John Cena is one of the most popular WWE superstars of all time. He recently spoke about how he got into weight lifting. John Cena did not actually want to be a professional wrestler. He actually wanted to be a bodybuilder, however, he couldn’t make it very far into the sport.
That is when he received an opportunity to work for the WWE. He shared how he got into bodybuilding on Buzzfeed. He also revealed how he got into pop culture.
John Cena Speaks About How He got Into Weight Lifting
“This all started for me back in 1989, as Chuck D would say,” Cena said.
“You wouldn’t guess it by how I’m dressed now, but I dressed a little different as a kid. Rap music was becoming extremely popular – Beastie Boys and Run DMC, NWA, I was from another area of the world (Massachusetts) that didn’t care about that, but I did.
I loved the rebellious nature of the message. I wasn’t going through any of that struggle but I really liked this loud, brash approach and the music just spoke to me. “So I began to be immersed in rap and hip-hop culture, and for that, in an area of the world that wasn’t so immersed, I got my ass kicked every single day, and the core of the abuse was just, ‘Hey, dress like all of us!’.
And I think at a young age, instead of folding, I doubled down and went even more ridiculous to get even more of my ass kicked. So, as a way to defend myself, I asked my father for a home gym. This was at 12 or 13. My grandfather convinced him, and I got it for Christmas, began working out Christmas Day and here we are 32 years later, and I haven’t stopped”.
He then revealed how he incorporated his love for hip hop into his WWE career. “I followed WWF in the 80s and as a young kid and I did not get into sports entertainment with any idea that I would ever make it to the WWE,” John Cena revealed.
“I just really wanted to do it, so even doing small shows at flea markets, in Los Angeles, in Northern California, Tijuana, if there were 5 people there and a ring, I was probably there. It was a way for me to justify my 9-to-5 existence so I could enjoy a weekend hobby.
The toughest thing for anyone in entertainment is to somehow find a way to captivate an audience. You have to create a personality for yourself and invest in that personality and hope that people get it. And my character was The Prototype – half man, half machine, and 100% fucking rotten.
It was so bad, but I was invested in it and it was enough to catch the eye of a scout to send me to Kentucky, so I got to be an understudy of one of their prominent performers, and then I made it to WWE and the first thing they said was drop The Prototype, cut your hair, and be a good guy.
“So, I debuted as John Cena – the most stale, un-entertaining character you could imagine, and was just about to be fired after a year and a half of me trying to connect with the audience, and on what was supposed to be one of my last tours… when we go overseas we all travel together, and in the back of the bus people were freestyle battling, and I remember, I just went back and joined in, and in the front of the bus, the WWE Creative department.
A few people were like, ‘Hey, how did you remember all that?’ I’m like, ‘Well, the concept behind freestyle rap is, you just kinda think on your feet.’ And they’re like, ‘Well, would you want to do that on TV?’ Yes, I would, and it really gave me a chance to invest in my costuming, mannerisms, delivery, personality.
I’m not the most technically proficient guy, I’m not the biggest aerial performer, but I really love the make-believe aspect, really genuinely do, and the story-telling aspect”.