Vince McMahon, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officers of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), called John Cena a “walking, talking steroid billborad” according to long-time professional wrestling insider Bruce Prichard. McMahon was absolutely convinced that Cena used anabolic steroids to help build his overly-muscular physique.
Prichard was McMahon’s right hand man who served primarily as the writer responsible for the creative story-lines that comprised the WWE television programming thoughout the 1980s and 1990s. Prichard recounted McMahon’s first impression of Cena on his weekly podcast “Something to Wrestle With” co-hosted with Conrad Thompson on MLWRadio.com.
“Cena comes back, signs his contract, his tests come back, he’s clean as a whistle, and Vince walks up to me and says ‘get that walking, talking steroid billboard out of our backstage!’ I’m like ‘who?’ — ‘That guy!’ and he’s pointing out Cena. I’m like: ‘Vince, we just signed him,’” Prichard revealed on Episode 52: The Rise of John Cena uploaded on June 23, 2017.
“Vince made the initial assumption that I think everybody made when they saw John, especially back in those days. (Cena) was doing commercials for Gold’s Gym and he was ripped to shreds. But that was Vince’s first impression of John Cena: a walking, talking steroid billboard.”
Cena told McMahon that he never used steroids but McMahon and Prichard still didn’t believe him for some time. Prichard even advised Cena to discontinue all performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in spite of Cena’s protestations that he was clean.
Cena has consistently denied using steroids throughout his pro wrestling career and has never failed a drug test. McMahon and Prichard eventually accepted that Cena really didn’t use steroids.
The suspicion that Cena’s muscular physique benefitted from the use of steroids is not surprising. Cena is 6-feet 1-inches tall and weights 250 pounds with an incredibly low bodyfat level. This type of physique is exceedingly rare with or without the use of steroids.
When he was younger, Cena actually competed in the drug-plagued sport of bodybuilding. Steroid use is practically mandatory in competitive bodybuilding. But Cena made a point of competing only in natural contests such as the “1999 NPC Ironman Magazine Naturally”.
McMahon and Prichard aren’t the only ones to currently defend Cena as a steroid-free athlete. Chris Bell, the director of the “Bigger Stronger Faster” documentary about steroids in sport and society, has known Cena since the beginning of the pro wrestler’s career. Bell is convinced, without a doubt, that Cena is telling the truth.
Yet most people, even some of his biggest fans, still don’t believe him especially when everyone else is using steroids. The fact is that Cena looks better than 99% of the people who use steroids. Cena understands this and is apparently okay with it. Cena is proud to have built his body “the right way”.
“That’s what everybody thinks anyway… it’s just so difficult because nowadays… But, I’m proud of who I am, I’m proud of what I’ve done, I’m proud to do it the right way,” Cena said on the “live! With Chris Jericho” WWE Network special in April 2015.
“And like you said, whether there’s been testing involved or there hasn’t, my body has looked exactly the same. I’ve been 250 pounds from the second I walked in here until right now. I got up to around 220 pounds my senior year in high school and I’ve been there ever since.”
Is John Cena’s physique the result of freak bodybuilding genetics? Or is Cena simply lying about steroids? What do you think?