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Cena’s advice to Becky: ‘It’s yours to lose... the hard work starts now’

John Cena’s return to WWE SmackDown on Jan. 1 included a scene with Becky Lynch which had the internet buzzing before it even aired (the New Year’s Day show was taped in advance). After he’d been talked down to, teamed up with and thrown out of the ring by The Man, Mike Rome caught up with the 16 time World champ to get his thoughts on Lynch after interacting with her in the ring.

His comments were a ‘Reality’ era mix of kayfabe and behind-the-scenes. Like his 2017 feud with Roman Reigns, they were as much about the meta-angle of someone rising to take Cena’s spot as they were about anything fictional. As such, they invoked a theme he’s spoken on several times over the most recent act of his career - that the current generation of wrestlers are too complacent or too afraid of rocking the boat to climb to the heights he has.

“I said this to a journalist when I was promoting Bumblebee, he had asked me how do I feel about Becky Lynch’s character. And, man, it’s not - she believes that she’s The Man. It’s not - especially being in there tonight, it’s not a character. It is Becky Lynch and that’s something I can relate to. When I stand tall in a WWE ring, people know they get the best of me. When Becky Lynch came out there and not only staked her claim, but said, ‘listen, if I gotta go through you to get it, I’ll get it done,’ I looked into her eyes and I know she meant it. And that’s very rare. I hope the other WWE Superstars, regardless of gender, were paying attention to the attitude of Becky Lynch. Because sometimes you gotta announce your presence with authority.

So that’s not the way I do things sometimes, but that’s the way a young John Cena would have done it for sure. And that’s kind of why even with all that stuff that happened out there, um, I thought I was doing good and then I was thrown out of the ring by Becky and then she ended up getting a win - I would have done the same thing. I know how tough it is to be overlooked, I know how tough it is to try to do your best every night and not get noticed and then finally for something to happen inside you where you feel comfortable and not only that you feel confident. And when you get that confidence you honestly, you feel like Superman.

And that’s why [gestures to jorts, t-shirt & hat ensemble] and I go out there I tell everybody this is the Superman outfit and I feel like Superman. So it’s good to see someone step up and come eyeball-to-eyeball with me and be like, ‘hey, if this is what we gotta do, we gotta do it’. And I really was honored to be on her team tonight because that’s not an attitude I’ve seen in the ring for a long, long time...

She has all the attributes - she certainly has the ability, as do many WWE Superstars - she has all the attributes to succeed and I was able to get one word into her, and that was ‘it’s yours to lose’. So time is a great thing as we reflect on ‘18 and look forward to ‘19, I would like to look forward to see what is the future of The Man. She certainly has caught lightening in the bottle for the present, but the hard work starts now.”

One thing he’s definitely right about is the notion that Lynch will have to work even harder to stay where she is than she did to get to the spot of probable WrestleMania main eventer. She’ll face new challenges in her quest to remain The Man, too - risking overexposure with more WWE content & never-ending access to fans via social media, and fewer potential challengers to tell stories with than a man in a similar position would have, to name just two.

Can she do it?

Cena’s excited to find out.


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