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"Acted like a fan" - John Cena opens up about his early years in WWE

Cena admittedly wasn't ready when he started in WWE.
Cena admittedly wasn't ready when he started in WWE.
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Matt Black

John Cena learned many lessons from his early work in WWE.

Cena made his WWE debut on SmackDown on June 27, 2002, answering an open challenge from Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. While Cena lost the match, he went on to get respect from The Undertaker backstage following the matchup.

On a recent episode of WWE Playback, John Cena watched his WWE debut against Kurt Angle and his interaction with The Deadman afterward. It opened up a lot of thoughts from Cena regarding the beginning of his WWE career.

“Just doing what I was told in performances like that almost got me fired,” John Cena said. “I could see why ’cause you look at the audience, nobody cares. I guess looking back at it, I’m grateful for the moment, I’m grateful I debuted in such a historic arena with such an amazing performer [in Angle], but I’m also grateful it didn’t go well cause it taught me, especially when ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ character was introduced, I was neither ruthless nor aggressive. I was quite submissive, and passive, and acted like a fan, and I was.” [8:00 - 8:36]
.@JohnCena breaks down his unforgettable WWE debut against @RealKurtAngle from 20 years ago on #SmackDown in this #CenaMonth edition of WWE Playback. https://t.co/7NMVdZeZ1U

John Cena on the importance of standing out as a member of the WWE roster

Cena was particularly hard on himself for his interaction with The Undertaker following his match with Angle, stating he acted too much like a fan. That didn't make him come off as any different than anyone else:

“That’s okay, but you can’t do that there. You have to stand out,” John Cena continued. “You have to have a personality where somebody can attach to, and everybody would have done the exact same thing in my interaction with the Undertaker, whether they were a paying customer or backstage. Everybody would have done the same thing. So what does that make me different than anybody else? That stuff is nice, but it didn’t help at all.” [H/T: Thirsty For News]

To celebrate his 20th anniversary with WWE, Cena will appear on the June 27 episode of Monday Night RAW. He is reportedly scheduled to face Theory at SummerSlam on July 30.

The world is all around us, but we should never expect it to revolve that way.

It's impressive to see how Cena can be so critical of his own. Even though he wasn't thrilled with how things went, he turned everything into a positive learning experience. He proceeded to become one of the biggest WWE Superstars of all time.


We just asked The Shockmaster about Vince McMahon's retirement here

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Edited by Ken Cameron
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