John Cena the Experience: A New Respect for the Man Who Makes Wishes Come True
It's no shocker that the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) despises John Cena. I used to be one of them.
However, in the last several months, my dislike of Cena has done a complete 180.
What has caused this, you might ask?
Well, first off, for those of you who read my articles, you know that I have a two-and-a-half year old son who just recently started watching wrestling.
Though I've tried to guide him along the way to admire greats like Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho (sadly through DVD and not live on RAW), the pull of Cena is just too great.
And honestly, I can't blame my son.
He roots for Cena for the same reasons many of us rooted for Hulk Hogan when we were young.
Cena is big, colorful, the good guy and just larger than life.
Since my son started cheering for Cena, I too have begun cheering for the ultimate face. At first, it was simply to appease my son. He cheers for Cena, so Daddy cheers right along with him.
It was then I started to realize something about myself and about the IWC. We've all become cynics; we think we know better than Vince McMahon and the rest of the WWE creative team.
We call ourselves "true wrestling fans," but in all honesty we have completely forgotten what it's like to be true wrestling fans.
We bitch and moan about "our guy" not getting a push, claim McMahon does this because he doesn't like this superstar or that superstar or because he wants to stick it to the IWC.
In reality, however, that's not the case. Vince pushes the guys he believes can carry the company and sell the most tickets, merchandise and Pay-Per-Views.
You see, all this complaining we do and digging for insider knowledge isn't what it's like to be a true wrestling fan.
My son, that ten-year-old Rey Mysterio gives his mask too, that little boy in the front row of RAW with the John Cena shirt on—those are the "true wrestling fans".
Those are the fans who get completely lost in the entertainment value of the WWE. Whether they believe it to be real or not, they get caught up in everything WWE.
They're not concerned with just one storyline; they're concerned with them all. It's as if the outcome of Wrestlemania will have further reaching consequences than it actually does.
To them, the WWE Universe is a magical place where they can see these larger-than-life Superstars do battle.
And this is where Cena comes back in. There is no one currently on the WWE roster that better fits the larger-than-life mold than John Cena.
However, it wasn't just blindly cheering for him along with my son that truly turned me into (dare I say it, yes I dare) a Cena fan.
No, this past Sunday as my son and I were searching through Netflix on our Playstation 3, we came across Cena's big face for the cover of John Cena: The Experience.
My son yelled, "I want to watch John Cena!"
So I hit play, and it began.
I thought this was going to be your typical WWE DVD chronicling Cena's journey to the WWE and then his rise to Champion, but it wasn't.
The DVD's focus was simply on the week before last year's Wrestlemania and what it was like for Cena.
For a moment, think about any given week out of your year. For the most part, they're quite uneventful and go by fairly quickly.
Granted, the week before Wrestlemania is a huge week for the WWE, especially for it's biggest star, but all the promoting and preparation Cena did made it seem like a year in his life, not just a week.
But there were two other things Cena did that week. On two separate days, in those seven, Cena gave his time to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
In fact, when they interviewed one of the foundation's employees, the employee gushed that Cena had granted over 200 wishes.
I want everyone (especially those who truly despise Cena) to think about that for a second.
John Cena has taken time out of his busy (and trust me—it's hectic) schedule to bring a little joy to over 200 children that won't grow up, won't get a driver's license, won't meet the boy/girl of their dreams and won't ever start a family.
In fact, John has done so much for the Make-a-Wish Foundation that during his busy Wrestlemania week last year in Arizona, the foundation awarded him its highest honor—The Chris Greicius Award. If you head on over to www.wish.org and search for John Cena you'll see tons of videos and pictures of Cena spreading joy and also the massive amounts of kids who are requesting that their wish is to meet John.
Cena's acts of kindness, as well as seeing my son's admiration for him, has not only changed my view on Cena himself but on wrestling as a whole.
I've begun to view the WWE as I did as a child. No longer am I worried about my favorites getting a push or not (though Christian is due). Instead, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the program as a whole.
So there you have it—my journey there and back again. I went from bright eyed kid cheering on the Rockers and Hulk Hogan, to a cynic born of the Attitude era cheering on Shawn Michaels, Y2J and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and then to bright eyed parent rooting for (of all people) John Cena, right along with my bright-eyed son who loves to wear his Loyalty and Hustle t-shirt.
For more on the WWE or the NFL (or lack there of right now) follow me on Twitter (@jomac006).
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