John Cena Explains Why He Stopped Rapping On WWE Programming

In 2002, John Cena reinvented himself from a plucky babyface to the Doctor of Thuganomics. However, in spite of the character’s connection to the audience, shortly after John transferred over to Monday Night Raw in 2005, the rapper inside of him slowly faded away on camera.

During the second episode of WWE's Ruthless Aggression documentary, which focuses heavily on John Cena and his rise to prominence, John Cena discusses coming to terms with the fact that the audience of WWE was changing toward a family unit and making the decision himself to drop some of the more edgy elements of his character for the betterment of the product.

WWE Smackdown Viewership Numbers Since 2019

"Performers don't stop and look around enough. They don't look at the people they're trying to entertain," Cena began. "Here I had a personality that attached to the people who were watching, but then slowly the people who were watching changed and they began to be more kids and more families to come to these events. And I saw it happen. I didn't need a sheet of analytics. I can see it. So I said, this is it. We're changing up right now. I remember going into Vince's office and said, 'I have to stop rapping.'"

Furthermore, John would acknowledge being seen as the driving negative for fans of the Attitude Era when they wanted to complain about what the WWE had become.

Cena would add, “for an older viewer, an older male, if you like what you saw in 1999 when you turn in in 2005 and 2006, it is not the same thing and it's easy to pin it on me.”

Another major contribution of John Cena in the Ruthless Aggression Era was the WWE Championship spinner design. You can read Big Show's candid remarks regarding that championship design at this link.

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