Despite being one WWE’s greatest babyfaces of all time, John Cena served as the perfect voice to narrate WWE Evil.
As someone who worked long storylines with multiple heels who were featured in WWE Evil—including The Miz, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns—Cena’s perspective as their babyface foil is just as valuable as any. Cena also produced WWE Evil, Peacock’s first WWE original series, and has been pleased with fan reaction.
“Peacock is extremely happy that WWE fans flock to material so they can express how they feel,” said John Cena in an exclusive interview.
“If [fans] don’t like it, they’ll be very vocal about it, and if they do like it they’ll also be vocal about it. When we dropped, I was so thankful—as I always am for the WWE Universe—because they were loud and proud in their support of the series. They liked what they got, and the first thing I said was: ‘So now do we do [WWE] Good?’”
A babyface version of WWE Evil would be a welcomed follow-up to this compelling study of villains, which has garnered positive reviews.
Justin Kirkland of Esquire called WWE Evil ”A love letter that honors the unspoken bond that the WWE and its base has: to reveal enough to pique interest without ruining the façade.”
Sticking with the theme of “evil,” Matt Elfring of Gamespot.com wrote “It’s scary how well this turned out.”
If John Cena, arguably WWE’s greatest babyface, narrated a docu-series about heels, Cena feels it’s only fair that an all-time great heel narrate a hypothetical series on babyfaces.
“It would be so interesting, but do we now have Paul Heyman narrate WWE Good? We can also look at the fact that John Cena, as a virtuous character, gets booed out of so many buildings. So is John Cena a candidate for WWE Evil, Season 2?”
Despite being presented as a clean-cut babyface for the majority of his career, polarizing reactions toward Cena constantly blurred the lines between good and evil. Cena feels those blurred lines are key ingredients in the recipe of a great villain.
John Cena on What Makes a Great Heel
“As a heel, you should always lean toward the side of virtue, so I think [a good heel is] someone who thinks what they’re doing is virtuous, but it’s really genuinely evil. They can’t look past their own truth, and what they do is genuinely evil,” said Cena.
“When I sit down with an opponent in WWE, it’s not to have a Kung Fu-style exhibition. We discuss why we are fighting. And we will get to the bottom of that, because ‘I want to win’ is not enough. ‘I want to be a champion’ is not enough. There needs to be some more.”
“Normally, as a good guy, you lean on the side of virtue, and the bad guy is the one who leans away from it. That’s a great start, but as WWE gets to building these personalities more and more, I think the actual answer is shades of grey.”
Shades of grey have been prominent throughout the build to the WrestleMania 38 main event between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. In fact, Paul Heyman himself has personified these shades of grey, with his loyalties initially questioned following Lesnar’s return at WWE SummerSlam in August. For these reasons, and many others, Cena is “without a doubt” looking forward to WrestleMania 38’s main event more than any other match on the card.
John Cena on Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38
When asked which WrestleMania 38 match he was most looking forward to, Cena responded “It doesn’t say anything negative about any other performer—it’s just a testament to how well these two performers are—it’s Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in the Winner-Take-All match.”
“It has a big-fight feel. It’s two of the greatest performers of all time,” said Cena.
“They had this match not too long ago a few years back, and it did not have the same gravity because Brock is in the conversation by himself as one of, if not the greatest performer ever to step foot in a WWE ring. And I think he’s shown his dynamic ability with this new path he’s on right now. He totally can do it all, he’s not just a strong guy, and an agile guy, he has such depth of character. And the fact that he was holding in these promos for so long and unleashing them now—truthfully, it shows how good, and how patient and how smart he is.”
“And Roman has grown so much from that match we saw years ago. And now it is truly a coin-flip. These are two of the best guys, at their peak, fighting for the most important prize with narrative and story behind it. And each one truly believes in themselves and their own truth. To me, it’s everything that makes a great story, everything that makes a great matchup, everything that makes WrestleMania so great. That is, by far, the biggest attraction WWE has had in a long time. I very much look forward to that.”
John Cena Praises AEW’s Max Caster
Since the start of AEW, rising heel Max Caster has drawn obvious comparisons to Cena as a charismatic wrestler/rapper. And though many wonder what would happen in a rap battle between John Cena and Max Caster, Cena is confident that Caster would get the better of him.
“I know of Max Caster very well, and the answer is no,” said Cena when asked if he could beat Caster in a rap battle.
“He’s extremely gifted. I remember hearing him for the first time, and asking a good friend of mine to please pass his information on to me. I immediately checked out his raps, out of the blue, and I saw what he was doing was spectacular. I wish him all the best of luck, but I can’t give him any advice because he’s punching far above my weight class. He is very gifted. He’s gifted enough to rhyme to the beat live, where I kind of did my stuff a cappella to let the punchlines sink in.”
“Hip-hop constantly evolves, and it constantly moves forward, and he is the better version of what I did. He’s really, really spectacular. As long as he keeps everything in realistic perspective, he shows great potential.”
WWE Evil is streaming now on Peacock.