ESPN.com’s Jon Robinson has a new interview online with John Cena. Below is an excerpt:
You’re facing The Rock at WrestleMania in what’s now the “Twice in a Lifetime” main event. Why should fans be excited to see this rematch?
This WrestleMania is much different. The reason the whole “Once in a Lifetime” perception started is because the WWE Universe and everybody inside WWE thought the same thing: We thought The Rock would be back for this one match and then he’d be gone. But despite being this huge movie star, The Rock said, “I’m not leaving, I’m staying,” and that really gave me a ray of hope that I’d get another shot. This match is for the WWE Championship, and he debuted a new WWE title a few weeks ago that was made specifically to help define his legacy. He wants to defend this belt at WrestleMania, and I have nothing to lose this year. This match is going to be something special.
So if you win, are you bringing back the spinner belt the next night on Raw?
No, no. I like the change in the championship belt. The championship needed to be changed. It took the right set of circumstances, and I really, really want to be the one to take that belt off of him. Believe me, I know how special that championship is to The Rock, and for me mentally, it’s situations like being the one who could take that custom belt away from him, that’s one of the things that makes this rematch both different and better than last year. It’s about that championship, and me being the one who wants to take it from him. The Rock has so much to lose this year.
When you held the belt, your whole motto was: The Champ is here. Is there resentment backstage with The Rock being the champ and essentially not being here on Raw for weeks at a time?
No, because that was my whole base of resentment last year. I really thought he was coming back for maybe a yearlong campaign to remind people, “Hey guys, I have some new movies coming out,” and he wanted to let the WWE fan base know that he was still around. But he came back, he stayed back, and he’s competing. Even if he’s not on every Monday Night Raw, you have to understand, this guy is the most driven individual I know. The fact that he can do what he can do and still compete in the ring — go film a commercial, go film five movies, go film a TV show and then come back and not leave WWE on the back burner, but still be the champion — it’s admirable. He’s doing more for WWE by trying to do both those things at once and being on Raw some of the time, than focusing on WWE and being there 100 percent of the time. Just like I have my critics, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has critics, and I was one of the biggest “Hey man, you’re never here” guys around, but not anymore. He’s completely committed to WWE.
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