Cena, while talking at Florida Supercon, allayed fears that fans have had about WWE making changes to Superstar names. He stated that he too underwent a name and gimmick change at the start of his career, which worked in his favor.
"I know there’s a lot of news headlines about, ‘Oh, they’re changing performers names and forcing them to have a new personality.’ I can assure you guys that this has been this way since the dawn of time and it happened to me. I went from having a personality and having an identity and having a following to getting my haircut, changing my look and throwing me out there with my real name and I was just told to be a good guy and I had no idea what that meant and it almost led to me getting fired," said John Cena. (H/T Post Wrestling)
The West Newbury native believes that he wouldn't be in the position that he is now if he hadn't adopted the rapping character that he had at the start of his WWE career.
John Cena's Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick in WWE
A few months after his debut, John Cena expanded his character to include rapping. The Doctor of Thuganomics, as he liked to call himself, was initially a heel character which he used for the first few years of his WWE career.
The 16-time world champion revealed that him freestyle rapping during a WWE tour led to the company's management telling him to embrace the gimmick, saving his WWE career.
He has brought the gimmick back from time to time, most recently at WrestleMania 35, when he confronted Elias.
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