Veteran WWE Superstar John Cena recently spoke with Collider and admitted that he's at a crossroads in his pro wrestling career as he continues to take time off for Hollywood.
Cena said he doesn't want to become something that he sees a lot in the sports entertainment industry - greedy. He spoke about his WWE career winding down and cited Mickey Rourke's "The Wrestler" movie from 2008.
"Dude, all this stuff is great, but if it all stops tomorrow, I'm still okay with me," Cena said. "I know the good things that define me and I know the qualities I have as a human being. I'm going to move on and go forward. I know that all this is borrowed. I'm just grateful to have it and grateful to be able to contribute. I don't want to be greedy as a performer and I see that a lot in sports entertainment.
"The movie The Wrestler was centered around a guy who can't let go. I'm being a s--tty human being because I can't let go of this thing. I invested my life in that company and then there's no one, whether they like my performance or not, that will argue that. I think after the extended period of time that I put in, it's okay for me to take a step back and reflect and be like, 'Okay, I need to have more than that in my life because if that's all that defines me, that's a depreciating asset.' Every sunset that happens, I get a little slower and a little older and a little slower and a little older and it's eventually going to end."
The future WWE Hall of Famer revealed that he's been having this conversation with himself for at least three years now. Cena said he has not ruled out a future of coaching and mentoring the younger generation of WWE Superstars.
"That's been three years of hard conversations with that dude looking back in the mirror and I'm at peace with where it's at," Cena revealed. "I want to contribute where I can. I've even talked about coaching or mentoring. Like I said, it's the environment I feel the most fluid, so I can sit down and talk to you about WWE as long as you want to talk, but what I don't want to do is take somebody who has spent 50 bucks on a ticket for themselves, their partner, their families, they bought souvenirs, they bought popcorn and paid for parking and have look at me like, 'He used to be something.' You know?"
Cena confirmed that he is now focused on his acting career, and admitted that his previous run at the movies failed because his heart wasn't in it, but it is now. He also talked about how demanding the WWE job is.
"The pay-per-views are so often and the engine never stops. It's a demanding profession," Cena said of WWE. "It really is a demanding profession. I think once you're there, you know the investment it takes to be there. Plus, I'm also really super passionate about this and it takes all of your heart and soul to be successful in that arena. It takes all of your heart and soul to be successful in this room. I tried to split them before in 2004, '05, '06 when I did all those movies for WWE. The movie thing failed because my heart wasn't in that. Now my heart is in this. I have to enjoy this and not long to be someplace else, not have that fear of missing out. As much as most of the people who tell me that I suck at the top of their lungs are like, "Man, you got to come back." I'm invested in this and I really am enjoying the ride."
As we've noted, 2019 marked the first year since 2002 that Cena did not work a WWE pay-per-view match. Cena has not wrestled since working a multi-man match during the January 14, 2019 RAW episode, but he did do the WrestleMania 35 angle with Elias. It was recently reported, via @Wrestlevotes, that Cena wants to do something significant this year at WrestleMania 36, more than just an appearance like he did with Elias in 2019. Cena lives in the Tampa area and it seems like this WrestleMania is a little more important to him, according to the report.
Stay tuned for updates on Cena's WWE future.