John Cena has been with WWE for over a decade, and his future is uncertain. As the company releases so many wrestlers from their roster since April 2020, where will he stand? In July of 2019, they released nearly every single established name on their current main event level in tag team wrestling.
John Cena, a wrestler for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), has been with the company since 2002. He is one of the most popular wrestlers in the world, and he is also known for his signature move, the “Five Knuckle Shuffle.”.
WWE has made a practice of releasing huge groups of wrestlers from their contracts (consistently citing budgetary concerns) while concurrently reporting record revenues in quarterly financial reports since April 2020. More than 80 wrestlers, ranging from Performance Center trainees to past world champions and main eventers, were cut in 2021 alone. One wave of releases has already occurred this year, with a number of significant roleplayers in WWE’s developmental system, most notably William Regal, Road Dogg, and Samoa Joe, being released.
This week, John Cena went on Sirius XM’s The Rich Eisen Show to promote the launch of HBO MAX’s Peacemaker, and he was questioned about the new releases. Cena traced his business choices all the way back to his early WWE days.
“When I first joined WWE, the company had recently acquired WCW and ECW, as well as two developmental territories, and the rosters were many,” Cena stated. “When I first began in the WWE, there were twice-yearly releases, which generated stakes for developing talent and for talent trying to establish a name for themselves.” We simply assumed there would be cutbacks in the calendar year after WrestleMania and either before or after the holidays. That appeared to come to a halt about the time we started to recast ourselves as Ruthless Aggression characters. Brock (Lesnar), Randy (Orton), and Dave are the four of us (Batista). When those men started to anchor in and establish a vision for the next decade and beyond, we began to broaden our reach, we began to have more programming, and the talent list began to grow.
“I believe a lot of it was little defensive hiring because there was and still is a huge surge in sports entertainment right now,” he said. “People are digesting and interacting with this stuff.” Outside of the WWE, people are building a name for themselves. It’s no longer a one-stop shop for everything. I believe that with the constant influx of enthusiastic individuals who enjoy sports entertainment, people do make a name for themselves outside of WWE, and if the WWE believes that they could be a good fit in that area, they’ll attempt to give that person a chance. They’re also optimistic about the prospect of continuing to recruit additional employees. The WWE Performance Center is at capacity, so you have all of these talent, and many of them will not be able to perform. That, I believe, is the most aggravating aspect for both the WWE and the performer. Unfortunately, it is a business at the end of the day. I remember how lucky I was when I first began in the WWE. I was lucky enough to see Stone Cold Steve Austin’s event in Atlanta (walked out). That moment flew through me like a cannon because I got the feeling that if they could dismiss Stone Cold Steve Austin, anybody could be replaced unless their name was Vince McMahon.
Cena came to a conclusion – “I believe that a lot of the audience’s dissatisfaction stems from the fact that they regard sports entertainment in the same way that I do. I like watching sporting events and witnessing people’s potential. I adore seeing potential in performances and in everyone, particularly when individuals start to establish what they call a gimmick or a personality. I like trying to keep up with them in chats to see how far we can go. However, there are only so many spaces available and so much programming available. I understand the number of releases that have been required from a commercial sense. It has very little to do with profit-loss margin if the corporation reasons that this is the shift we’re making, we want to carry fewer talent. It doesn’t matter whether the company’s plan is to operate on a slim roster; you run on a lean roster. If the company’s strategy is to rely on a large roster, I recall a time when we had stacks of stars and the stock was trading at $7 a share. It’s only that the corporation was given the option of running on a talent-heavy roster or a talent-light roster.”
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