John Cena Discusses State of Top Stars in WWE Ahead of WrestleMania 36

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 3, 2020

Actor John Cena attends the the Road to
Scott Roth/Associated Press

John Cena went on Corey Graves' After the Bell podcast (h/t Douglas Canavin of Wrestling Inc.) and discussed a few topics related to the WWE's current landscape.

Of note, Graves asked Cena what this current WWE era "needs to define itself": 

"It needs what I'm not sure it can produce, and that's...just the state of where everything is now, which is weird because it kind of always corrects itself so we're in a day and age where it needs a frontman or woman.

"It needs one, maybe two, definable characters to absolutely be the reason, and that's what will be able to define what the era is because it takes on those personality traits of its top star. Like I said it before I don't know if, all things considered, the crowd is so mixed, that if the company puts its faith behind an individual, the knee-jerk reaction of the audience, even if they liked the guy last week, is to say 'f--k you, you're not going to tell me who I like.'"

Cena said he doesn't believe "there has been more potential under one roof than right now." In other words, talent isn't the issue.

But he also spoke about the audience's wants and desires, namely its current segmentation:

"It's difficult because it's like a 'Super Friends', because the audience is so segmented, some people will embrace that underground dude. Some people will embrace the top person. Some people will embrace the midcard. Some people will embrace the cruiserweights, and then there's the split between like, 'I like SmackDown, I like RAW, I like NXT.' It's just really difficult to get one definable figure to stand at the front and be like, 'okay let's go.' I mean, I don't know, so I don't know."

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Various WWE eras had clear faces and characters who carry the company forward.

Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, D-Generation X and the Undertaker were the flagbearers during the Attitude Era.

Triple H, his Evolution stable and Brock Lesnar were arguably the top names during the Ruthless Aggression Era.

And Cena largely dominated the PG Era, with CM Punk also taking the company by storm at one point as well.

As Cena noted, it's not entirely clear if there's a definable character in the New Era.

Becky "The Man" Lynch took WWE by storm and might arguably be considered this era's face, and Cena mentioned Reigns as a potential frontman on the podcast: "Maybe Roman is flirting with that territory but it’s not like...actually, Roman does an extremely good job at it, but we need something like that, a frontman to push forward and that’s where the era will get defined."

Cena will face Bray "The Fiend" Wyatt at WrestleMania 36, which will air Saturday and Sunday.