WWE Hall of Famer JBL on How Vince McMahon First Impression of John Cena

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John Cena is unquestionably one of the most decorated wrestlers in WWE history. He’s tied Ric Flair’s record for most world championship reigns (16), main evented WrestleMania five times and was the company’s top star for roughly a full decade. But Cena’s early days in the company weren’t always easy. It’s bene well-documented that he was nearly let go before discovering his rapper gimmick, and in a new interview with the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast, WWE Hall of Famer JBL confirmed Vince McMahon personally asked him what he thought of Cena’s potential as a top star. Cena won his first world championship at WrestleMania 21 by beating “The Wrestling God.”

“There weren’t a ton of believers in Cena,” Layfield said (h/t Sportskeeda). “I don’t think there were un-believers. But Vince asked me one day, he said, ‘How is he?’ I said, ‘He’s your guy, man.’ Vince said, ‘He’s that good?’ I said, ‘Yeah.'”

“It’s a different dynamic going from, say, eight minutes to going to 30 minutes,” he later added. “Now, I think he had done it with Kurt Angle too, obviously one of the greatest of all time. But when I first got out there with him, some guys never make that transition. It’s hard.”

Cena made a brief return to the WWE over the summer, culminating in him unsuccessfully challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam. He then appeared on Good Morning America and addressed his future in wrestling.

“I think I will try to do the best I can until I feel I’m offending the consumer. There’s nothing like the energy of being in that ring with the audience around. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to do a whole lot of stuff. That energy is indescribable. That place is my home. I wouldn’t be who I am without it. The audience is my family — I want to be kind to them — I still feel good even though I finished second so I still feel I have something to contribute.”

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Cena pivoted to sporadic wrestling appearances in 2018 as his acting career has taken off. This year alone saw him star in F9, The Suicide Squad and Vacation Friends and has an HBO Max series, Peacemaker, set to premiere in early 2022.

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