Even before the two spent a year of WWE television hurling insults at each other before their match at WrestleMania XXVIII, John Cena made it clear in interviews that he didn't like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Back in 2008 while he was in his prime as the number one star in the company, Cena openly stated he didn't like how Johnson had simply left pro wrestling for Hollywood and had separated himself from the WWE for several years.
"Just don't f— me around and tell me that you love this when you are just doing this to do something else," Cena said in an interview at the time. "That's the only thing that gets me really pissed off.:
Then between Johnson's role as the host of WrestleMania XXVII, their "Once in a Lifetime" match at WrestleMania XXVIII and their WWE Championship rematch at year later at WrestleMania XXIX, Cena and Rock went on to have one of the most popular feuds of the decade on WWE television. Cena explained in a new interview with The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that their work together was actually what wound up squashing the beef between the two.
"The Rock and I are most known for our tremendous WWE feud that broke WWE pay-per-view records, and we kind of talked a lot of trash about each other," Cena said. "Now we also had a follow up match a year later. So we spent a year making fun of each other, and then one night beating each other up. Then we're like 'Did we just become best friends? Yep.' So basically we were able to set aside our differences on that night. In the next year, I got more chances at opportunities."
Cena then explained how Johnson helped him forge his own path into acting.
"I had an audition, and I had to put myself on tape for a movie called Trainwreck," Cena said. "I hadn't yet gotten any news that I was going to be in the running for anything involving the movie, and I was really nervous. And I thought, 'Well, I should talk to the one guy who's been in a lot of movies.' And Dwayne just happened to be at WWE. 'I'm like, 'Hey man, we have a pretty good talking relationship. Is there any advice you could give me on how to turn this into a success? Because it's something that I really want to do.' He gave me a piece of advice that still rings in my ears like he said it yesterday.
Johnson's advice? "Just be yourself man. That's why they asked you there in the first place."
Cena's latest film, Playing With Fire, hits theaters on Nov. 8.