In an era where the line between “good” and “bad”—or, in this case, “face” and “heel”—has been blurred beyond recognition, professional wrestling provides a microcosm of our often ambiguous existence as we experience it. And while most of us aren’t likely to end up on the receiving end of a “Pedigree,” “RKO” or “F-U,” when bad things happen to us, we all feel the pain.
Former WWE Champion John Cena sure has. During a match with Mr. Kennedy on the October 1, 2007 episode of “RAW,” Cena suffered a torn pectoral muscle while executing a hip toss. Though he finished the match and withstood an attack by Randy Orton after the match, surgery the following day found that his pectoralis major muscle was torn completely from the bone, requiring seven months to a year of rehabilitation. As a result, he was stripped of the title, as announced by WWE Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon on the next night’s episode of “ECW,” ending what was the longest WWE Championship reign in over 19 years.
Nonetheless, Cena remained as effervescent as always, and made his return to the squared circle (months ahead of schedule), on January 27, as the final participant of the Royal Rumble, winning the event when he eliminated Triple H. Then, on the February 18 edition of RAW, Cena defeated Orton, the current WWE Champion, in a non-title match to earn a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship between him, Orton and Triple H at WrestleMania XXIV, to take place on March 30, 2008 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. As you’ll see, throughout everything, Cena has remained as genuine and real as always, never pulling his punches.
DUB: Since the last time you were in DUB, what changes have you gone through?
John Cena: Before, I wasn’t exactly noticed. So, in an attempt to get noticed, I tried to be as loud and obnoxious as I could with excessive jewelry, excessive modifications to vehicles and excessive vehicles, for that matter. Now, I’ve kind of let people accept me for me, and I really dig muscle cars, and I’m still loud and obnoxious but in a much different way.