Despite being one of AEW's founders and the face of the promotion throughout its first year, many fans had turned on The American Nightmare by the end of his run with the company. The polarizing reactions he received in his last months were riminiscent of those directed at John Cena throughout his career.
In a recently uploaded video on WWE's YouTube channel, The American Nightmare claimed that he and Cena spoke to one another when a huge portion of AEW fans started chanting things like 'Cody sucks'.
According to Rhodes, the multi-time world champion told him to follow his heart and do what he felt suited him the most:
"Best advice John Cena ever gave me, twofold. The first thing was rather recently, I was going through a polarizing time in my career. We were getting for the first time in my career a 'Let's go Cody, Cody sucks' type thing and he very eloquently told me to be honest with myself, as to why a crowd would react that way. Look in the mirror, and if you feel you're doing the right thing, keep doing it." [0:37-1:06]
Rhodes also revealed that Cena gave him practical advice on how to respond to fans:
"Second piece of advice is that the crowd starts making any noise, in any capacity, they start clapping their hands, they start stomping their feet. They want you to fight back, something, then you have to reward them." [1:07-1:18]
Watch Cody Rhodes and other WWE stars speak about John Cena below:
WWE US Champion Theory believes he could be in for a SummerSlam clash against John Cena
Despite appearing only sporadically for WWE these days, John Cena is still a bucket list opponent for many WWE Superstars. Near the top of that list is reigning United States Champion Theory, who has already been compared to Cena several times despite his youth.
The US Champion recently told New York Post in an interview that he believes a match between him and Cena could be on the books for this year's SummerSlam:
"Looking back, I mean, at the career he has had. He is the greatest WWE Superstar of all time because he won 16 WWE world titles. He is the only one to do that. Ric Flair won world titles in other companies. John Cena has done it only in the WWE, and that's what makes him stand out."
It remains to be seen if Cena will make his return to WWE later this year after a year-long absence from the company.
If you use quotes from this article, please credit WWE's YouTube channel and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription.