John Cena: "Whoever Thinks Raw Is The Flagship After This Pick Was Made Is In For A Rude Awakening"

John Cena will once again be the face of Smackdown, 11 years after being drafted to Monday Night Raw. Shortly after being drafted, he spoke out about the move on the WWE Network

The veteran Cena, who has held 15 World Championships in WWE, was fired up on the WWE Network's Draft Center Tuesday night after he was announced as the seventh overall pick in the 2016 WWE draft. 

WWE Raw TV Viewership Numbers Since 2019

"As much as I have differences with AJ Styles, I like when a guy gets drafted and says 'I'll be champ.' That means I have another guy on my side who wants to make this brand number one. Whoever thinks that Raw is the flagship, especially after this pick has been made, is in for a rude awakening," Cena said

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T asked Cena if he considered it a demotion, going from being the face of Raw for over a decade, to moving to a program many see as inferior. 

"Every single person is going to get a chance to showcase themselves," Cena said. "That's what lasting, staying power is in this business. The fact that we now have brands competing against each other, new talent from NXT being drafted -- everyone is hungry, it's a fresh start for everyone. You call it a demotion, I look at it as a fresh start."

Booker T clarified that when he was on the program, it was often called the "B show."

"We were there in 2002 when nobody gave us a chance and I was there when the scale shifted and people are like 'What are they doing over there?' It can be done, it has been done, it's going to be done again," said Cena.

Cena also told the panel that he's not going to shy away from being a locker room leader. While Smackdown was previously associated with having a young roster, the brand will have several veterans working on it. Cena also addressed his busy schedule.

"I've always tried to do my best to lead by example. Everybody asks 'how much do you have left in the tank?' I will lead by the example and prove that I haven't even began. I'll prove to my colleagues and brand-mates that everything can be done at once. When you start at the top and bust ass, it sets the pace for everyone else. It's no secret I'm a company guy," Cena said.

Make sure to check out Fightful.com's Draft Center at this link.

By Sean Ross Sapp

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