John Cena Addresses Accusations of Burying Younger Talent, Being “Protected” in WWE, Fans Not Wanting to See His ‘Mania 33 Match

Nick Paglino
john cena

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

WWE Smackdown Live star John Cena, who will be returning to WWE TV on July 4th, recently spoke with The Wrap to hype the new season of “American Grit”, and below are some interview highlights:

On the notion that he is “protected and coddled” in WWE:

“If you look at my existence in WWE, I have never asked anyone and will never ask anyone to pull any punches. I believe that it’s a ‘Strong Survive’ environment, and accept nothing less. I think people forget my [history] in WWE sometimes and the fact that I truly had to earn every inch. There is this overwhelming perception that I am protected and coddled — that couldn’t be father [sic] from the truth.”

On accusations of him burying younger talent:

“This is why I have the reputation of quote-unquote ‘burying younger talent,’ because I will let them do whatever they want with me — and then after they get done, they’re not as motivated. So, it’s not that I sink their ship, it’s that they fail to operate at an elite level. And I’m on to the next person, [to] whom I say, “Hey man, bring your best punch and I’m gonna punch back” — and they don’t take that attitude beyond me.”

On his match with Nikki Bella against The Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania 33:

“I take that approach to everyone. The Miz story couldn’t be a better example of that, because when that story started … no one wanted to see that match. No one. I made it a point to have everyone work as hard as they could to change everyone’s mind.”

“And now here you are, months after the fact, saying that was one of the most entertaining things done on television. That just goes to show you that it’s all just about how much you’re willing to invest and how strongly you believe in what you want to do.”

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