Between acting and the squared circle, John Cena has a lot of experience dealing with the pressures of performing. In an appearance on That Scene with Dan Patrick, Cena was asked whether he thinks wrestling a match was more high pressure than a regular old sports performance. Not surprisingly, he does.
“I think it’s probably a little bit more stressful,” Cena said. “If they don’t care about you when you run out of the tunnel, they will care about you when you win. That’s sometimes different in WWE. If they don’t care about you when you run out of the tunnel, they may not care about you when you win. It’s more of like the nervous energy maybe a musician would have, to see, like, ‘man, I hope they know the material, or they’re happy to see me, or they want to be entertained by the set that I have.’ It’s athletically based, it’s like a combination of all of it.
“There’s no wrong. If something happens, the beauty of that medium is it’s now what happens. That’s now what’s going on. The greatest and most unforgettable moments, a lot of the biggest oohs and ahhs, have come from stuff that wasn’t necessarily scripted or what was supposed to happen. I’ve been in matches where people got married in the stands, and I was able to incorporate their engagement like it was seamless, like it was almost staged. Crowds in the UK using beach balls? Instead of being apprehensive to like, ‘why are they doing this?’, you understand that our audience know they’re stars of the show.”
During the interview, Cena brought up UFC star Conor McGregor and how his mic work is similar to that of a pro wrestling promo. When asked how McGregor would do in WWE, Cena responded positively.
“He’d be fantastic,” Cena said. “He is what we do. What he does is a little less predictable. Our surprises are getting people to show up at random, and trying to weave the choose-your-own-adventure to a different alley. His surprises are getting a few teeth knocked out or getting an operation. Not to say that doesn’t happen with us, mistakes happen with us. But in his profession, its not a mistake. It’s a certainty.”
McGregor won’t be appearing in a ring or Octagon any time soon, as he recovers from a broken tibia. As to whether we’ll ever see him wrestle for WWE, Cena is uncertain but optimistic.
“I hope, because I want to see it,” Cena said. “At my core, I’m a fan and he’s interesting. He has a gravity about him. I want to see him perform.”
Cena was also asked which WWE legend he would love to get in the ring with if given the chance. While the fan in him prefers Stone Cold Steve Austin, overall Cena would pick the giant many fans referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world.”
“Andre, because Andre was the measuring stick,” Cena said. “He’s like the last true Don, the last true Godfather, and his name still has a lot of gravity. So, definitely Andre. But the fan in me? Stone Cold Steve Austin.”
How does Cena think he would fair in this match with Andre? Like everyone else Andre crossed paths with, not so good.
“Poor, just like everyone else,” Cena said. “It’s not how you’d do against Andre, it’s whether Andre liked you or not. That’s it. If Andre gave you the okay, you were in. If Andre gave you the thumbs up, you were good. And if nobody gave you the thumbs up, you’d have to drink 200 beers with him.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit That Scene with Dan Patrick and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription