John Cena has achieved nearly every little thing there is to achieve in the WWE. He’s winner 24 championships (including 15 human being championships), headlined 5 WrestleManias, won the iconic royal Rumble, and also won the Money in the bank Ladder match. That course, he’s also the confront of the WWE and a global ambassador who’s assisted the company reach corners of the people it had actually never to be to before he arrived. 

Most recently, the Cenation leader has taken his talents to Hollywood (although he there is no made the complete leap choose his predecessor, The Rock), showing up in movies like Trainwreck and Sisters, and also the Fox series American Grit. He even hosted Saturday Night Live critical month and also will supposedly star in the 2018 comedy movie The Pact.

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The 39-year-old Cena has enjoyed an incredibly successful career—much to the displeasure that a big portion of the WWE Universe—but something he doesn’t receive sufficient credit for is his influence on style and sneaker culture in the civilization of sports-entertainment. Cena was one of the an initial wrestlers come ditch timeless wrestling boots and also compete in a pair of fresh sneakers. (Don't forget his Reebok Pumps.) 

We recently caught up with the many polarizing number the wrestling industry has ever seen to discuss his evolving ring style, just how outfits aid define WWE’s larger-than-life characters, and how among the toughest guys in the human being has a new partnership with few of the world's softest footwear: Crocs. Cena additionally dished on whether or no heels and also faces tho exist in the WWE, his desire to surpass Ric Flair in human being championship location reigns, and what the future holds for him. 

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Image via Crocs

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Why nothing we start with your partnership with Crocs. Just how did the come about? They’re launching a an excellent campaign dubbed “Come together You Are,” and also it’s centered roughly a person’s capability to attend to adversity and still remain true to oneself. I really nothing pat myself on the ago too often, yet man, i’ve made a life doing that. So ns was really happy come be chosen to be a component of it. Ns think that the message of what castle trying come say and also what I do on a day-to-day basis is precisely identical.

That’s great. And also you’ve likewise got a sneaker line v K-Mart referred to as Never offer Up. Tell me a tiny bit around that, and also how that involved fruition. The Never give Up sneaker line is youth only, and also it’s part of the entire Never provide Up heat at K-Mart. We’ve been tremendously successful this last few years kind of stretching the brand out, and also I truly think it’s because of the positive message we’re sending. The mantra behind Never offer Up is: No issue what you’re walking through, you basically just provide it your best and do the finest you can.

 


"JORDANS appeared TO it is in THE GO-TO THING, but THE PUMPS additionally HAD A PUMP IN THEM, and also I assumed THAT to be A really COOL THING."


This gets me into wrestling and also the WWE. You to be really among the an initial people come wear sneakers in the ring, or at the very least that I can remember. I recall girlfriend wearing those awesome Reebok Pumps ago in the day. How did you decision on those? was there a story behind them? There was. Ns was affected by hip-hop culture growing up as a young man. And me gift a Celtics fan, it was a real defining moment when Dee Brown supplied the pumps come pump self up and do the blindfold dunk. So ns really blended hip-hop’s affinity because that sneakers through my suffer as a young man, and also it was impressionable to me in ~ the time. Jordans seemed to it is in the go-to thing, but the Pumps also had a Pump in them, and also I believed that to be a yes, really cool thing. The Dee Brown Pump to be a different design than the original. The initial Pump sneaker to be enormous, and the Dee Brown Pumps, I thought they go a really good job top top the design. So ns took a chance and also wore castle in the ring. You remember it, therefore at the very least we got to one person. 

I notice much more guys nowadays like Enzo Amore and Kofi Kingston have actually been wearing new sneakers in the ring. Ns know Enzo wears a lot of of Jordans. Execute you think your sneaker style and also even just general format influenced any of the newer guys? That’s an extremely nice the you come say. I honestly think it’s simply an advancement of our industry. We’re so forward thinking in so many things. I guess I’m, I dislike to use an sector term, yet “out the the box” as soon as I think around stuff prefer this. The traditional wrestling uniform ns think is a little bit outdated, and also as all sports evolve, uniforms change. The NFL will embrace new helmet design, the NBA will adopt the uniform material. It alters all the time. WWE is ~ above the forefront of that, yet it’s also not. So ns think it’s just us capturing up from a advancement standpoint. We’re in an industry of definable characters, and also I’m spring at 4 pictures the myself and also one of lock looks like everyone else. And also then the various other three are incredibly definable. For this reason that’s constantly been kind of mine philosophy. Ns think you nothing necessarily need to go through the costume as long as yes a costume.

That’s yes, really interesting. Speaking of those photos, ns would like to talk about each that them because that a tiny while, if you don’t mind. Maybe you have the right to just phone call me a bit about each outfit.

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Image via WWE

The very first one is from mine debut in Chicago, and this goes to show… I obtained to be on television, but it was very unsuccessful and also you can see why. I’m wearing spandex and also taped wrists and also calf-high leather boots. I looked prefer everyone else. So without the capacity to speak, you loss in a category with everyone else. Nothing ns really did might have defined me differently.

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Image via WWE
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Image via WWE

You look at the following two photos that are an extremely urban-centered, hip-hop-centered. That was as soon as I began to develop identity with the WWE Universe. If friend look in ~ the an initial photo contrasted to the next two, the distinction in the an initial impression the you acquire if girlfriend don’t recognize who ns am—if over there was no a name, and you simply dropped those two images in former of someone—they would have much much more to say around the 2nd picture and also be able come identify and also relate come the second picture. And that’s absolutely what taken place with our audience.

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Image via WWE

Then the final picture is type of an development of what happens when you establish identity. A many times in our industry, world will kind an identity with the audience, but fail to evolve together characters. And it’s impressive that one of the biggest vital knocks against me is inability to evolve. However when you look at every these pictures spread out, the evolution has been slow and also steady and also deliberate. Now, ns at a suggest where prior to I was simply a wrestler in boots and also tights, and then ns was the white rapping kid. And also now, literally, I can stand the end in the WWE ring and be john Cena, and also that’s a very, very small group of folks who have the right to be someone that is really closely related to their yes, really selves.

Right. The image where you’re wearing the Brian Urlacher jersey, I believe that was during a street fight you had with Eddie Guerrero.It was. Yes.

That’s one of the an initial WWE matches I ever watched, and also I remember thinking it to be so cool. And also that yes, really helped attract me in.Thanks, man. Ns glad you took pleasure in it. As soon as again, i think the complement itself, if i asked friend for certain details, you may be able to give me a few. Yet we’re in the company of introducing and also defining characters, and also if i asked you who Eddie Guerrero was, you could give me a an excellent explanation. If ns asked friend then, who the hip-hop john Cena personality was, you could give me a great explanation. I think it is what’s memorable around the moments we have. Therefore many world who watch our product get recorded up in movement. I am much an ext in the college of character building and storytelling. Every one of our performers is very athletically gifted, but the ones that stand out from the ones that don’t find a way to affix with the audience ~ above an emotional level.

And outfits it seems to be ~ to be a big part, or at the very least a far-reaching part.The thing about outfit is the it’s something the can instantly define that you are. It’s a very good vehicle to automatically define that you are, and also I think as a whole, we can probably do far better in picking the means that few of the guys look.

You’ve achieved pretty much every little thing in WWE, it feels like. You’ve been the WWE Champion, the world Heavyweight Champ, tags Champ, U.S. Champ, headlined Wrestlemania many times. She a royal Rumble and Money in the financial institution winner. What else do you desire to attain in WWE?You recognize man, I’ve constantly looked at things a little different. Every those accolades are an excellent because they administer you through an outlet to simply know the your performance is do a difference. I’m no gonna say that championships room irrelevant. Okay stick come my firearms having won 15 championships. It certain as hell is in my eyesight to try to victory 16 just due to the fact that that puts you in a pretty upstream conversation through one other guy who had an illustrious career, and also that would be nice. But at the same time, I’m an extremely ecstatic the the imperial Rumble is in the Alamo Dome this year since now you have actually a 2nd stadium pay-per-view. I’d prefer to check out SummerSlam in a stadium. I’d favor to carry out a WrestleMania in Tokyo or in Shanghai or in London. These space the type of things I think about. Ns on the ground because that these shows and these tours, and I view the following. It would certainly be yes, really cool to it is in a component of taking these huge events and making them bigger. Or taking an already established gigantic event and also making it international.

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How around this though: stop say to do it the best WrestleMania ever, you have you vs. The Undertaker. I feel like wrestling The Undertaker in ~ WrestleMania is almost equivalent come a championship enhance or something also greater. How do friend feel around that prospect? Is the something you ever before think about?I can’t think around it since it’s the end of mine hands. The only thing that I deserve to do is carry out the ideal I can, and hope that my performance resonates. That’s the finest I have the right to do. And you’ll hear a lot of disdain and complaints in ~ our industry around people speculating on certain things and also it no happening. Ns don’t waste my time v it because it’s quite frankly out of mine hands.

You’ve remained in Parks and Rec, Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home, Sisters, American Grit, Total Divas, complete Bellas. I saw you to be a voice in one Avengers video clip game. And this has all come in the last two or 3 years, during a lot of which you’ve operated a pretty complete schedule in the WWE. So i’m curious, what room you gonna execute with all that time once you’re no wrestling permanent or not wrestling anymore? maybe be one NXT trainer or a GM? Or space there points in the entertainment people that you likewise still desire to accomplish?I’m very fortunate, and I know daily exactly exactly how lucky ns am to be on this journey. I’ve reached a allude where it’s just such a fortunate instance to have the ability to align myself v stuff I want to be affiliated in. A great example is this campaign. Ns literally new to the Crocs product, yet the message is something the resonated v me so strongly that ns was all in. I said: “I want to be component of this, ns think the Come together You Are campaign is miscellaneous that demands to happen. I think i’m the perfect human being to tell this message. Stop go. Let’s execute this.” Just opportunities like that. Yes sir a lot an ext stuff the comes across my plate that ns pass on since it’s simply not the right fit. So what will certainly I perform after it’s every done? I’ll develop that bridge as soon as I get to the water, man. Appropriate now, i’m firing on every cylinders. You had actually mentioned all the extracurricular activities, yet if girlfriend ask persons that execute watch the program—especially favor yourself—and have actually watched because that so long, i think 2014, 2015, and 2016 have actually been some of my finest years. Certainly, the brand-new talent has been a add to on that side, however with brand-new talent comes brand-new competition, and it’s one of those step up or action aside species of things, so i love that type of environment. And it’s really elevated my video game I think for the better. At 39, I’m not sure when the finish is, but I have the right to tell girlfriend it ain’t tomorrow. So ns still in mine friend.