John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are both pro-wrestlers that successfully turned into actors. While many may have found it difficult to transition from one career to the next, both men have successfully done so without tarnishing their legacies. The two were both once involved in a wrestling feud where they’d throw banter and insults towards each other. But how do they really feel about each other as former WWE competitors and now fellow colleagues?
The Rock began his film career first and kicked off the feud
Back in 2008, Cena was asked about Johnson and what were his feelings towards him. He noted that Johnson was a “nice dude” and a “fantastic human being.” The only issue that he had towards Johnson was that he wouldn’t come back for the WWE’s 15th anniversary show. He simply couldn’t understand Johnsons’ reasoning for leaving wrestling behind.
“Explain to me why he can’t come back for a 15th Anniversary show or why he can’t make an appearance at Wrestlemania. Simply put it’s because he wants to be an actor. There’s nothing wrong with that, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Cena said during a vaguely controversial interview with The Sun.
John Cena further explained that he knows Johnson is a good actor and understood that he didn’t want to come back to the WWE world. Cena just didn’t fully agree with Johnson’s decision. “Just don’t [expletive] me around and tell me that you love this when you are just doing this to do something else. That’s the only thing that gets me really pissed off,” Cena continued.
In 2018, Johnson seemed to verify the legitimacy of the disagreement, saying that he and Cena had “real issues” with each other. The former wrestler stated that their rivalry wasn’t just an act in the ring, despite what people may have perceived. “Our rivalry was so real. We had real problems with each other. We really did,” Johnson stated during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.
Johnson did note that even though the two had their problems in the past, they ultimately became truly good friends. “What’s great about our relationship is that he’s one of my best friends. We talk all the time. I’m rooting for him to win,” Johnson said.
John Cena credits Dwayne Johnson with helping shape his career
When Cena visited Kimmel the next night, he did agree that the two had gone from rivals to pals, but at the same, he did admit that he had never even been to the home of his so-called “best friend.” He has, however, said some extremely kind things about his former feud partner.
Cena has praised Johnson several times as of late. Earlier this year, Cena explained that how felt Johnson was the star that changed the game for wrestlers in Hollywood. Cena praised The Rock for allowing wrestlers to be something other than their persona in the ring. “I think Dwayne was one of the first ones to break that mold, and do it on such a grand scale that he couldn’t be ignored,” the wrestler said.
In another interview, John Cena repeated the same sentiments and even revealed that he has modeled his own career after the Jumanji actor. “The work ethic of that young man and the desire he has to just keep moving is… I talk to him every so often and tell him he truly sets the pace and the rest of us are just trying to not lag too far behind,” the Blockers star told GQ.
Cena also told Jimmy Fallon last October that he credits Dwayne Johnson for giving him the best advice he ever got. “He was like, ‘Just be yourself, man. That’s why they asked you there in the first place.’ And that message of, ‘Always be authentically yourself,’ has stuck with me and created the opportunities that I have,” the wrestler said, before smiling at the camera. “Thank you, The Rock.”
Needless to say, the two clearly respect one another and are now actually friends.