John Cena: The WWE Audience Moulded Me Into The Person I Am
Cena dealt with 'you suck' chants for most of his WWE career
John Cena says he owes the WWE audience more than he can ever say, because of the pivotal role they played in shaping him into the person he is.
Cena has grown up and developed into the man he has become over the last two decades in front of the live WWE audience on a nightly basis. For the majority of that time, the 44-year-old has faced being booed and hated by a large portion of that crowd for the character he is portraying.
Despite those reactions, Cena was told to stick to the course and remain in the same gimmick, something that meant the 16-time World Champion had to become very comfortable in his own skin very quickly.
For that, Cena is full of thanks for the WWE Universe.
Speaking to Chris Hardwick on ID1OT, when asked how he deals with the perception that other people might have of him, Cena said: "A lot of it comes from WWE and its audience.
"Being told 'you suck' every time you go out, five times a week, genuine visceral. The reason I know it's genuine is, I was a f*cking good guy. I was deemed the role as a hero and there was an adversarial visceral force of reminding you 'don't get too close to the sun. You suck.'
"A lot of that helps...one, take their opinion in and understand why they think I suck. Two, be okay with being humiliated every night. Three, look in the mirror and being like, 'I'm okay with what I see.'
"I always say, I owe the WWE audience more than I can explain. They made me into the person I am. Not the professional. I take a lot of professional titbits from my time there, but they moulded me into the person I am.
"In WWE, when you hear that reaction, the thing to do is to turn on the audience and become a bad guy because they are telling you what they want. Under our set of circumstances, it's like, 'Nope, go out there and smile.' I have to have the patience to deal with that and having to be told, 'You cannot waver' helped my resolve, patience, and empathy."