steve Austin just because The Rock and Steve are so polarizing.
“Steve’s had health issues in the past but I’ve seen him recently. I don’t know if you saw him on Tough Enough. He’s in the ring and he’s in great shape. He can certainly still talk the talk. I know it’s a time machine-type hypothetical scenario. I know he has one more match left in him. I just hope I’m the guy on the other side of the ring.”
You can check out the entire interview here.