Both men are considered two of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Nobody in WWE can match them for world championships – they boast 16 World title runs each – and they are two of the most popular WWE superstars in the history of the company.
While they were at their biggest in vastly different eras, they did overlap in the WWE from 2002 to 2008. Cena was just coming through as a young up-and-comer whilst Flair was a veteran on his last legs, looking for one last run with the company. The pair seemed to hit it off during their time together, becoming firm friends and spending their free time drinking together and having crazy nights out.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, the 16 Time World Champion revealed that WWE management had told Cena that he wasn’t allowed to hang around with Ric Flair on the WWE’s European tour. This was in 2008 as Cena was the top face in the company and regularly battling for the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship.
Flair was near the end of his career and would retire after losing to Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24, in 2008. During this time, the pair would go out drinking together, with Flair allegedly convincing Cena to drink with him even though he did not drink at all before that. He was noted as a negative influence on the young star and WWE management quietly had a word with Cena about not hanging around with the Nature Boy any longer.
In the interview, Ric Flair stated;
“About 10 years ago, he was told not to hang around with. It was around 2008, I’d go out drinking with John [Cena], and John could drink some beer back then. They told John “We’d like you to hang out a little less around Flair on those European Tour”. I didn’t take it personally”
Ric Flair spoke about some of the times that he drank with John Cena, on an episode of “The Steve Austin Show”. Whilst being interviewed by fellow WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, he revealed how he was drinking with John Cena and former WWE personality Mike Adamle in a hotel bar, when an argument with his wife spiralled out of control.
His wife questioned his friendship with John Cena, which led to a night out with The Champ which lasted until four o’clock in the morning and caused his wife to move out of the hotel and go home without him. He proved that night that he and Cena shared a lot of things, including an extortionate amount of drinks and a love for professional wrestling.