Del Rio, a Mexican aristocrat and skilled wrestler who does a good job combining the American and lucha styles, is a four-time champion in WWE (two WWE title reigns and twice with the World title).
“Anyone who can be a champion at our level deserves respect,” Cena said. “I tend not to be the guy who runs everybody down because I’ve had my share of wins and my share of loses...You can’t ignore the fact he’s the World heavyweight champion.”
Toward the end of Cena’s rehab, he visited WWE’s new state-of-the-art Performance Center in Orlando.
He said: “I went there for a week and was very, very impressed with all the facilities that they have there.”
When he competes Sunday in Miami, Cena will sport a protective compression sleeve (with pad insert) on his surgically repaired arm, similar to what former NBA star Allen Iverson wore and what Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade wears. That will minimize any swelling and help decrease impact on the arm.
• Cena is dating WWE diva Nikki Bella of “Total Divas” fame on E! television. Because Nikki is one of the show’s stars, her personal relationship with Cena is made public on the program.
“That was difficult,” Cena said, “but I’m glad I made the decision to do that, and a lot of that had to do with Nicole’s influence, obviously. I really wanted the show to be a success. I truly love Nicole, and I believe in her. It was a conscience decision for me to do it. I think our viewers will enjoy the second half of the first season that’s coming back in mid-November on the E! network. As the show grows, it gets better and more interesting to watch, and I think fans will enjoy it this time around.”
WWE diva Brie Bella, her twin sister, has a WWE divas title match against AJ Lee (with Tamina) at Hell in a Cell, and Brie’s fiancé is Daniel Bryan. If Cena wins the World title, and Bryan wins the WWE title, and Brie captures the WWE divas title on Sunday, where does that leave Nikki?
Cena chuckled: “Hopefully going out to dinner with me at some wonderful restaurant in Miami late Sunday night.”
She’ll be OK with everyone else wearing a championship belt but her?
Cena replied: “I’ll let her share mine.”
Cena could buy Nikki some gold. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.
How long did it take John Cena to figure out the identity of each Bella twin, who was who, when they first arrived in WWE?
“Longer than I would like to admit,” he sighed.
Bryan and Brie Bella recently got engaged. Does that put any pressure on John Cena?
“No. I think each couple -- whether they are related or not or in the same workplace as you or not -- has their own relationship,” Cena said. “I’ve always gone by the assumption that if I’m happy, then things are going well, and if I’m not, then I’ve got to find out the reason I’m not happy.”
Cena is happy in his relationship with Nikki, his return with WWE and his hobby with his cars.
Cena’s favorite in his collection is a 2001 Lamborghini Diablo 6.0. Cena would like to own the new Lamborghini Aventador.
“LeBron James bought one and returned it because he couldn’t fit in it,” Cena noted. “So I thank my lucky stars I’m not 6-8 or 6-9.”