Last night's WWE Network original special Live! with Chris Jericho didn't feature as many bombshell, water cooler moments as the pair of Stone Cold specials that preceded it as post-Raw interview shows. But Y2J did hit his guest, John Cena, up on one hot topic that is often whispered around the 15 time world champion, but rarely addressed point blank:
Jericho: Did you ever take any performance-enhancing drugs or steroids to stay big?
In discussing his younger days in bodybuilding competitions, Cena brings up the fact that all of those events screened for PEDs, "Any competition I ever did was always drug tested". But despite that, and WWE's Wellness Program, he hasn't been able to shake the perception that he uses something. Jericho asked about how he deals with fans thinking he uses something to look the way he does:
That's what everybody thinks anyway...it's just so difficult because nowadays, I mean, Andy Pettite is doing [steroids] and he doesn't look like that. So immediately everybody's like 'ah, whatever - that's what it is!' But, I'm proud of who I am, I'm proud of what I've done, I'm proud to do it the right way.
And like you said, whether there's been testing involved or there hasn't, my body has looked exactly the same. I've been 250 pounds from the second I walked in here until right now. I got up to around 220 pounds my senior year in high school and I've been there ever since.
The one thing that has always stuck out to me, as a lay person with little gym experience but a lifetime of reading about PED scandals in my favorite sports, is Cena's ability to come back quickly from injuries. Jericho brought that up next - calling John a "mutant" and "freak" in relaying a story about how he showed up for Raw the day of an invasive neck surgery.
According to Cena, he bounces back so quickly for the same reason he's had a muscled physique for twenty years. Hard work and determination:
I hate being away from it, to be honest with you.
It's all about doing your rehab. When I tore my pec that was my first major surgery. And I went to [Dr. James] Andrews in Birmingham and Kevin Wilk's got an awesome clinic over there in Birmingham - a lot of our guys have been down there - and I'm next to NFL guys who are just happy to be hurt... And I get it, it's tough work. But the second I woke up from anasthesia, even loopy, 'give me a stress ball so I can just start doing something'. Because you know your body, you know what you can push it to...that's why I got back from the pec so early. It was a cool surprise at the Rumble. But I wanted to get back - I don't like being away.
So there you have it, Cagesiders. The 'H' in hustle, loyalty, respect and "never give up" are more than just mottos, they're how John Cena manages his body.