John Cena Admits He “Violated” The Rock’s Trust

The Rock John Cena

John Cena and The Rock were engaged in one of the most high-profile feuds in WWE history and at one point there was legitimate bad feeling between both stars.

Cena famously made comments about The Rock’s claim to love the wrestling business despite moving on in his career to make movies and it’s safe to say that those comments didn’t go down well with the third-generation wrestling star.

Eventually, The Rock returned to WWE to host WrestleMania 27 in 2011 and that’s where he set up the next two WrestleMania main events as he cost John Cena the chance to become WWE Champion. John Cena and The Rock engaged in some of the most well-remembered promo segments in Raw history with The People’s Champ legitimately rattled when Cena pointed out to the world that he had promo notes written on his wrist.

Speaking to MTV News’ Josh Horowitz as part of 92NY Recanati-Kaplan Talks John Cena reflected on that time and said he thought he was having to punch up to keep up with his iconic opponent:

“I think step one of any conflict is to somehow find your fault. It’s my fault, and I knew exactly what I was doing, and I also knew that I had to punch up to his level. He came in in a league of his own, and to make sure that it’s like Mike Tyson [versus] Muhammad Ali, I gotta be Mike Tyson, and Rock was like Ali, and I was like some scrub like Glass Joe from Punchout. I had to punch my way up, and I had to do it by really blurring the lines of collaborative work.”

John Cena continued by noting that you have to trust to compete in a wrestling bout and admits he violated The Rock’s trust throughout their feud, something he sought to make right after their first WrestleMania main event against each other:

“If we’re in the WWE and we have a match, I assume they were gonna perform, just like stunts in a movie, and our concern is to safely do the show. That’s the magic, and the magic is to be able to do it again and again, and trust your performer. Nothing’s different when you verbally have issues with each other. It’s all in good fun, and it’s all for the business, but you’re supposed to have trust with each other.”

“I violated his trust, and as soon as [WrestleMania 28] was over, I think then, I’m thinking for Dwayne, but I could only think then in his perspective began to be like, woah, first of all, I lost. I finished second, and second of all, I tried to lose with as much humility as possible. There’s an iconic shot of me on one knee, just with the WrestleMania garb around me, with the worst look on my face like I just lost the biggest moment of my life, which I did.

“Then right after that, the first thing I did was, I went to Dwayne’s mom, and I gave her a big hug. I said, ‘I knew you were brought up in this business. I hope you can understand my perspective because I said some bad things to make you feel bad about me, and I said some bad things about your son. I hope what you just saw in our performance, you understand that my goal was simply to sell tickets and do business.’ She forgave me right there.

“Then, it was right at Rock’s dressing room, I went to Rock. I said the exact sane thing. It’s only we started to build up for [WrestleMania 29] that I got to look at myself in the mirror deeper and I was like, I was wrong. Not only did I hope he understood my perspective, but a year later, I knew that my perspective was wrong.

“Yes, it worked and yes we sold tickets, and yes, people loved it and they chose sides. It was a real polarizing event, but we could have done that with everybody working together and playing nice. That was my fault.”

John Cena and The Rock met one year later at WrestleMania 29, this time with the WWE Championship on the line, with Cena coming out on top in that contest.

h/t Fightful