Sean Rueter from Cageside Seats has unearthed a very interesting interview that Chris Van Vliet did with John Cena over WrestleMania weekend. In the interview the “Babe Ruth of WWE” makes some very interesting comments about WWE Creative that are especially pertinent today.
Cena talked about his frustrations with members of the roster complaining about the creative team having nothing for them or writing bad storylines involving them, saying it’s up to the wrestlers to turn that into something positive. Within that he also offered a very damning assessment of the quality of writing on offer – which has been the subject of much discussion amongst WWE fans of late:
“It’s up to the talent to take something, no offense – that is s****y, and make it good. I have never been handed a written piece of paper that I go, ‘This is great.’ It’s always, ‘how do we turn this s**t into something that makes sense?’
And I’ve seen guys like Miz do it, I’ve seen guys like Seth do it, AJ when we were able to creatively bond for a while, Bray – sit there for hours. And the way I started with this was when I was writing my own raps. Nobody can write that stuff, because at the time it was an art form that wasn’t showcased on the program, and the writers weren’t versed in that art form. So it was on my shoulders to sink or swim.”
Cena noted that follow that approach was not always easy and when he was put in a position where he had to create his own raps it caused some in the locker room to turn against him:
“I would spend hours in the bleachers just writing punchlines, and writing punchlines. And I became ostracized and hated by my co-workers because they thought I didn’t care about the business because I wasn’t around the ring with my shoulders on the canvas going ’okay, who’s in the ring? I’m around the product’. Little did they know I was investing everything I had into trying to develop a connection with the audience, which I believe is the most important thing.
So on a day for creative expression, like on a Raw or SmackDown or pay-per-view day, you can’t find me around the ring. I am locked in a room with a writer and possibly someone involved in the storyline, and we are just seeing how can we get your interest.”
Cena also talked about what he believes is the best case scenario when it comes to being handed creative at television, essentially saying that the less you are given by the writing team the better:
“The best, most brilliant situation in the world is, ‘you two guys are gonna have a match tonight, figure it out’. Or getting something that’s not good, because then you can take it and go with the writer and work and make it your own.”
Not exactly a glowing review of the WWE creative process there from Big Match John and a very rare example of a top star from the company pointing out the flaws with the way things operate behind the scenes. That being said, we are certain he is not the only one who feels that way. The difference is they are not John Cena and cannot get away with expressing that viewpoint.
Thanks to Cageside Seats for the transcription