During Live with Chris Jericho on the WWE Network last night, Jericho asked John Cena what he thought of Vince McMahon telling Steve Austin that he doesn't think the current group of wrestlers in WWE necessarily want to "reach for that brass ring" though it was framed as "what did you think of Vince's brass ring comments".
Surprise! Cena loved it:
"I loved it because as much as he will yell at you and tell you 'man, you need to do this or that' he also can hear the audience. I say this to everyone and I do it: If you go out there and they are on their feet, you'll come back and get criticized but you'll get another chance. I think that's the most important thing. Just don't be afraid. If you feel something is right, if you genuinely feel it... We're all fans, we can all feel it, man, it gets exciting out there. Do it. Don't do it because somebody above you or a person of authority was like 'you can never do this, you can never do that because Vince is going to say this, or Vince says never do this.' We got rules, we're a TV PG program, but go out there and take a chance. I just think we got different rules and a lot of these people... trust me, man, I was a fan of attitude as much as everybody else. We just have different rules. You just have to know the rules, dance around them as much as you can, and do your best. My thing is if you go out and you knock 'em dead, they're probably not going to give you your walking papers when you come through Gorilla."
That's difficult to stomach for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that you will not find a more privileged wrestler on the WWE roster than John Cena. That Jericho even asked the question is baffling when you consider that privilege. Cena is bulletproof, a big enough star to take those chances on live television and know that he can walk backstage and his situation isn't going to change. His standing in the company is such that he can live without fear of facing repercussions he may never recover from.
That's why it's beyond ridiculous for him to suggest that others who do not share that privilege do the same.
The brass ring comments only came up because Austin outright told Vince that everyone in the back at WWE was walking on eggshells because if they piss anyone off then "there goes their career." McMahon's immediate response to that?
"Well don't piss anybody off."
Cena has advantages many others do not, like the fact that, assuming he's not lying about using steroids (and there's little reason to think he is), he's been blessed with the genetics that give him exactly the look McMahon envisions in a top star. He's a clean cut, muscular, attractive white male who carries himself well and speaks even better. He will be afforded opportunities others will not because of that. To suggest to those who do not possess all of the above carry themselves as if they do is naive at best and downright foolish and irresponsible at worst.