John Cena has done just about everything there is to do in the wrestling business. He’s a legitimate Hollywood star, a 16 time world champion, granted the most Make-A-Wishes in history, and most recently won Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
Before Cena steps back into the squared circle once again tonight, he took some time to speak with us about his success outside of the world of wrestling.
It’s hard to believe, but Cena has granted over 500 Make-A-Wishes; he’s granted so many that it’s literally become categorized as 500+. That type of accomplishment gives an individual a very unique perspective on the world that very few have.
With so many different charitable accomplishments, we wanted to know if there was a particular one that stood out among others for Cena.
Is there a particular charitable act or Make-A-Wish that stands out to you more than others?
“The moment when I realized what Make-A-Wish was and that it had an effect on people’s lives. The first one I did, I was kind of dragged into a room and I didn’t know what was going on. I inquired afterwards, “who did I just meet and why?” It was a Make-A-Wish family that was there to see another superstar, but they just wanted to meet more people. Then I found out what Make-A-Wish was, and I started being requested. To me, that’s the coolest thing ever. We all reach a point of self awareness or self confidence where we gravitate towards a cause. Anybody doing great charity work is great charity. I’m at the end of the line and I see the happiness it provides. It’s taught me so much about life.”
Cena now finds himself in a balancing act that very few people have accomplished. He’s achieved a next level success in his career that only The Rock can relate to – a juggling act of being an actor, wrestler, and humanitarian. Rock and Cena were once legitimate bitter rivals, now turned friends. With that type of special history, we wanted to know the best advice Rock gave Cena.
Going into this next phase of your career, is there any important advice The Rock gave you?
“The Rock has been genuine enough to tell me to be myself. I think it was great advice. It came right at a time when I needed it. I tried some movies before, and they weren’t really successful. The reason I was doing those movies was trying to create a business model. Then I looked back at myself and realized I just like telling stories. He gave me some pretty cool advice at unbelievable timing. He said: ‘Hey man, they’re going to like you, or hate you, for you. Be yourself. At least that way at the end of the day you’ll feel good about your body of work.’”
The crop of talent has grown since Cena last stepped foot in a WWE ring. The last time he was in a match on any live programming was the WWE Super Show-Down on October 6, where he teamed with Bobby Lashley against Kevin Owens and Elias.
Since then, we’ve seen a heel Daniel Bryan, potential call-ups of NXT Superstars, and a whole dynamic shift in the WWE. But for Cena, it doesn’t matter who he faces. “It doesn’t matter who’s across from me,” Cena said. “As long as I can get in there and do my thing man, there’s no other feeling like it in the world.”
When Cena returns tonight he’ll have a different aura about him. He’s returning as an established Hollywood star. He didn’t leave for a WWE movie, he left to film major Hollywood pictures like Bumblebee. The once Doctor of Thuganomics will be returning with an aura only felt by The Rock. There’s no doubt the current talent will want to pick his brain, and for those that do, Cena has one piece of advice for them.
Any advice to upcoming talent trying to follow in your footsteps?
“I’m going to borrow something from someone who told me something that stuck with me for a long time. “’They’re going to like you, or hate you, for you. Be yourself. At least that way at the end of the day you’ll feel good about your body of work.’”
Witnessing John Cena is no longer a common sight for wrestling fans, it’s become a privilege. Enjoy every bit of his legendary career while you can.