WWE legend John Cena recently appeared on Corey Graves’ After The Bell podcast. The 15-time World/WWE Champion appeared on the show to discuss the current ‘state’ of sports entertainment and what Cena believes the company needs to move forward.
Starting the interview, Graves would ask Cena what WWE needs to do to usher in a new ‘era,’ akin to how the Ruthless Aggression or PG Eras were created.
John Cena on ‘Eras’
“It needs what I’m not sure it [WWE] can produce,” John Cena began. “And that’s just the state of where everything is now. Which is weird because it kind of always corrects itself. So we’re in a day and age where WWE needs a frontman.”
Over the past couple of years WWE has been pushing for the ‘brand’ to be the attraction, and not the individual. This counteracts decades past, where the likes of Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and Brock Lesnar were positioned as the ‘top dog’ of the company. This is something that Cena addresses, he says that an ‘era’ is defined by the main star in the company.
“EVEN IF THEY LIKED THE GUY LAST WEEK. THEY SAY ‘F*CK YOU, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TELL ME WHO I LIKE!”– John Cena
“That’s how we’ll be able to define what the era is,” Cena revealed. “Because it takes on those personality traits of its top star, like I’ve said before…I don’t know, if all things considered? The crowd is so mixed, that if the company puts its faith behind an individual, the knee jerk reaction of the audience? Even if they liked the guy last week? Is to say ‘f*ck you, you’re not going to tell me who I like!’ So the audience is also tipping the scales of this not being able to happen.”
John Cena finished by discussing the idea of ‘universal popularity,’ saying how he believes it will never happen again due to the state of the industry. “Universal popularity will never happen. Because someone [in WWE] will see it and get onto it and be like, ‘he seems to be getting popular, let’s stop this right now.’ Or ‘she seems to be getting popular, let’s change this right now.’ And I’ve seen it happen with guys who are really like darlings of that underground crew. They make it, and then as soon as they make it the rug is pulled out from them.”
John Cena is definitely the right person to talk about this issue. As it’s arguable that the ‘polarising’ top babyface was perfected by Cena during his run over the past 10-15 years.