wrestling / News

Freddie Prinze Jr. Recalls Not Getting Along With John Cena in WWE, Vince McMahon’s Promo Classes

August 1, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Freddie Prinze Jr John Cena

– During an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Freddie Prinze Jr. discussed his time writing for WWE and recalled not getting along with John Cena. Prinze joined the WWE Creative team in July of 2008 and wrote promos for the company. He would leave in February of the next year but returned for a stint from 2010 to 2012 where he was a producer and helped teach the younger talent how to develop their promo skills. Prinze recalled that Cena didn’t like him and even disrupted one of his promo classes.

Highlights from the discussion, as well as the full video, are below:

On Cena not getting along with him: “John Cena and I were the only ones who really didn’t get along. Like he, it got to the point where — and I respect what John brought to WWE. He had to hold that company on its shoulders during the PG era, when no one else wanted to. That could have been Hunter, but he didn’t want that cross. He wanted to be more rated R and do the stuff he liked to do. John took that upon himself. So for that, wrestling fans should be grateful because it’s what made the company enough money to go in the direction that hopefully we all want it to go in. But we did not get along, and he did not like that I was there. I think he called me Ashton Kutcher for like the first three months I was there.”

Freddie Prinze Jr. on Cena disrupting one of his promo classes: “[Cena] walked into one of the acting classes, in the middle of it, and just sat down in the middle of the class. And in-between the two wrestlers [who were the focus at the moment]. And I go, ‘Yo man, let me talk to you outside for a minute.’ He comes outside, and I’m not one to have like confrontations with some giant musclehead dude. But I’m not gonna take s**t off anybody, or otherwise you’re dead at that company. So we go outside, I’m like, ‘Look bro, you’re not in this class because you know how to do this. But you don’t want to teach these guys or girls s**t. So let me do my job, let me do what Vince wants me’ — I say Vince’s name, so he knows. ‘Let me do what Vince wants me to do, and just stay out of here.’ And to his credit, he goes ‘Look, I know I approach this stuff in a barbaric sort of way, but you either got it or you don’t!’ I said, ‘Dude, you’re right about that. But you can get better or worse depending on the type of instruction you have. And do you want people to have instruction from Vince in the promo class or from me?'”

Freddie Prinze Jr. on Vince’s promo classes: “To give you an example of Vince’s promo classes, he had Wade Barrett and Seamus stand up in front of every wrestler, every producer … everyone in the company in this boardroom. And he looks at them both and goes, ‘You’re a dog, and you’re a dog. Now make me wanna watch you fight!’ And the room is dead quiet. No one can say anything. It’s so quiet that after a full minute, Sheamus says, accidentally, ‘I think I’m having an out-of-body experience.’ Doesn’t know he said it. The whole room goes crazy. Vince yells, ‘You’re a dog!’ Both of ’em get quiet again. Wade Barrett, God bless him, is the courageous one in this instance, and he starts first. But after the second ‘You’re a dog,’ he thought he was supposed to be a dog. So he barked. Vince jumps up, flips the table over that has all the Monday Night Raw scripts on it, with like six people’s scripts, protein drinks that he drinks all day long, his protein bars that are laying out. Everything flies off the table, he goes, ‘Aw, dammit!’ Storms out. I go up to Vince after, go ‘Hey man, maybe I can take over the promo class. Because I think I can speak that language that you’re speaking and then translate it to them. Because you’re using terms like razzle-dazzle and they just don’t know what that means.’ And he handed me the promo class.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.