John Cena: WWE Have Been Changing Performer's Identities Since The Dawn Of Time
Cena used to be 'The Prototype'
John Cena has commented on WWE's policy of changing a wrestler's name, personality and identity in the company, saying it has been happening for a long time and was done to him at the start of his journey.
More often than not, WWE will give talent newly signed with the promotion a fresh stage name, usually for marketing and copyrights reason, but a character change will often accompany the decision.
With NXT 2.0 relaunching this week, a host of new names were introduced to the WWE audience with new identities, but Cena says such a policy has been in place since he was a rookie in the WWE system.
Speaking during a Q&A session at Florida Supercon, Cena said: "I know there’s a lot of news headlines about, ‘Oh, they’re changing performer's names and forcing them to have a new personality.’ I can assure you guys that this has been this way since the dawn of time and it happened to me.
"I went from having a personality and having an identity and having a following to getting my haircut, changing my look and throwing me out there with my real name, and I was just told to be a good guy and I had no idea what that meant and it almost led to me getting fired.
"And if it wasn’t for me taking the chance and socialising with my peers and then management seeing that and taking that chance on me, I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here right now so, I absolutely jumped at the opportunity and went all in.
"Dressed crazy, talked crazy, really immersed myself in Hip-Hop culture and try to craft a character off of that because the one I did before of looking like everyone else and not nearly wrestling as good didn’t work. So I knew I had to change stuff and that’s kind of the origin of that."
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Florida Supercon footage courtesy of Jorge Soler