John Cena appearances on WWE programming are few and far between nowadays, but the former WWE Champion spent many years working as the face of the company. As Cena’s in-ring career started to wind down everyone wondered who the next John Cena would be.
Sami Zayn recently talked about his early days in NXT during an appearance on the After The Bell podcast, and he revealed that WWE officials told up and coming wrestlers that they shouldn’t be with the company if they didn’t want to be the next John Cena.
“I remember when I got to WWE, it was NXT or something like that, it was very much the mentality of, ‘you should be furious that you’re here. You should want to get out of here. You should want to get on the road. Everyone around you is your enemy, they are all vying for your spot. This is a competition. You have to be the best to get out of here. If you don’t want to be the best, you shouldn’t even work here.’ I remember a line something to the extent of, ‘If you don’t want to be the next John Cena, you shouldn’t even be here.’
I remember hearing that and being completely [mouth agape]. ‘What? This is insanity.’ Let’s just say we’re in a room with 100 people, let’s just say the next John Cena is in this room. There’s only one, so the other 99 people in this room should be miserable at all times trying to aspire to be that person? What kind of insanity is that?”
While there’s only one John Cena there’s no denying that a number of Superstars, including Sami Zayn, have been able to make a name for themselves in WWE. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens main evented WrestleMania and both seem to be in a position to be featured as top stars for years to come.