WWE prodigy Austin Theory has spoken candidly about John Cena being an inspiration to him when he was being bullied at school.
Theory hasn’t hidden his fandom for John Cena, but on today’s episode of After The Bell, he explained why it runs a bit deeper than simply being a fan.
Speaking about the praise he’s already received from the likes of Cena and Randy Orton, Austin Theory said:
“It’s crazy. Cena and Randy, because for me growing up, that was my feud. That was the feud I would watch. It was either Randy and Cena, or Cena and Edge. And I even just talked to Edge this past Monday, it’s kinda like one of those things where it’s like, you gotta take a second and just breathe.
“I remember the first time I met Cena, there was a little altercation on the internet where I remember I did a promo for EVOLVE, and just called him out and said he should pass the torch, and then I think the next day or the next week, he posts my picture and there was a lot of stuff going on. And I was like, ‘Oh wow, he knows who I am’.
“When I got signed to WWE, we were at the Performance Center one day and we were leaving, and we got told, ‘Hey we need to stay, there’s gonna be a meeting’, and we’re sitting there, and then we got told John Cena’s coming in. And I was like, ‘Oh wow’.
“And Cena came in, he talked to all of us for probably about an hour, and then he specifically said, ‘Hey, I have nothing going on today, so if anybody wants to talk individually and privately, we can’. And I thought that was really cool, and he literally stayed – I remember waiting because each person he would talk to for… they were trying to keep it at a certain time but he talked to everybody for a while, and I just remember waiting for like three hours just to talk to him.
“And there was only a few of us, I remember a lot of people leaving, and that kinda – I noticed that. And I was like, ‘Okay, the one person that really just was the face of WWE for so long, and you have nothing to ask him?’.
“But I remember waiting there, and I went in, and I was just so nervous, I didn’t even really know what to say at first. First thing he said to me, he was like, ‘Hey, how are you?’, and he was like, ‘What can I help you with?’. And I just remember I was like, I don’t even know what to ask him.
“I gotta tell this dude that he was such an inspiration for me and my life. And I think when I say it, people are like, ‘Oh okay, you were a John Cena fan’, but it’s a little deeper than that, just because as a kid, I think when you watch anything, you’re super influenced by it. So whatever somebody’s attitude is or personality, or the decisions they make, it’s very influencing, and for me it helped me a lot, because me in middle school – a lot of people would say, ‘Oh I would never see that happening to you’, but I was picked on a lot, and a lot of it was because I watched wrestling. But I knew if I could make it to Monday or Friday, I would be good, and I could just escape.
“And I think that’s why, and it goes back to when I see a ring, it just gives me this calm feeling. Because it’s always been my getaway from everything. And just watching Cena was always that pull-away from real-life. And I’m like, ‘Wow, I can get away, I can escape’. So that’s just the deep story of that.”
If you use this transcription or any portion of it please credit WrestleTalk.com and link to this page.
Austin Theory is already making waves on Raw, with Vince McMahon himself seemingly taking the 24-year-old under his wing as his new on-screen protege/pet project.