In the aftermath of WWE’s monumental merger with the UFC, the professional wrestling landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. As the $21.4 billion sports entertainment empire takes shape, fans and insiders alike are eager to discover what the future holds for WWE superstars. Amid the buzz surrounding the merger, Nick Khan, WWE President, has shed light on a superstar who transcended wrestling, the global phenomenon known as John Cena.
Recently, during a podcast appearance, Khan offered insight into why WWE may never produce another John Cena, while subtly acknowledging another rising star, and surprisingly, it’s not Roman Reigns.
The Quest for the ‘Next John Cena’
In the wake of the groundbreaking merger on September 12th, the world anticipates the dawn of a new era in professional wrestling.
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With the merger introducing a host of key players and their roles, Nick Khan has become a prominent figure in the wrestling landscape. After serving as CEO for several years, Khan now holds the position of WWE President.
During an interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Khan shared his thoughts on the irreplaceable John Cena, stating, “You get a John Cena, and part of the fun is that we just need to find the next John Cena. There is no next John Cena.” This statement underscores the challenge of reproducing such a unique talent, even as WWE continues to cultivate new megastars.
In a surprising twist, Khan singled out LA Knight, remarking, “Hey, this is our next so and so. I’ve never seen it work. LA Knight is the first LA Knight, and that’s part of why we think that he’s resonating.” Khan’s recognition of LA Knight as a standout talent underscores the complexity of replacing a legend like Cena.
The sentiment behind Khan’s words is understandable, given the Herculean task of replicating Cena’s impact on WWE. WWE previously attempted to elevate Roman Reigns to Cena’s level, a journey that required years before Reigns found his authentic character as the Tribal Chief and ascended to the top.
However, it’s intriguing that Khan mentioned LA Knight rather than Reigns in comparison to Cena. Nevertheless, while Khan showered praise on Cena and Knight, he also shared his candid views on CM Punk.
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Khan’s Take on CM Punk
As CM Punk’s temporary exit from wrestling left fans longing for his return, Khan offered his perspective on the enigmatic figure. In an interview with ESPN’s Mark Raimondi, Khan acknowledged Punk’s contributions, neither confirming nor denying the possibility of his return to WWE. He stated, “Listen, we only have respect for Phil.”
As WWE embarks on this new chapter post-merger, the wrestling world remains captivated by the unfolding narrative and the potential emergence of new megastars.