Massachusetts’ John Cena Got Big Break by Making Movie Rejected by Other WWE Star
West Newbury’s John Cena has reached a point many WWE Superstars dream of: no longer having to be a WWE Superstar.
That’s not to say Cena’s forgotten his professional roots. In fact, he’s given back so much to the business by putting over (losing to) young talent, you won’t believe how long it’s been since he won a match. Just this past April, he showed up to help put another rising star on the map at WrestleMania (where he also donned a pair of custom-made Kowloon Nikes).
But long before he was showing up in Barbie or the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Cena was just one of “the boys.” Until a then-more-famous WWE Superstar tapped out of a movie that was written just for him.
Cena’s film debut as a leading man was 2006’s The Marine. But on a recent episode of the podcast Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, longtime WWE creative executive Bruce "Brother Love" Prichard revealed the part was originally written for WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin.
"The Marine was a vehicle for Steve. Steve didn't want to do it. So we needed someone else to step into that role, because we had the movie, we had the script, we had the director. We had everybody on board. Now, all we needed was the star. Who is it that we are going to put into this position to hopefully take it to the next level and become that next movie star?"
Austin’s since gone on to host a wildly successful podcast and several reality series (along with making an inspirational return to the ring in 2022 – 19 years after his career ended due to a neck injury). Meanwhile, Cena is second only to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as far as going from the squared circle to the silver screen.
The irony? Austin wound up giving both the rub, as he was involved in a famous angle with The Rock that left a WWE title belt resting somewhere at the bottom of a lake in New Hampshire…