When a group of WWE rookies survived season 1 of the game show version of NXT and invaded Raw in one of the coolest and most violent moments in the show’s history, they were positioned to be the next big thing in wrestling. The group featured future WWE stars like Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, Ryback, Darren Young and others, so it made sense. Then, by SummerSlam, the group was a joke. They lost an elimination tag match to a team led by John Cena, who took a DDT on a cement floor and still eliminated two of them by himself. Nobody took them seriously again, and the group eventually fizzled out with even more help from John.
Our friends at Wrestling Inc. shared this clip of the “An Evening with John Cena” Q&A in Australia this summer, featuring Cena discussing the controversial booking decision and whether or not he regrets making an entire faction of young talent look like cold boogers on a paper plate.
Here’s his response. Two spoilers:
1. it’s not actually an answer, and
2. the last line is infuriating
“This has been a topic of debate amongst really hardcore WWE fans for quite some time because it is their sentiment that I should have lost that match … Why did I win that match? Because that is what we did. It’s difficult for me to blur the lines on this… but I show up to work and do what I’m told. I will give you the gratification of this: I don’t pick how the story is told, I get told that. But I do pick what goes on in the story.
“In that particular moment, it was too much. I think if presented in another way, it could have been a little more palatable. But I can’t change the television show, I’ve never had that power and that’s something I don’t do. If you look at a laundry list of my opponents, you can tell that it’s exactly how I operate. I guessed wrong on the way that the story was told, and I guess that’s why people are so up-in-arms about it. But we tell so many stories. I was wrong once.”
Again, brother took a DDT on concrete and got up to eliminate the two best guys in the group by himself. Cena was wrong more than once during that finish. Also, does anyone attending the Evening With John Cena question and answer session think John Cena can’t speak up and change the television show? I feel like John Cena could tell Vince McMahon, “John Cena should have a dragon,” and by Monday dude would be shoulderblocking folks from dragonback.
Please join us at any point for the remainder of our lives for sore opinions about how the Nexus was booked.