John Cena recently spoke with Sports Illustrated to promote his "Playing with Fire" movie, which hits theaters on Friday.
It was noted that Cena is now fully immersed in his acting career, but he's given his life to WWE.
"I literally give my life, willingly, to WWE," Cena said. "But you shouldn't be the same person you were yesterday. You should always evolve and grow and change. I want to make sure I still love what I do. I never want to get to the point where I steal your money just to get your money."
Cena has not appeared on WWE TV since the July 22 RAW Reunion special. He did appear at WrestleMania 35 on April 7, for the Dr. of Thuganomics segment with Elias, but his last match came during the January 14 RAW episode. Cena competed in a Fatal 4 Way to crown a new #1 contender to then-WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, along with winner Finn Balor, Drew McIntyre and King Baron Corbin. Cena wrestled a six-man match on RAW the week before that, and those are his only 2 matches of 2019 so far.
While Cena's return would bring a boost to ratings for RAW or SmackDown, SI reports that there are no current plans for his return. Cena commented on the business and why it's addictive.
"Professional wrestling is a wonderful industry, but it's also extremely addictive," Cena said. "It's addictive because it makes you feel relevant, it makes you feel important. It can fill the void of a lot of things that you may not be brave enough to face. It also pays really well, so you get attached to the financial security. It allows you to make irresponsible financial decisions because you think the money's always going to be there.
"The fan base has seen some wonderful individuals look a step slower. I just don't want to be that person. People like Steve Austin and Dwayne Johnson, they have done it perfectly."
The 42 year old Cena, who has been in the business for 17 years, said acting has given him a new challenge beyond the ring. He called it a wonderful ride, and noted that it has given him a greater appreciation for Johnson, who he had criticized in the past for leaving WWE for Hollywood.
"I've told Dwayne Johnson that when I called him out for a lack of love for WWE, I was wrong," said Cena. "I was ignorant. He loves WWE, but he goes from shooting one project to the next. He blazed a trail and I didn't understand that, but now I totally understand. I was wrong. It led to a good piece of business in WWE [at WrestleMania 28 and 29], but I was speaking from a point of selfish ignorance.
"When you're filming, there is simply no way to be with WWE. You just can't. Even when we don't film on Sundays, if I come back for a weekend show and get hurt or break my nose, I could jeopardize the entire film. Movies force you to make the choice. When you sign on for this, this is what you have to doľand this is what I am so excited to do."