John Cena Sounds Off On Vince McMahon Sexual Assault Allegations

WWE legend has "love" for disgraced former chairman during Howard Stern interview.

Vince McMahon John Cena

Wednesday saw John Cena give his first extensive public comments on Vince McMahon since the former WWE Chairman was slapped with a civil suit for alleged sexual assault and trafficking a former employee, and those comments were full of empathy -- just not for who one might think.

During an interview on the Howard Stern Show, Cena was asked about situation involving McMahon, which involves allegations from Janel Grant of sexual, physical and emotional abuse by McMahon between 2019 and 2022, and a federal investigation for sexual assault and sex trafficking. Stern framed the question by noting that he's had friends who have been accused of doing unsavory things, and he has had to cut ties with them due to his own moral standards.

Cena, a WWE legend who has set the world record for most Make-A-Wish wishes to sick and dying children, chose to talk about his love for Vince and being there for him. You can listen to the segment here.


During the five-minute portion, Cena did not say anything negative about McMahon, did not opine about the allegations themselves, and did not reference the victim at all. Instead, he depicted the serious allegations as "a hill to climb".

"I don't think it's complicated to talk about. It's complicated to listen to. That's why I don't necessarily put a lot of time and equity into it. There’s still a long way to go. I can say this, I’m a big advocate of love and friendship and honesty, and communication. In the same breath, I’m also a big advocate of accountability. If someone's behavior lies so far outside of your value system that the balance shifts of, 'I can't operate in a world where this works', that's the end result of being accountable. Right now, I’m gonna love the person I love, be their friend. 'I love you, you have a hill to climb.' There is the saying of, 'You don’t know who your friends are until sh*t hits the fan or your back is against the wall.' That doesn't make any of what's going on any easier to swallow. Just telling someone you love them, it’s a hill to climb, and we’ll see what happens. That's that. It sounds so cliche, but it has to be one day at a time. I've openly said, I love the guy, I have a great relationship with the guy, and that’s that. It's largely my construct of operating with honesty and communication. Those are strong leads to handling any problem or achievement. The whole thing is super unfortunate and it sucks. It deals with an individual I love and an entity I love. I want everyone to have the experience that I have. Not only do I tell a friend that I love them, but I switch to the entity and say, 'How can I help?'"

By contrast, current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins didn't hold back during an interview earlier this month, saying succinctly: "It’s awful. It’s terrible. I hate it. It’s a disgusting situation."


Cena refusing to say something sharply critical of McMahon isn't entirely surprising -- he avoided doing so in 2022 after the reports of Vince paying millions of dollars in hush money for sexual misconduct surfaced -- but at a stage where McMahon has been ousted, with former executive allies turning on him, and federal investigators digging in, you would think the image-conscious star would read the room a bit better and at least temper his "love" for the guy.

The odds are greater that more allegations and evidence start trickling out -- such as the recently revealed accusation from the late Ashley Massaro that McMahon sexually preyed on herself and other female WWE stars -- than Vince is totally exonerated.


(h/t to for the transcript)

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Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.