John Cena Spinner Belt
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Jim Ross Disliked Cena’s Spinner Belt: It’s Simply ‘A Gimmick To Sell Merchandise’

On the latest edition of the Grilling JR Podcast, good ol’ Jim Ross talked at length about the career of the recent new resident of the Firefly Fun House, WWE Legend John Cena. He said that he knew as soon as he signed him that the man would be a “WrestleMania main event in 5 years”, and he lived up to that hype.

However, his success came with some controversial decisions that still have ripple effects in modern wrestling, like Cena’s Spinner Belt. Since its inception, the company hasn’t been without a main title belt that features the WWE logo prominently. When it started, it was just a gimmick.

I didn’t think it was appropriate, but look, I wasn’t a big fan of the Smoking Skull Belt. It was a gimmick to sell merchandise. I’m sure WWE did a good job of marketing and selling those replica belts…It didn’t run anybody off, I’m sure they sold a ton of those things.

Jim Ross also commented on why he thought Cena was booed throughout his career, saying that it became a pattern in much the same way it has with Roman Reigns more recently.

It could have been something to do with the fact that John was overexposed. Fans thought he was being forced down their throats. It was just an uncomfortable fit at times because there was really no other reason to not like John. Then it became like a trend. When people first heard it on television, you think, that’s strange. Then you go to another market for Monday Night Raw and they are booing again. I think it was monkey see, monkey do.

Despite his mixed legacy, Ross ended the discussion by proclaiming him one of the top five babyfaces in WWE “without a doubt, hands down.” “You never had to worry about John Cena embarrassing the company outside or inside of the cocoon.  Saying he is a top 5 babyface in WWE history, that includes Bruno, Hogan, Austin, Rock, Undertaker, all these dudes.  He belongs in that same conversation.”

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Thanks to our friends at PWInsider for the podcast transcriptions!