John Cena Shows His True Colors With Public Response to LA Knight Refusing to Shake His Hand Initially at Payback 2023

Published 10/05/2023, 2:45 PM EDT

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John Cena had made his official return in September 2023 ahead of the Payback event. This marked his official return to WWE. At Payback, he was willing to be the guest referee for LA Knight vs. The Miz,, where LA Knight came out victorious. However, something happened when The Leader of the Cenation went to shake the star’s hand.

Over a month later, he broke his silence on how he felt when LA Knight showed hesitation while shaking hands with him.

John Cena sees himself in LA Knight


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John Cena was present at the recent episode of WWE’s The Bump. When host Kayla Braxton asked him how he felt when LA Knight showed hesitation in shaking his hand at Payback 2023, Cena gave a heartfelt answer. He said that the response was justifiable as he sees himself in LA Knight. “I felt great, only because it reminds me of when I started to gain a little bit of notoriety and relevance in the WWE,” he said. He said that their stories run almost parallel with both of them never giving up.


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He even added that Knight has worked hard to get where he is right now, according to John Cena “This is a job that shouldn’t exist”. According to the wrestler, success in the wrestling industry is focused on the relevancy and consistency that one achieves. According to him, LA Knight has achieved these two with hard work and he deserves the respect for it.

Speaking of respect, the Hollywood star decided to shed some light on how mutual respect in the industry should work.


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John Cena on respect: “It’s a boomerang”

When the topic of mutual respect came up, Cena gave an anecdote on how mutual respect works. He compared it to a boomerang. He said, “You know what you throw out there is gonna come back at you.” According to him, respect is something that needs to be earned. “Mutual respect is something which should be reciprocal. You gotta have a certain candor, a certain respect to gain that respect. I would say that it’s a boomerang,” he said.


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Fans couldn’t agree more with his wise words as he is someone known to spread the same message on his t-shirts and merchandise. The amount of respect he has for LA Knight, he showcased on various occasions. Now, with both of them forming a tag team against Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikao at Fastlane, fans are excited to see what will happen next. Do you think this will lead to a new tag team at SmackDown? 

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Written by:

Shaikh Aerajuddin


One take at a time

Shaikh Aerajuddin is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. With a Masters degree in Sports Science, Aeraj always carries a keen eye for detail and understands the various nuances of pro wrestling beyond the ring. Being a pro wrestling fan from his childhood, Aeraj now uses his analytical mind to tell a story in his articles for ES.
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Edited by:

Donna Eva