Chad Dukes got the chance to speak with John Cena recently (Interview posted after the jump) and he had a lot of interesting things to say, especially when he was asked why he’s such a big supporter of Long Island Iced Z: Zack Ryder.
Chad Dukes: You were putting over Zack Ryder before Zack Ryder was cool…Just curious why that is; what did you see in Zack Ryder to say this is a guy I want to make sure gets his spotlight on Raw?
John Cena: You’re probably going to censor me out, but I saw a set of balls. I saw a kid in an era in which everyone is afraid to show their talents. This kid was like ‘You know what; I’m going down anyway so I’m going down swinging.’ And I’ve been in that spot before. I’ve been told by everyone ‘You’re nothing; You’re not going to be anything; Hey how you feel about doing this rap thing?’ If I’m going down, I’m going down swinging. So I really, I saw a lot of that in him. I honestly, whether he’s battle tested and ready for the next level, I’m not into that sort of speculation.
I just like seeing a kid with a set of nuts who is just ready to throw it out on the line and risk it all, rather than ‘Hey man I just don’t want to rock the boat and I don’t want to do anything that’s going to draw attention to myself.’ We’re in the business of drawing attention to yourself. So when I see a kid like Zack Ryder- by the way you have to follow him on twitter @ZackRyder…- the kid is, he’s just one of those guys that was willing to take a chance. And I admire that quality out of people. Its something that’s not found enough in the WWE locker room.
John Cena clearly sees a lot of himself in Zack Ryder, while he may have debuted against Kurt Angle and gotten some rub from The Undertaker early on, it took Cena months to finally break out and become a rising star. The white rapper, yo boy gimmick might not have been what he wanted to do, but he took the ball and ran with it all the way to the top. Ryder had a similar situation, he was half a tag team that was brought to the main show because they both happened to look like Edge. After that storyline concluded he developed his own persona on ECW, but when that folded he was relegated to Superstars and had a hard time cracking the main Raw telecasts. So he took matters into his own hands, said if they’re not going to give me air time, then I’m going to make my own. He developed his character and then developed a following and made it so the WWE could no longer ignore him, and much like John Cena I have a lot of respect for that.
Chad then asked Cena if he sees Zack Ryder becoming a main event talent.
Chad Dukes: Do you see [Zack Ryder]…being a figure that’s out there and ‘you’re the main event’ on a Monday Night RAW or Friday Night Smackdown?
John Cena: Well, honestly, that’s up to Zack Ryder. And I really like the fact that he was like ‘I really don’t care about the next step, I care about the first step.’ The cool thing about Zack is he has made that first step. And so many guys speculate on “What if I do this, then this is going to happen.” F it, like just make the first step. So now, Zack has to realize that he’s got some steam going and realize how he got the steam going in the first place, and then take it to the next step. Bu the fact that he threw speculation out the window and took a dive into the deep end and really did something that wasn’t being done and made an impression, that’s great. I think the biggest thing for him is maybe these upcoming weeks or months leading up towards Wrestlemania I think it would be a huge victory if you would see Zack Ryder on the Wrestlemania card.
Again you can easily see how much respect he has for Zack Ryder. We’re always told being the WWE is about opportunity, Vince is always offering people the opportunity to be a big star, but they have to make it happen. Ryder could’ve been worried about the potential fallout from posting his YouTube show, especially since a lot of his bits were based on their lack of faith in him, but he didn’t care. He has that all or nothing attitude, where if it doesn’t work out at least it’s on his terms. It’s easy to dismiss Cena’s “Never Give Up” mantra as a cheesy t-shirt phrase but it’s clear he takes it to heart. We need more wrestlers like these two guys, ones that are passionate about the business and willing to put in the time and effort in to achieve greatness rather than waiting for it to come to them. Woo Woo Woo you know it.
John Cena Interview