Jim Ross recalls John Cena match where they had to 'stretch their creativity to make it halfway decent'
- JR was not happy with John Cena taking the loss in this match!
- Jim Ross did praise John Cena for taking the loss and called him a 'team player'.
On a recent episode of the Grillin' JR podcast, Jim Ross talked about John Cena's match on the first Monday Night RAW of 2007 on New Year's day, where he faced rapper Kevin Federline. With a little help from Umaga, K-Fed beat John Cena in the middle of the ring, much to the surprise and anger of the WWE Universe.
On his podcast, Jim Ross recalled that he wasn't too pleased on the day as Vince McMahon denied him a day off to watch his hometown side Oklahoma Sooners take on Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. He said that this was the only time in his 26 years with WWE that he had ever asked for an off-day, to which Vince replied with an 'an emphatic no'.
Jim Ross on John Cena taking the loss to K-Fed
Jim Ross praised John Cena for being a team player and taking a loss to a celebrity with 'no athletic skills and pro wrestling training'. (H/T Wrestling Inc. for transcription)
"It pi**ed me off, as usual and I didn't react well to it. We really had to stretch our creativity on making the match halfway decent. John Cena goes on live, no pretape, no editing, no s--t, with this guy who had no athletic skills, no pro wrestling training and doing it in a main event role on live television. Team player: John Cena.
"If I was held back to do a big match, like Cena vs. somebody strong I would've looked at it differently but it was a gimmick and Vince really believed we'd get a number. At the end of the day I probably did okay because I didn't have to suffer through that loss standing on the sidelines, but the Federline deal was well thought out and well planned. No different than Gronk being at WrestleMania. Has Gronk been a big part of the programming since WrestleMania? He ain't never going to be an everyday wrestler, is he going to commit like he did football? Unlikely. We never heard from Federline again."
At the time, Kevin Federline was married to American Popstar Britney Spears and WWE wanted to garner as much mainstream attention with the involvement of K-Fed. John Cena, as a result, had to be the fall guy as he was the face of WWE at the time and him taking a loss would have gotten everyone talking.