John Cena may be a polarising figure in WWE, but he has adapted his character to stay evergreen since he started wrestling.
Sometimes this has been a conscious effort NOT to change, knowing this would change how the fans would think about him.
In a recent interview, ‘the doctor of thuganomics’ (yes, that’s how I still see him) has named one star who was put in a very difficult position with the changing eras.
We all know what ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin’s signatures were – and adapting after the Attitude Era was very difficult for him.
Talking with Forbes, Cena recounts Austin coming back through the curtain where it was as if his hands had been tied behind his back.
I remember one of the first times Steve Austin came back during the height of the PG era, and he was just befuddled. Because Steve Austin goes out there and runs it. And if he gets stuck, he can curse, he can throw up some middle fingers, he can ask for a beer…but we took away three of the biggest clubs that he can hit with and told him to go out there and be himself. And he came back shaking his head and said ‘I don’t know how you do this!’ But if he had enough time, he’s a great performer, he could get used to it.
Cena was also outspoken a while ago in that he thought the WWE product was “a scattered fragment of Super Friends”.
He now sees a big change from this – and has named three stars he sees as marquee talents.
Now you have Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks can be in that conversation, but it’s not what I said it was in 2020. It’s not a scattered fragment of Super Friends. WWE has just refocused, re-shifted and now is consolidating on marquee stars. They have their marquee stars, and going forward they will have their big names. As far as those names being larger than life, the enormity of their impact is up to the individuals themselves.