"Dude, I'm so happy with Southpaw." Cena added, "that is 100% because of our WWE Universe. Our audience just clamors for content."
Moreover, Cena claimed that Southpaw captures everything about that era of professional wrestling without showing any actual wrestling.
"It's amazing because it captures everything of that era, but we never show any wrestling. And it's so great and it just goes to show how far sports entertainment has come."
In Cena's estimation, portraying a character in professional wrestling is like "constant method acting", so being able to portray a new character is fun for him and interesting for the audience to see.
"I remember being the hip hop guy, and, like, dressed hip hop, made an album and videos, freestyled people in the parking lot. It's very much like constant method acting. And that was me. I love hip hop culture. I love that 80s and 90s boom bap culture. But at the same time, that's not all me. I also love to tell jokes. If you get me in the right scenario, I'm pretty decent with my hands in a fight. There are certain facets of your personality, but because you have to identify with the audience, you try to showcase the one that will resonate the most. In my case, the fact that I've been on TV for the last 15 years and my life has been an open book to these people. So now I'm at the point where I really can have a lot of fun and I like to mess around with stuff like that. And YouTube is a great outlet to do digital shorts, to do just fun videos."
According to Cena, he drew inspiration from Gordon Solie and came up with the name 'Lance Catamaran' because he passed the Catamaran Hotel and wanted a name like Lance Russell and Ron Burgundy. The 16-time world champion said he chose Utica, New York as the location of Catamaran's dream job because Ithaca College has a great broadcasting program.
"Southpaw was awesome because you get once again to create a new character and I, like [podcast host Kristopher Tapley], was a fan of Gordon Solie. I tried to get a little bit of a… even thinking of the name, Lance Russell came to mind and I tried to get a commentary name that would sound like Lance Russell, but not like Lance Russell, almost sound like Ron Burgundy. I remember passing the Catamaran Hotel in San Diego [California] and going, 'Lance Catamaran, holy s--t! That's it! It's Lance Catamaran. It sounds like a sailboat. It's distinguished. He's Lance Catamaran!'"
Cena continued, "and the reason I used Utica [New York] is because Ithaca College has a wonderful broadcasting program and nobody tells you this, but once again, you get out of it what you put into it and that's what's fun about the creative environment and it was a hit."
Cena stated that we can now laugh at the ridiculous last ditch efforts that small promotions made to stave off WWE. Also, 'The Franchise' divulged that more Southpaw Regional Wrestling is on its way.
"Here we are 30 years removed from it, or more, and we are able to laugh at the way things were done, especially the small-time promotions trying to keep up with 'New York', when Vince [McMahon] was doing crazy global stuff, and everyone else was falling by the wayside. It's just their crazy last ditch attempts to try to keep up with the frontrunner. And it was really fun and there's more on the way, so I'm very much looking forward to it."
Cena said to be on the look out for more Tex Ferguson as well. In Cena's view, the man who bought a dandy with a 350 under the hood, is a superstar.
"Bro, I have seen Tex Ferguson unleashed. Be on the lookout for more Tex Ferguson. He is a superstar. He is just a superstar."
Check out the interview here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Variety's Playback podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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