During John Cena's second reign as WWE United States Champion, he engaged in a gripping best-of-five series against veteran Booker T. The thrilling culmination of their feud took place at No Mercy 2004, where Cena emerged victorious, retaining his title.
However, the following week, Cena shockingly dropped the championship to the debuting Carlito, setting off a chain of events that would leave the WWE Universe buzzing with controversy. In a daring and dramatic twist, Cena's character was brutally attacked in a Boston nightclub by Carlito's menacing bodyguard, Jesús.
The stabbing incident left Cena incapacitated, and he was subsequently written off WWE programming for an entire month. As fans grappled with the shocking development, it was revealed that the attack was a "worked injury" crafted to grant Cena time off to film his highly anticipated WWE Studios debut, "The Marine."
New Jack Considered as Cena's Attacker
Adding fuel to the fire, wrestling legend New Jack claimed years ago that WWE had approached him to play the role of Cena's assailant.
On the recent "Something to Wrestle" podcast, WWE veteran Bruce Prichard confirmed these discussions, shedding light on the creative brainstorming that took place. However, Prichard explained that despite New Jack's intriguing potential for controversy, his reputation for unpredictability deterred the decision-makers from committing fully to the idea.
Even Paul Heyman, who had a long history with New Jack during their time in ECW, was hesitant about bringing in the polarizing figure, questioning the potential ramifications of such a decision. Amidst the aftermath of Cena's shocking title loss, Prichard defended the booking decision, emphasizing that Cena's popularity and connection with the WWE fanbase were growing remarkably strong.
Cena's "Teflon coating," as Prichard put it, ensured that his standing in the company would endure regardless of wins or losses. Instead, WWE saw an opportunity to catapult a fresh talent like Carlito into the spotlight by having him defeat one of the promotion's biggest stars.
Ultimately, while undeniably intriguing, WWE's decision to pass on New Jack as Cena's attacker showcased the company's priority to balance controversy with responsible storytelling. The unpredictable nature of New Jack's persona, coupled with concerns from key figures within the organization, led to the idea being set aside to maintain a more controlled and constructive narrative.
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