Being the WWE's highest-profile Superstar, it has to be hard for John Cena to let Hollywood go to voicemail. At the 2017 Royal Rumble in January, Cena won his 16th World Championship, tying Ric Flair's long-uncontested record. Basically, dude's in a class that only a few Superstars occupy, but he's also one of the most marketable people in the business, which means that Cena will find himself doing everything from hosting Saturday Night Live to being featured in Trainwreck, alongside a host of upcoming opportunities (including two seasons of Fox's American Grit to the forthcoming animated feature Ferdinand). That also means he'll be the face of body sprays designed specifically for active individuals.
That's right, John Cena has become the brand ambassador for Tapout Body Sprays, which makes every bit of sense. He's the kind of guy who will put in work at the gym, then have to dash out in a slick, tailored suit for some corporate event. Like Kid said in House Party, you "can't roll up on the set stankin'!" Enter Cena, says he was an active participant in crafting this set of six body sprays, which are available now at Wal-mart.
Cena took some time out of his hectic schedule to not only talk the creating of the Tapout Body Spray line but to discuss his "part-time" status with the WWE, if he has a dream role in mind for himself, and where he sees this phase of his WWE career going.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
How did you get involved with Tapout for their line of body sprays?
The WWE and Tapout already have a relationship. We want to be in areas of all things fitness and wellness and certainly confidence and smelling good, especially after physical activity, is one of those. We kind of looked at that—and I say we because I really am an active part of that—we just looked in that space of body sprays of people that are in that space and a lot of the marketing driven towards there is based off on lack of confidence and really targeting people who have low self-esteem and self-confidence. We thought we could get in there with a recognizable name, I certainly stepped up to be the face of the brand, and we just wanted to send a message to the consumer, that’s all.
How deeply were you involved?
Tapout actually was very accepting in my feedback. I told them the scents that I usually wear, what I like, why I like them, and they got with a company called Elizabeth Arden and they came up with some stuff that I really enjoy. It really mimics the stuff that I gravitated to before Tapout Body Sprays were released and they do what [they're] supposed to do; [they give] you that certain feel of freshness and confidence.
Is there one particular spray above the others that you feel best represents you?
The freshness of Defy, that’s more like something you’d use after a workout that’s something I dig, and then as far as just like dinner dates and stuff I always kind of get myself trapped when I go to dinner with Nicole, there’s a scent called Core and that’s really close to what I gravitated towards before the scents were released.
You recently made your return to the WWE, and leading into that a lot of people were giving you the tag of being a "part-timer." You made it a point of saying that you’re not a part timer, but that you’re an all-timer. Do these labels affect you and how you’re operating in your WWE career today?
Yes and no. I’m still a fan of the WWE and I think that’s the most important thing. When you’re a fan, you stay very close to all the programming and all the broadcasts, there’s no dipping around the fact that I haven’t been on the program in a while because I’ve been doing other stuff. I haven’t danced around it, I explained that the reason I cannot be on the program is because the movie folks, their insurance doesn’t allow you to. That’s a dealbreaker, it’s not negotiable. But instead of laying low for a few months before I start another project, the second that I wrapped, I scurried on a plane and got right back into the WWE fold. I guess that’s what I mean by all-timer.
I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of great things happen, a lot of great opportunities, I could’ve just taken a month or two off and just sit back and relax and gotten myself together before the next thing but I don’t want to do that. I think it’s imperative to be home with what I call my family and when I have any time available I will bring it into a WWE ring. I will work nonstop. I won’t just [say], "okay I’ve made it out of the WWE," which is what a lot of folks aspire to do they want to go onto something bigger and better when I think the WWE is the biggest and the best.
Can you talk about the idea of you being a "free agent" in the WWE?
The reason that I wanted to be a free agent and the reason they kind of granted my request is because I don’t know if I’ll be available for Smackdown specific only or Raw specific only, and I also know that my days are numbered. I just turned 40 in April and we have so many young and talented performers, I don’t know how many years I have left. So in the time I have left, I’m gonna do what I can to dedicate to this company I just want to be able to do it the most time that I possibly can.
When you’re done wrestling, how do you see yourself being involved with the WWE, if involved at all?
If the day comes when I’m not involved with the WWE that would come as a drastic surprise to me. I would certainly understand it because we all have our career paths and nothing lasts forever but WWE has been my family for the past 15 years and I’ve been very vocal about my passion and love for not just my time in the ring as a wrestler, but the company itself, what it stands for, the people that work for. I literally would do whatever they asked me to. In whatever capacity I can help the company I would love to do so.
We loved your work in Trainwreck and you’ve been hyping [the animated film] Ferdinand, but what are you looking for as an actor, are there any particular roles that you hope are out there?
Well, the first time I kind of tried to do movies it was pretty much people took a look physically at me and they’re like, oh yeah, great, action star that’s easy. But after 15 years of telling stories, the thing I gravitate to most is a really good story. I’m not gonna say I wanna do just comedies or just drama or just action, what I pride myself on being able to do in the WWE ring that challenges everyone else that I tangle with is the ability to tell a story and I think that’s my strongest point. And that’s why in small roles in Daddy’s Home or Sisters or Trainwreck or Ferdinand or even Tour de Pharmacy, I get excited about doing that stuff because I see my piece of the story and I just want to tell a good story. I don’t know necessarily ideally what the role would be, but I’ll know it when I read it.
Finally, before you took a break from WWE, you proposed to Nikki Bella in the middle of the ring during Wrestlemania. Are you guys taking it slow?
The speed of everything is directly dependent on Nicole. I’m one of those guys where it took me five years to get down on one knee, so I’m ready to go, but I also know there’s a lot into planning that day and since it’s taken so long, it should be absolutely everything that both of us want. We are both super, super busy and it just has to be right. I really, really want to say I hope it’s gonna be next year sometime, but also I want to do it when it’s right for Nicole and she can get the most out of it as well.