John Cena understands that his time has passed.
The last time that former 16-time WWE World Champion John Cena was featured on WWE programming was at WrestleMania 35 where he made a surprise appearance as "The Doctor Of Thuganomics" and delivered an "Attitude Adjustment" to Elias. Following his segment, Cena did an interview with WWE.com and stated that WWE does not need him and he was grateful to be granted a spot on the show. John Cena reiterated those same sentiments when he spoke with 'The Wrap' to promote 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?'.
John Cena went over a number of topics during the interview and focused primarily on the possibility of him returning to WWE on a regular basis. Cena stated that he does not want to go out to the ring with the idea that he can wrestle as if he was in his 30s because he knows that is not the case. Cena added that he is not done with WWE, but would rather not milk the system for his own personal gain.
“I don’t want to go out there and think I can perform like I’m 30, because I can’t,” he continued. “It’s something I’ve seen a few instances of and I’m going to try everything in my power not to do that. I am not sick of it, I am just trying to have that realistic conversation that not many people in sports or entertainment — or sports-entertainment — have, they want to hold on to that flame as long as they can,” Cena said. “I would much rather leave a lasting impression for what I did then try to milk the system for selfish gain.”
Cena spoke about the future of World Wrestling Entertainment and expressed that Vince McMahon is building stars at a rapid fire rate. He reflected on when he got his break in the company and attributed that to stars exiting the company and top stars being injured which left the door open for him to shoot for the moon.
"I only got a chance to be on television because Brock Lesnar left, Steve Austin left, Dwayne Johnson left, Mick Foley got hurt, Triple H got hurt, the Undertaker got hurt,” Cena said. “[McMahon’s] class of the Attitude Era changed and they had to rely on new people. In doing that, they took a tremendous financial hit up front, but in the long term it ended up going strong for a decade and a half. [WWE is] certainly in a better place now than they were in let’s say 2003, and I know Vince will say on a quarterly call that he needs his stars, but he’s also aware that he’s developing them at a more rapid rate than he did when I started,” he said. “So I think the future is tremendously bright for WWE. The WWE does not need me. I need it and I love it, and I love every single moment I’m associated with it,” Cena said. “But I felt it the first time this year at WrestleMania: I took a step back and looked at everything and (realized) it is such a powerful machine.”
As mentioned in the beginning portion of this article, John Cena was a part of WrestleMania 35 and to get a recap of the 35th anniversary of the "Show Of Shows", head over to Fightful's "podcasts" section.