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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: E&C Pod of Awesomeness w/ John Cena on his biggest issue with Roman Reigns, wrestlers being complacent, why he has never wrestled The Undertaker at WrestleMania (Ep. 26)

Daniel Bryan interview

Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap – With John Cena 

Release Date: September 22, 2017

Recap By: Jeff Indelicato

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)

  • The feud between Cena & Edge in 2006 was supposed to be much shorter than what it ended up being.
  • For Cena, it’s not just about promoting yourself in a match, but building on your opponent’s strengths as well. You have to adapt to everyone’s style.
  • John felt that A.J. Styles wasn’t given a proper chance when he first debuted to showcase his strengths.
  • Cena feels that when wrestlers transition to the main roster, there can be difficulty adjusting because you have to communicate to a mainstream audience.
  • Cena’s biggest issue with Roman Reigns is his lack of ability to communicate with an audience.
  • Cena would like to see more passion and motivation from many current wrestlers on the roster.
  • While he is not planning on retiring anytime soon, Cena does feel that he is entering a new stage in his career and is winding down.

“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)

Show Introduction 0:00-12:50

Edge kicks off the show and is jetlagged and tired, as he is on travel to shoot the next season of Vikings.

The boys then take the opportunity to pay respects to Bobby Heenan, who passed away this past week. Christian talks about how he grew up loving to hate him, and how much of a great all-around performer Bobby was. In his mind, he was the best manager ever.

Edge adds that the term “best” is so subjective, but Heenan was definitely his favorite. Not only was he great on the microphone, but he could work, and was a one of a kind talent. I completely agree, and loved “The Brain.” I loved him on commentary and enjoyed him getting frantic if one of his wrestlers was close to losing a championship. It’s been said in many articles, but check out his commentary during the Royal Rumble in 1992. Summerslam 1991 and WrestleMania 8 are also worth your time.

Back to Edge being on travel, he mentions how tough it is to leave his family. When doing it regularly, you get used to it, but when it stops, you sort of develop an anxiety about it. However, he loves having the creative outlet to still get to perform and act, which ultimately makes him a better dad because it presents the best version of him. He gives props to those in the WWE who still travel full-time, and are able to have a family, as it can be tough. Christian adds that this was the reason why he and his wife waited to have a family with him closer to retirement, so that he could be around more.

E&C have gotten a few emails from people that mention that the podcast is helping them forget about some of their everyday problems and providing a distraction from some personal issues. They give a shout out to those people and are happy to provide some entertainment for them.

Ad for Morgan Spurlock’s new Podcast 12:50 – 13:10

Ad for Me Undies 13:10 – 15:00

Ad for Sun Basket 15:00 – 16:10

Interview with John Cena 16:10 – 1:15:30

We return with the Stone Cold Impersonator, who sings John Cena’s theme, and this leads into our phone interview with Big Match John. Edge didn’t realize that Cena never does podcasts. John says that it’s not that he doesn’t do pods, he just rarely gets asked. He says that it’s nice to have someone to talk to.

Edge says that he and John used to refer to each other as “Shoe” because every time they wrestled, it was like putting on an old, comfortable shoe. John elaborates that it’s like a pair that you just love and wouldn’t throw away because they just feel right. Every time they wrestled they never missed a step and it was truly a pleasure. Edge notes that originally, their feud was not supposed to go very long in 2006; however, they took that as a challenge, since they both had something to prove. John states there’s nothing better than proving somebody wrong in an instance like that.

Edge remembers going to West Newbury to film the segment where he slapped John’s Dad, had some pizza at a local restaurant, and then went to face John in a match at live event with some food poisoning. They talk about how John Cena, Sr. was so excited to be a part of the angle, to which John mentions that due to his Dad’s boisterous personality, the performance was interesting to say the least.

Edge is wondering if A.J. Styles is now John’s “shoe” as their matches were really good. Christian adds that their chemistry was similar to the one with Edge. He mentions how some fans feel Cena is not a good wrestler, but he is, and it’s just that he’s not conventional.

Because of Styles’ talent, did John have something to prove? Cena says that A.J. was a culmination of performers the company had hired with special in-ring talent, mentioning such wrestlers as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and other independent wrestlers. For him, it’s about assessing your opponent’s style. Yes, he needs to showcase himself, but he also needs to showcase what the opponent has as well. For example, his matches against Styles and Kevin Owens had more technicality, while other matches against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman were different. He felt that when A.J. first debuted, he wasn’t really given a proper chance, and John wanted to showcase those skills because he knew that A.J. was super good. He adds that this is not a knock on Chris Jericho, as he is one of his favorites. John just wants to be the best chameleon that he can be.  

Going back to the unconventionality of Cena, Christian states that wrestling doesn’t have to be pretty to be effective. Cena agrees and says that we all gravitate to wrestling for different reasons. Some are fans of technical execution. Personally, he is drawn to the storytelling.

Edge felt that when A.J. first debuted and started working with Chris Jericho, he was still getting his feet wet. Yes, he and many wrestlers have made names for themselves in other great companies such as TNA, ROH, & New Japan, but to truly make a name for yourself, it’s in the WWE, which comes with an extra bundle of responsibilities & nerves. John agrees, and talks about how even NXT is a different animal than Raw and Smackdown. Being on the main roster, you need to have the skills to tell those stories to the general public, and not just the wrestling fan who will always tune in, which in his mind is the biggest challenge that most wrestlers face.

John understands that sometimes the hardcore wrestling audience gets upset about how a wrestler is used when he debuts from outside of the company or even from NXT; however, it’s because they have an inability to grasp what’s going on inside that huge structure and that the audience has now gotten bigger. There are some who don’t make it and there are others who figure it out. To use film making as an example, the other companies are Independent/Specialty movies, and the WWE is an Avengers movie.

Edge talks about his recent feelings on Shinsuke Nakamura and how it appears that he’s been struggling. After the matches against John & Orton, it looks like he’s finally getting there. Cena says with a character like Shinsuke, you need to explain what the interesting thing about him is. He loves his entrance, and to take it up a level, there really isn’t anyone on the roster with a bad skill set. But, who are these guys? Shinsuke is different and interesting; however, the longer he’s on TV, he’s going to have to tell the audience who he is.

Christian adds that you can only elevate yourself from an in-ring perspective so much, and then you have to build that character, which many lose sight of and aren’t willing to take a chance. John says that the amount of complacency is staggering. The wrestlers are so gifted and there’s never been a better time to make a name for yourself in the WWE with Raw, Smackdown, all of the PPV’s, and the content on the Network. He just doesn’t get it. He talks about not being afraid to feel the audience, and mentions his recent promos against Roman, where if he felt something, he was going to say it. That’s the type of attitude that got him to where he’s at.

Edge agrees, and adds that you have to have a relationship with Vince McMahon. He tells the story of how a week before he was supposed to cash in his first Money in the Bank contract, he went to him, and told him that facing someone in a planned, normal match wouldn’t be very heelish. From that point forward, their relationship grew and they began bouncing ideas of each other. Cena says that the great thing about Vince is that he will explain everything. There are many guys who get told something and get upset and don’t do anything about it. He’d ask why, and get a better understanding of the bigger picture. Christian says that it can be nerve-wracking, but even if you get shot down when questioning a decision it shows that you both care. Cena actually doesn’t understand why it would be nerve-wracking to go up to Vince, other than being afraid of getting fired, but the company is actually holding on to a lot of more guys and wants to keep them on the roster, so it’s a good time to do these things.  

Moving on to his feud with Roman Reigns, Edge mentions it was the best set of promos that Roman has done yet and that he was able to tap into who he really is. John says that every time he goes out there, it’s real emotion and he’s obsessed with storytelling, which leads him to what his biggest problem with Roman is; that is Reigns’ lack in ability to communicate with the audience. Socially, he’s a great guy, and Cena knows it’s there, but no one has had the guts to bring it out of him.

When they first started their promos, John made the decision that he was going to rip him until Reigns finally said “enough.” He thinks that he’s getting there, and the promo against him from last week was brilliant. In his opinion, you could see it in his eyes that he felt what he was saying. There is an edge between them because Reigns’ is the next up-and-comer and John is going to hold on to what he has. Yes, this is Roman’s best work so far, but it’s going to be a tougher task in front of him once their feud is over. If someone’s going to take his spot, they’re going to have to work for it, and won’t just have it handed to them.

John says that the environment for him making it in the company was very different. He was not a chosen one, and when he debuted, he had to contend with Brock Lesnar, Dave Batista, and Randy Orton, who were all more favored. He found out early on that either he needed to show something, or eventually be released. He didn’t have things automatically given to him and had to actively pursue creativity. That being said, he does feel we need those favored blue chippers, because that’s how the company builds future stars; however, they still need to have that fire and passion.

He felt at a certain time that if the gimmick change to the Doctor of Thuganomics hadn’t happened, he would have been released. He references how the WWE used to have mass talent downsizing after WrestleMania every year. A wrestler fought for his time, and if wasn’t identifiable, then he would be gone, as there was always something else. He was given an opportunity when he first debuted, and was even endorsed by Kurt Angle & Chris Jericho, but he didn’t take it to the next level. When you start from the bottom, you earn every single moment, and he attacks the day like someone is on his heels, which he wishes more of the wrestlers did.

Edge wants to know why he never wrestled The Undertaker at a WrestleMania. Cena explains that the company has to put on the best show/stories for Mania and the match just wasn’t in the plans. Would he have liked to wrestle Taker? Absolutely. He says that some wrestlers don’t like what they get booked for WrestleMania, but in his mind, you just have to take what the company needs you to do and make it good. If the company’s success depends on him doing something else, then so be it, and for that he has no regrets.  

Speaking of ‘Mania, it feels like this match between Roman and John should be there, and not at No Mercy, so why now? John can only speculate, and not to take anything away from ‘Mania, but he thinks that the company is trying to market what a great consumer experience the Network is, and wants to deliver unbelievable matches all the time. His outside commitments of course doesn’t help, and then, there is the fact that he is getting older. He made the promise to himself that the minute he’s a step slower, he can’t justify performing. He’s not there yet, but he’s been having some talks with himself. So, with that said, do you take the chance and hold out for April? Or do you push forward while you can.

Edge says that a lot of guys tend to stay just a bit longer than they should, and that very few go out like Shawn Michaels. Does John feel he can honestly admit when it’s time to hang up the boots? Cena says that he can and he doesn’t see it from a personal perspective. In all honesty, he doesn’t know if he could even do a full schedule anymore, mentioning that Chris Jericho & Kane are the only Cal Ripkens (or guys past 40 that can still go well).

John has made a living out of listening to the audience, who have been a gracious, kind, and faithful group of people. Yes, they boo, but they show up and respond, and he would be doing them a disservice to stay too long. He’s had injuries like everyone else, but he’s also got miles on him, which have added up. 

Christian talks about how he had to retire due to concussions, but he was still pushing 40 at the time, which was being felt more and more. While when he was wrestling he felt good, before and after seemed to take its toll in prep and recovery time. John agrees and feels that once you hit a certain age, you need more time to reach that performance and recovery level. That being said, he’s far from being done. The WWE is his family, and he is incredibly loyal to Vince. He has learned so much from him and will never leave his side. He says that if Roman can step up, then he’ll be able to relax, but if he can’t, he’ll still be around and defending his spot. This moves into a discussion about how many wrestlers have their best work with Cena, but can’t recapture that energy after they move on, which has led to many people feeling that he buries the roster.

Edge says the key to being a great worker is being able to pull them to your level, and not working down. John uses Shawn Michaels as an example, explaining how he said he was the man, and worked hard to prove that, and stay at the top. In fact, Shawn once told him, if you don’t evolve in this business, then you’ll become a dinosaur. You have to be your best every night.  

They then wrap up the interview by discussing final thoughts for the roster. Cena says that for all of the talk, when it comes down to it, there is one man running the show who listens to the crowd. Leave nothing up to chance. If you’re not getting where you expected to be, then you have to reevaluate what’s working and not working, and change. He signs off and jokingly says that the company won’t ever let him do a podcast again.

Wrap Up & Close 1:15:30-1:22:00

The boys talk about what a great perspective Cena brought to the interview, and how he has an insight to something that the average wrestling fan and even some current wrestlers don’t possibly see and understand. They question how Cena could be someone who buries everyone when he has put over so many wrestlers clean, including Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, A.J. Styles, & Kevin Owens.  

E&C close the show and thank their guests, and everyone for listening. They encourage everyone to follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at ecpodofawesomeness@gmail.com, and to call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.

Jeff’s Take:  9 Kazoos out of 10

One of the best episodes that E&C have had. No matter what, I’m sure there will always be some controversy that will follow Cena, but there’s no denying what he has done for the WWE, and the amount of passion that he has for the wrestling business. It was very interesting getting his perspective and honest thoughts on the roster. Great guest, and I would like to see more of this type of discussion in the future. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at indelpw@gmail.com. See you next week!

“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”

0:00: Show Introduction
12:50: Sponsored Ads?
16:10: Interview with John Cena
28:00: A.J. Styles/Thoughts on Roster
43:00: Issues with Roman Reigns
56:00: Why he didn’t wrestle the Undertaker/Why his match with Reigns is at No Mercy
1:02:00: His future?
1:15:00: Wrap Up & Close

About the Author

Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.

For more, check out our archives of E&C Pod of Awesomeness.

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