John Cena has been essentially unchanged for the past decade. The undisputed top star of WWE first gained his immense popularity when he burst onto the scene as a foulmouthed rapper, but now we know him as an uptight homeowner and burgeoning movie star who isn’t much longer for the world of wrestling. Still, though: what triggered the transformation from battle rapper to troops-lover? It turns out the answer involved more than just him starring in The Marine.
We already know how Cena originally came up with the character that rocketed him into megastardom, but in a new interview with ESPN, the Face that Runs the Place talks about why he eventually dropped it. And the answer is maybe more blunt than we expected: he got old, and didn’t want to risk looking like a poseur or an out-of-touch fogey.
“To me, there was definitely some method behind it. Hip-hop certainly is in sync with the youth and every day that passes I grow less youthful, as much as I have tried to hold onto it. I knew that the platform really wouldn’t be indicative of success. I knew [the PG format] would just drastically change the style and almost cripple the character so I was the one proactively who said ‘no’ and said ‘I would like to take everything another way.'”
It’s pretty interesting that instead of being an old, inauthentic hip-hop guy, he instead became a straightlaced, uptight goody-goody. I mean, that’s a look that NEVER goes out of style, but it’s interesting that his age influenced his decision. Ever since becoming the modern Cena that we all know and are whatever about, he’s seemed like a 70-year-old guy who occasionally makes poop and dog balls jokes.
To thine own self be true, I guess.