On a recent episode of the "Grilling JR" podcast, Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson covered John Cena's 2006 run in WWE. This show covers Cena's rise in the company as he main evented WrestleMania and SummerSlam that year.
Here are some highlights:
Jim Ross said the WWE was getting away from using blood during this period of time:
“The intent was to get away from the gratuitous violence and off the blue humor, and be a little more family-friendly. The Ruthless Aggression in this era is what it was called, was simply a search for something to replace the Attitude Era. That’s all that was. Consequently, after that, the use of blood was very selective. It wasn’t overused.”
Ross gave his opinion of the dueling “Let’s go Cena. Cena sucks.” chants during Cena’s career:
“I think that it was a trend. I think some fans thought it was the fashionable thing to do. It created some audience participation, I assume, where one side of the aisle was saying, ‘Cena sucks’, and the other side saying, ‘Let’s go Cena.’ It gave the audience something to invest in that regard, emotionally invest in. For those that just didn’t like John, I never understood why they didn’t like John. It could be, ‘Well, he is overexposed.’ I don’t know. Maybe there was somebody else was their choice on the roster that they would have rather have had in that top spot. It was always confounding to me that people would have that mindset. So, bottom line, I didn’t like it. I thought it was disruptive. But, again, fans buy their ticket. They pay their money. They drive from home. They take a seat. Here they are. They ought to be able to have freedom of expression and enjoy themselves. If that’s a part of them enjoying the experience, then so be it.”
Jim Ross said nobody he ever worked with in WWE worked harder than John Cena:
“He was booked and he was going to go. He was always going to try to promote the company and its various projects. Nobody worked harder that I was ever around in WWE than John Cena. His work ethic was Herculean, at least. He was always that guy. Because it was his first movie (The Marine), he was gung ho about promoting it, as he should be. It wasn’t a stinker. He did a nice job. Nobody that I can recall in WWE, the annals of WWE, and I was there 26 years starting in 1993, nobody worked harder, or really is in the same conversation as John Cena as it relates to doing extra work and always being there. He may go do media all day and then when he gets to the arena, he has a Make-A-Wish to do. That’s just him.”