John Cena talks Red Sox-Rays, future WWE stars and his top diva
Cena lists Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James as top celeb WWE fans
WWE's next big stars include Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes
Despite attending Rays games, the Red Sox are Cena's top team
SI.com's Andy Gray spoke with WWE superstar John Cena late Tuesday from the Gillette-EA Sports Champions of Gaming Global Finals. The WWE Champions opened up about his favorite diva, future WWE stars and his true baseball allegiance:
SI.com: Let's talk about the Super Bowl. Did you get to see it?
JC: I did see it, actually. I got to watch the whole game for the first time in a long time.
SI.com: Were you happy with the outcome?
JC: I thought it over-delivered, actually. I have no team in the race. I'm a Patriots fan by birthright but I really thought it was going to be lopsided, especially after the first half. Pittsburgh dominated and the Cardinals looked lackluster. They were tripping over themselves, dropping kick-offs and stuff like that. They really stepped it up in the second half, I couldn't believe it. I certainly thought they had a chance at the end, with Larry Fitzgerald scoring but regardless it was a game that as a fan with no allegiance to any team, it didn't deliver.
SI.com: Do you ever wish you played pro football? I know you played in college.
JC: I was an offensive lineman in college and I went to a D-3 school because I knew my build and my ability. That was what was right for me to do at the time. I certainly love the game of football. I miss playing in the Pitt (Cena played football at Springfield College), I just wasn't the right frame for the NFL.
SI.com: I know you're attending today's event with Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter. Are there any athletes you've come across who are huge WWE fans that you weren't expecting?
JC: Every city we go to we attract fans. From Shaquille to LeBron to Wade Boggs. There is something about the athletic base of live entertainment that gets everyone to follow the WWE. We really do put on a pretty decent show. It's always flattering to me when professional athletes come out because we encourage our audience to have a good time and those guys certainly let loose. Even Big Ben has been to a show.
SI.com: A couple questions about the WWE. Do you have a diva you would personally rank as No. 1?
JC: My No. 1 has always been Candice Michelle. She understands what we do in our business. She's an unbelievable athlete, works very hard and is unbelievably gorgeous.
SI.com: Your theme song has been the same one for a while. Are you gonna stick with it for a while or something you've considered changing?
JC: I've actually thought about changing it, but the longer you stick with it the tougher it is to change. Its' tougher for the fans to identify to new music so I don't think I'll change it anymore but you never know.
SI.com: You changed the name of the FU to the Attitude Adjustor. Was that your call? How did you come up with that name?
JC: It was totally my call. It's actually Attitude Adjustment. I realize that our audience has changed now and when I look out past the ring now I see so many children. Originally the FU was a pun in response to Brock Lesner's move, he used to wrestle in the WWE. I never really called it that. It's something I said once and the announcers picked it up. I know that kids are watching my every move and there are a lot of parents know their kids look up to me and I know a lot of people watch our program with closed eyes and I kind of live by the motto -- "Hustle Loyalty Respect." If someone is out of line, I think instead of giving them an FU, it's better to give them an attitude adjustment.
SI.com: If we went back 5-6 years ago, you weren't a household name. Who do you think we'll be talking about in 5-6 years? I would say C.M. Punk. Who else should be on everyone's radar?
JC: Randy Orton. Even more so than now. Cody Rhodes. Ted DiBiase and Harry Smith.
SI.com: Who were your favorites growing up?
JC: Hulk Hogan. He was the one. When I broke into the business, I opened my mind and watched everyone for the reason that everyone is different and successful in their own way.
SI.com: Let's talk about your latest movie, 12 Rounds. How was this one compared to The Marine. Was the experience easier because you have one under your belt.
JC: The experience was easy because of the people put around me. We had a great director in Renny Harlin, Mark Gordon really helped us out on the production side. He produced Speed, he produced Saving Private Ryan and just our cast of characters -- Brian White, Aidan Gillen, Steve Harris, Ashley Scott. These people are very established actors and WWE and Fox went above and beyond in making this movie the best picture they could and it certainly shows up. It's a great action movie but it's not just beating people up for the sake of beating people up. There's a great story, the character development is unbelievable and Renny Harlin really shot it in a way that keeps your heart racing the whole time.
SI.com: Are there any other WWE stars who you think would be good in a movie. I know Ted DiBiase is in the next Marine. Anyone else come to mind?
JC: I think Ted DiBiase has a great future. He did very well. Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia -- the DVD sales have gone through the roof so I expect to see Mr. Kennedy on the screen again. If he ever gets his frame right, I think Randy Orton has got the face of a movie star so I think we'll see him on the big screen pretty soon.
SI.com: I couldn't help but notice you were spotted with a Tampa Bay Rays hat earlier this season. But you're from Boston? What's the deal?
JC: I was just trying to stir up a division rivalry that was dead in the water. I live down here in Tampa and I'd like to move back to Massachusetts. I certainly miss it up there. If you're not from there you kinda understand and I've been away for way too long.
When the Rays starting to getting hot, the story for the whole season became, 'When are they gonna slow down?' So I took it upon myself to try and stir the pot and try and create a division rivalry. When you think of AL East, you think of Red Sox-Yankees. It was cool to see a new team in the mix and I wanted to make the most if it.
SI.com: So Boston fans shouldn't worry about your allegiance?
JC: Absolutely not. I actually went to Fenway Park in a Rays jersey and hat and I was sitting in the middle of Red Sox nation and I was answering Red Sox trivia all night long so my fandom is not in jeopardy.
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