It's no secret that John Cena was nearly fired before discovering his Dr. of Thuganomics gimmick, putting him on track to be one of the biggest superstars in WWE history. Cena has mentioned this bit of history multiple times in interviews and it was even touched on in the Firefly Fun House match against 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 36.
Speaking on WWE After The Bell, Cena mentioned the seasonal cuts and desperation because of them as a big reason why he had the creative fortitude to pull off the rap gimmick. And wondered if there is the same kind of desperation in WWE today.
"Desperation breeds creativity. Back in my day, there were cuts twice a year. They fired people in November and May because we had taken on a lot of talent from ECW and WCW and they had to sift through it all. There were seasonal releases, and justified, we had too many guys. Not so much nowadays. Maybe, and I don't know, I don't run the business, when I was past those cuts and had some success, we really championed for SmackDown to be better than Raw. It was a thing the brand took pride in. I developed a friendship with the workers on SmackDown. We had an idle Monday, it was when I was drafted to Raw, we were all playing mini-golf. (I told them) 'I can't make it, I'm gonna work out.' When I came out, everyone (on SmackDown) was watching and my phone blew up. 'Traitor.' Everyone was so pissed because we genuinely put our heart and soul into making the brand better than Raw. That was our desperation. 'We are the second tier show.' No, not anymore. We're going to change it. In doing so, it elevated all of us. I don't know today how much desperation is out there. I think there's desperation to be in a main event spot. 'I'm being overlooked, I'm not getting pushed, they're doing nothing with me' So, what are you doing? What are you doing to push your vehicle forward? Have you exhausted all options? If you have, I'm willing to listen. If you haven't, go to work," he said.
Cena was very candid with his thoughts on the current landscape of WWE in the interview. Elsewhere in the interview, he said WWE needs a frontman to lead into the next era, but isn't sure they can produce one. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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