John Cena has discussed what the process leading up to his match with Austin Theory was like, including revealing that everything he told the young star on-screen he also said backstage first.
The opening to the first night of WrestleMania 39 saw Austin Theory defend his United States Championship against John Cena. During the weeks prior to the event, the 16-time champion spent his promo time heavily criticising Theory’s position in the company and the fake crowd noise WWE impose for him.
Now, speaking to Sam Roberts on Not Sam Wrestling, Cena has stated that Theory was very easy to work with from a creative point of view.
“Austin is great and easy to work with. We wrote that together. He was in every step of the process. There comes a point where sometimes people need creative solitudes so they’re like, ‘I’m going to go away and write my thing, come back, run it by you, and see if it’s okay.’ Then, there are some guys who are like, ‘see you out there.’ I can dress for weddings or funerals, just tell me what color suit to wear. I respect everyone’s process. I do know, that from all my experience, if you do not have something to care about, you do not have something. My job is to make them care. This is not a process I just do with Austin Theory,”-John Cena
Later in the interview, Cena discussed his seemingly harsh approach to the Theory feud, stating that everything he said to the US Champion on-screen was said to him privately and cleared for TV.
“That’s what I love about WWE. Fans can see through the BS if you don’t believe in your character. It’s what I said to Austin Theory. ‘You are young, you are athletic, you will work for this company, you will do interviews. I don’t believe what you do when you’re out there. I don’t.’ I said it to him personally before I said it to him publicly. I’m serious. In a room, with Austin Theory, I said, ‘The reason I came back to Boston is because you can’t do this yourself yet. You cannot carry a WrestleMania promo yourself yet. If you fail, we waste the equity that I’m willing to give. In that match, if I get hurt, I hold up production, which puts 300 people out of work. Let’s do this right. Let’s get some equity here.’ Then you start thinking about the angles, what’s the most important thing, what’s our story? ‘I don’t believe what you do,’ that’s what I’m going with,”-John Cena
John Cena hasn’t appeared on WWE TV since his April 1 loss to Theory, previously claiming that his body is unable to compete at the highest level frequently these days. As for Theory, the 25-year-old remains the United States Champion and is seemingly setting up a feud with Sheamus after the Irishman attacked him on the last edition of SmackDown.
As always, we’ll aim to provide any updates on both Austin Theory and John Cena as we hear more.
H/T to Fightful for the transcription.