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John Cena Admits He's a "Hypocrite" for Criticizing The Rock: "I Was So Selfish"
John Cena has seemingly made peace with his WWE status – or lack thereof.
The feud between John Cena and The Rock spanned for years, culminating in two larger-than-life main events at WrestleMania 28 and 29. As many members of the WWE Universe know, their war of words on RAW and SmackDown during the buildup to those iconic matches was filled with real-life animosity. It’s not uncommon for such bad blood to seep into WWE storylines, but when John Cena and The Rock were concerned, both competitors tried to weaponize their out-of-the-ring differences.
RELATED: 'You Can’t See Me': The Story Behind John Cena's Iconic, Mocking Hand Gesture
There’s a reason why so many of their in-ring confrontations pre-WrestleMania were so enchanting to watch. The electricity between the two men was unparalleled:
Throughout the rivalry, John Cena frequently attacked The Rock for leaving WWE for Hollywood, claiming that he would never follow in The Rock’s footsteps because he loved WWE too much.
John Cena Has More In Common With The Rock Than He Thought
Unfortunately, looking back, John Cena recently realized he's found himself on the same path The Rock forged decades ago. During a recent interview with MTV News, Cena was candid about his thoughts on The Rock – over a decade removed from their classic feud.
“I had his number and we could have talked about it,” Cena said, implying that his cheap shots at The Rock were not cleared ahead of time with The Rock’s blessing. “Instead of going, ‘Hey, man, I’d like to try to do this thing to hook you back in and maybe we can collaborate, and really make it big,’ I was like, ‘F this,’ and was calling this dude out. He gave me an opening and I’m gonna kick the door open. I was diligent – and I understand why he got upset because he’s changing the perception of the industry.”
Years later, Cena – currently busy doing press for his film Fast X – admits he currently finds himself in the same position The Rock was in.
“What a hypocrite I am,” Cena confessed. “Because I still love WWE – and I can’t go all the time. I just didn’t see that. I was so selfish.”
WWE Superstars Have Paved the Way For Cena’s Box Office Success
With the benefit of hindsight, Cena went on to speak about how influential WWE Superstars like The Rock have been in paving the way for athletes like him to make the transition from pro wrestling to the movie business.
“Him and Dave Bautista – they made it okay to be in WWE,” he stated. “WWE isn’t that carnival performer stereotype. Pro wrestlers have had that carny stereotype for so long, and these guys are breaking down barriers and shattering ceilings, and on top of that, just transcending the art form.”
To USA Insider, it almost seems like John Cena has made peace with the fact that he’s no longer a full-time – or even part-time – WWE Superstar. While we’re sure the WWE Universe will see him compete in the ring again at some point (retirement match, perhaps?), the writing is on the wall: John Cena is now a full-fledged member of the Hollywood elite. There’s no turning back.
… Or is there?
Will John Cena and The Rock Have a Third WrestleMania Match?
Of course, no interview with any WWE legend would be complete without the interviewer asking about the chances of one more match at WrestleMania. MTV News specifically asked Cena if he has given any thought to challenging The Rock one-on-one once again.
“I’m so old,” Cena lamented. “I haven’t won a match in like five years. No one notices, thank you – but if you check the stats, I’m in a bit of a slump. He’s not exactly an easy opponent. I need to get somebody really easy to get another win on the board before I go knocking on The Rock’s door again.”
Although it’s hard to believe, Cena’s last televised WWE victory came at 2018’s Greatest Royal Rumble event, when he defeated Triple H in a match that captivated the Saudi Arabian audience in attendance. Since that fateful night, he’s quietly racked up loss after loss – so we don’t blame him for thinking he doesn’t have what it takes to go knocking on The Rock’s door again just yet.
Speaking of Saudi Arabia – don’t forget that in just a few weeks, WWE presents Night of Champions where more history will be made in the form of a new World Heavyweight Champion being crowd.
And even though John Cena isn’t slated to appear on May 27, we wouldn’t be surprised to see multiple WWE Superstars using the memory of Cena’s last win as motivation during the historic event.
You can tune into Peacock to watch WWE's Night of Champions on May 27 and Money in the Bank on July 1. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.