John Cena talks Reigns vs. Lesnar, what makes a good heel

Mar 31, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

Veteran WWE Superstar John Cena is “without a doubt” looking forward to the Winner Takes All Title Unification Match at WrestleMania 38 more than any other bout on the card.

Cena recently spoke with Forbes contributor Alfred Konuwa (@ThisIsNasty) to promote the WWE Evil series on Peacock. The series focuses on some of WWE’s best bad guys, and Cena commented on what makes a great heel.

“As a heel, you should always lean toward the side of virtue, so I think [a good heel is] someone who thinks what they’re doing is virtuous, but it’s really genuinely evil,” Cena said. “They can’t look past their own truth, and what they do is genuinely evil. When I sit down with an opponent in WWE, it’s not to have a Kung Fu-style exhibition. We discuss why we are fighting. And we will get to the bottom of that, because ‘I want to win’ is not enough. ‘I want to be a champion’ is not enough. There needs to be some more.

“Normally, as a good guy, you lean on the side of virtue, and the bad guy is the one who leans away from it. That’s a great start, but as WWE gets to building these personalities more and more, I think the actual answer is shades of grey.”

It was noted that “shades of grey” have been prominent in the build to the WrestleMania 38 main event between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Cena said he’s “without a doubt” looking forward to this match more than any other taking place this coming weekend at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

“It doesn’t say anything negative about any other performer—it’s just a testament to how well these two performers are—it’s Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in the Winner-Take-All match,” Cena answered when asked which WrestleMania 38 match he’s most looking forward to. “It has a big-fight feel. It’s two of the greatest performers of all time.”

Cena praised Lesnar for his depth and the current path he’s on.

“They had this match not too long ago a few years back, and it did not have the same gravity because Brock is in the conversation by himself as one of, if not the greatest performer ever to step foot in a WWE ring,” Cena said. “And I think he’s shown his dynamic ability with this new path he’s on right now. He totally can do it all, he’s not just a strong guy, and an agile guy, he has such depth of character. And the fact that he was holding in these promos for so long and unleashing them now—truthfully, it shows how good, and how patient and how smart he is.”

Cena also praised Reigns for his growth, and said Sunday’s match is truly a toss-up, and the biggest attraction WWE has had in a long time.

“And Roman has grown so much from that match we saw years ago. And now it is truly a coin-flip,” he said. “These are two of the best guys, at their peak, fighting for the most important prize with narrative and story behind it. And each one truly believes in themselves and their own truth.

“To me, it’s everything that makes a great story, everything that makes a great matchup, everything that makes WrestleMania so great. That is, by far, the biggest attraction WWE has had in a long time. I very much look forward to that.”

Cena has not worked a program since losing to Reigns at SummerSlam in late August. He returned on September 10 for a dark main event at the SmackDown from Madison Square Garden, teaming with The Mysterios for a six-man win over The Bloodline, but he has been away since then, focusing on his Hollywood career. There’s no word on when Cena might return to WWE, but he indicated earlier this year that he will not be present for WrestleMania 38 this weekend.

Stay tuned for more.

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