Given that John Cena has been a company man for the WWE for more than 15 years, he very rarely speaks about other wrestling promotions. But in an interview with Chris Van Vliet during WrestleMania 35 weekend, the 16-time champion was asked to give his thoughts on the budding promotion All Elite Wrestling.
Based on his reaction, Cena seemed supportive of another promotion stepping onto the national stage, as it forces WWE to step their game up.
"I think competition is great because it forces you to step up or step aside and I think that is fantastic. We have internal competition of performers trying to be the best in our umbrella and that is wonderful because you sink or swim on your own investment," Cena said.
Even though several AEW higher-ups have firmly stated they don't intend on directly competing with the WWE, Cena they will simply by putting on a product for people to watch.
"I think external competition is great because once again that will force us to step up or step aside, and you can say what you want about them being competition or not competition, I view any form of digestible entertainment as competition," he added. "Because your eyes can go elsewhere. So that's how I view that. Competition also stands for the state of the wrestling economy and it's really good right now. There are a lot of people overseas and smaller promotions are getting larger and more traction which means you are consuming more sport entertainment and/or wrestling which is great for everything."
He also noted that rising promotions like AEW, New Japan and Ring of Honor mean a better wrestling economy.
"So when you have essentially all these start-ups, that means the wrestling economy is booming," Cena said. "And that's good for anyone trying to lace up a pair of boots, or low-top shoes."
Cena wound up appearing at WrestleMania 35 dressed in his throwback "Doctor of Thuganomics" attire. He interrupted Elias' live concert and wound up hitting "The Drifter" with an Attitude Adjustment.
AEW's first official event, Double or Nothing, will take place on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The headlining matches for the show include Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Bros., Cody Rhodes vs. Dustin Rhodes and Adam Page vs. Pac.
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