Paul Heyman disputed a recent story from Bruce Prichard regarding John Cena's rap gimmick, which took Cena from career uncertainty to main event status. Prichard claimed on his Something To Wrestle podcast that Heyman hated the gimmick and felt that it would "kill Cena's career."
"To quote Paul Heyman, 'you put the rap gimmick on Cena and you will kill John Cena's career'," Prichard said. "Paul felt that the rap gimmick was going to be the death knell of John Cena
and that it would stereotype him and pigeonhole him and he would never be able to work his way out of it. Hated the idea, went to Cena and told Cena, 'they're killing your career', 'don't do it', 'it's going to be bad'. And [Heyman] went to Vince and told Vince it's going to kill [Cena] and the fact that Paul petitioned so hard against it probably helped Vince [decide], 'yeah, let's try it.' And I think it worked out alright for him."
Cena had been having a rough run in WWE before the rap gimmick. During a Q&A with The Soscia Network in 2012, Cena noted that Vince McMahon and Triple H wanted him fired up until that point.
"Back in 2003, 2002, when I was just wearing boots and tights and I was supposed to be the ruthless aggression young good guy, nobody in the company liked me," Cena said. "I know Vince McMahon won't admit this, but he wanted me fired, Triple H wanted me fired, everybody hated me. They just wouldn't give me a forum to showcase my talents. I've always been able to connect with the audience if given the ability to speak."
Heyman was an early proponent of Cena, and Cena was his first draft pick from OVW. Heyman took to Twitter this morning and noted that he pushed for Cena in the company from the beginning.
"I drafted @JohnCena from #OVW," Heyman tweeted. "I pushed for Cena from day one. @StephMcMahon heard him rap on a bus in the UK, and pushed 4 it."
Heyman disputed Prichard's claims regarding the rap gimmick, stating that he never thought Cena should drop it, but that it should just be one part of his character.
"My push for @JohnCena was NEVER 'don't do the rap gimmick' but 'don't do ONLY the rap gimmick,' which was the correct formula," Heyman wrote. "And you can't discuss the Cena rap gimmick era and his expansion from it w/o talking about @Lagana, who deserves massive props!"
William Windsor contributed to this article. Follow Raj Giri on Twitter at @RajGiri_303. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.