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Bruce Prichard Recalls John Cena’s 2008 Royal Rumble Return, Keeping It A Surprise

March 1, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
John Cena Royal Rumble Image Credit: WWE

On a recent episode of Something To Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed No Way Out 2008. Bruce talked about when he knew John Cena was returning at the 2008 Royal Rumble and the decision to keep the return a surprise. Some highlights are below:

On when he knew Cena was returning: “I don’t know. Maybe a month before, maybe six weeks before. John is a cyborg. Best way to describe him. That you could injure John in what most people would be out for six months, John would be out six weeks. He just had unbelievable recuperative powers and a desire to not sit on the sidelines. I think that while a lot of people would relish that time, ‘Oh hey, I’ve got time off I could just chill for six months.’ John looked at like ‘Oh God, I’ve got time off. I’ve got to get back. I’ve got to work harder than I ever have to get back.’ Sometimes that works to a disadvantage too, because if you push too hard that may make the injury worse therefore keeping you out a lot longer. With John he get checked out by all the doctors got cleared and it’s like a miracle he caught a ball. It was great.”

On keeping Cena a surprise for the Rumble: “It’s just a feeling. It doesn’t matter whose idea that it is, and/or you reach a point and a lot of times you get to that point you have a feeling and you’re sitting going, ‘You know most of the audience believes he won’t be back probably for another two months.’ Was he going to sell any more tickets and/or pay-per view, and I also believe that sometimes word of mouth after an event as well, was extremely valuable to get people that were on the fence or that didn’t order to go, ‘Oh my God, John Cena came back I’ve got to see this’ and order the replay immediately. So, I think that my feeling was one of they are not expecting him lets wait and there are others and I subscribe to this theory, too. That you have John Cena he’s returning lets make a big deal out of it and lets advertise it lets talk about him coming into the Royal Rumble. Will he be ready you know ask all those questions in front of it versus allowing you don’t always get those opportunities. They have a big surprise like that sometimes again if it’s been that long, but it wasn’t that long with John. So, lets get him back and lets get him in there. Lets make a surprise that’s my feeling”

On having a Plan B if Cena couldn’t return: “Everybody’s got a Plan B in the back of their head. You don’t think that way until you have to most times. I don’t two different ‘Well, if this happens and I’ll do this or if this happens’ you book and write to your ideal scenario. What’s the best story and you lay that out and then if there are speed bumps along the way then it’s like okay well I gotta do something else. Then you come up with Plan B.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.