During the mid-2000s, John Cena and Dave Bautista were comfortably the two biggest stars in WWE. Both men were homegrown products trained by the company who lifted their first world championships at the same event, before being positioned as the top draws in the professional wrestling business, facing off inside the squared circle on multiple occasions.
They’ve now made the jump to the acting business, where Bautista very quickly got fed up of being compared to Cena and Dwayne Johnson, Hollywood’s other famed ex-grappler. Not only has the Guardians of the Galaxy star slated The Rock’s acting ability and the Fast & Furious franchise that he and Cena have each been a part of, but he’s also outlined in no uncertain terms that he’s got absolutely no interest whatsoever in co-starring alongside them in a project.
Bautista isn’t bitter, he just wants to leave his past behind and forge his own path as an actor, even helpfully offering a visual aid outlining that he’s already tackled a multitude of challenging parts in his brief big screen career, whereas Cena and Johnson can typically be found in either broad comedies or big budget action blockbusters.
In a new interview, Cena responded to Bautista’s thinly-veiled criticisms, and The Suicide Squad and F9 alum’s response was surprisingly diplomatic, not to mentioned heavily burnished with high praise for his former in-ring rival.
“I’m super sad about that because Dave Bautista is an unbelievably gifted actor. He’s done some amazing work. But I think when someone makes a statement like that, I think the important thing is to try to look at things from their perspective. Dave has worked so hard on his craft and he is so dedicated to his characters and really wants to put forth a body of work that gives him his own identity.
I 100% understand that. Dave is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and one of the most generous guys you’ll ever meet. I don’t have any beef with Dave and I really genuinely think Dave doesn’t have any beef with me. He really just wants to be identified and recognized for his work. And I cannot fault him for that. I applaud him for it. To be brave enough to say something like that kind of allows him to go forth on his own and I appreciate that.”
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Cena is nothing if not polite, and having known Bautista for close to two decades he’ll be more than aware the Army of the Dead headliner isn’t one for mincing his words, but at least there doesn’t appear to be any genuine bad blood between the two as they continue to enhance their onscreen reputations.