John Cena On His WWE Future: “I Think I Can Make It To 50″

(Photo Credit: WWE)

John Cena joined Howard in SiriusXM’s Miami studios to discuss everything from his rocky road to WWE fame to his big screen versatility as both a comedic actor, starring in “Ricky Stanicky,” and a skull-smashing action hero in films like “Fast X” and “The Peacemaker.” When it came to his infamous feud with another iconic wrestler turned actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Cena was more concerned with mending fences.

“It became a real feud between you and The Rock?” Howard asked him.

“Oh my god, yeah,” John responded. “To me, it was [like], ‘I’m going to jab this guy because I have nothing to lose. I have all the leverage … My angle came from the fact that he was openly saying, ‘I love the W.W.E.’ And I was like, ‘Man, if you love it, why aren’t you here?’ What a stupid thing [of me] to say,” he continued, adding, “I’m so sorry because he had a lot to lose.”

“I can sit across from you now and say I love the W.W.E., but ‘Smackdown’ is in two days and I’m not going to be there,” he told Howard, adding, “And now I have to eat a bunch of shit and say, ‘Fuck, I was wrong, I’m sorry.’”

Cena and The Rock grew further and further apart ahead of Wrestlemania in 2012, but in the end it was the work they did preparing to fight each other that saved their relationship. “He is so professional and so meticulous … and so we incorporated every one of his great ideas into the match. Even the very end, where I get too cocky and ended up losing,” Cena recounted, saying that after losing cleanly to The Rock in the ring he apologized both to The Rock and his family.

Now the two are good friends. “I text him all the time. He will send me voice messages and he will send me texts,” John said. “He truly is in a universe of his own … and now, having to try to tread in some of his wake, I see exactly how difficult some of that is—and I’m not even one hundredth of his level.”

John Cena on retiring from the WWE:

“I think I can make it to 50, but I don’t think I can make it past 50,” John said. “I think that at 50 — if we don’t plan [another event] — I just have to tweet: ‘I’m out. Hashtag: see ya.’”

“Everyone wants to write their last chapter, but that’s beyond my control,” he continued.

“That’s weird, right?” Howard asked.

“That’s okay. That’s how it happens,” Cena replied. “Man, I’ve had two decades with them.”

Co-host Robin Quivers was surprised by his response. “You could do this for another 10 years. I don’t think this is the end,” she told Cena. “You look great.”

John laughed. “It’s just how you feel afterward that’s tough,” he said.

John Cena on playing a mermaid in ‘Barbie’:

I read the script … I tried my hardest to be in the movie … and [‘Barbie’ star] Margot [Robbie] said, ‘We will make you a mermaid. You’ll be in it for half a day,’” Cena recalled before revealing his agency actually advised him against taking the role. “I said, ‘Yeah, sure,’ but I think the perspective from an agency standpoint was ‘this is beneath you.’”

“Their guidance [was] … trickle-down economics from this might take you out of these lead lap spots, and I get all that, but I’ve always operated under the philosophy that good work gets you another chance,” he concluded.

John Cena on going naked on ‘Trainwreck’:

“Do you have to walk out on the set fully nude?” Howard wondered.

“[There’s] a spandex sock that tapes … to your perineum,” he told Howard before explaining that Schumer and director Judd Apatow were considerate of his privacy and cleared the room so he would be comfortable filming mostly naked.

Ultimately, however, Cena didn’t mind the onlookers. “I don’t care,” Cena laughed of being naked. “I think the more comfortable you can be with it, the more you lose yourself in a scene.”

Cena didn’t have his mind set on becoming a movie star before appearing in “Trainwreck,” but he admitted both the physical wear and tear of wrestling and having to play the same character for years on end left him eager to find a secondary outlet for his creative energy. “I still love [wrestling] — that’s why I go back, but then somebody gives you an opportunity [like ‘Trainwreck’] and says, ‘Hey, do you want to play this weird, awkward, naked guy?’ ‘Fuck yeah, that sounds great, let’s do it.’”

John Cena on meeting his wife:

In 2019, Cena went into a Vancouver restaurant to watch his beloved New England Patriots battle the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl and he left having met the love of his life. “I wasn’t looking but damn, man, it just found me,” John said of meeting his now-wife, Shay Shariatzadeh.

“I didn’t even know [the game] was over,” he told Howard before admitting he was too scared to approach Shay at first. “I get up to leave and one of her friends comes over and was like, ‘Can I get a picture?’ And finally, I got the nuts to be like, ‘Only if I can get that girl’s number.’”

“I left the restaurant and, on my walk home I was like, ‘Man, it was so nice to meet you, you’re beautiful – I’d like to get to know you more. If you have any free time coming up, I’ll make time for you.’”

Cena took a similar approach a year later when it was time to propose. In Panama filming “The Suicide Squad,” the actor was to meet Shay in San Diego on Valentine’s Day, where he was going to pop the question at an ocean-view restaurant. “I had this whole plan,” he recalled. “We’ve got the ocean, and the sunset, and [I] want to make sure there’s flowers there and [it’s] perfect.”

Instead, with the ring burning a hole in his pocket, John wound up proposing at home a day early. “We’re kind of just in the living room in the beginning of the day and goddamn did we have the most open and vulnerable conversation,” John remembered before noting that he asked to continue the chat over a cup of coffee outside. “I blew all the special plans and I just said, ‘Hey, there’s no better moment’ … it just happened right there. No special pomp and circumstance, just a ‘Hey, I would love to spend the rest of my life with you.’”

“Ricky Stanicky” arrives March 7 on Amazon Prime Video.

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John Cena Almost Turned Down His Role in “Barbie”:

Why John Cena Decided to Live in His Car:

John Cena Shares His WWE Retirement Plans:

John Cena on Being Nude in “Trainwreck” and Deciding to Become an Actor:

John Cena Got Beat Up Every Day as a Kid:

How a Patriots Game Helped John Cena Meet His Wife: