My Hero – John Cena

John Cena is a WWE Superstar who has won 19 Championships, including 10 world titles. He’s done acting & recorded records.

Bad things you could say about Cena?

His technical wrestling ability is somewhat limited.

He is a bit of a one trick pony.

Probably others.

Good things you could say about Cena?

He provides a positive role-model for adults and children alike. Cena’s character has been, excluding his very very early days wrestling, a All-American superhero character. He promotes hard work, humility, respect of others and putting the hours in to get to where you want to be. How can you argue with that? While the reality is ambitious and often unattainable, these ideologies are ones which I feel we should all aspire to.

He has granted over 300 wishes for Arizona children that suffer from life-threatening illnesses as part of the Make A Wish Foundation (the ill child gets their wish granted whatever it may be). Can you imagine (God forbid) being the parent of a child suffering with an unspeakable illness, and their biggest dream is to meet their hero face to face. Can you imagine how indebted you would be to that person taking the time out of their day to meet your child, to spend time with them, and make their dreams come true?

His logos and merchandise. ‘Rise Above Hate’ is Cena’s latest slogan and it ties in with his promotion of a positive outlook and focusing on bettering yourself in every situation. Wearing this phrase emblazoned on your t-shirt sends out a statement to others that you are not afraid to stand up for what’s right regardless how silly it may make you look. This is why I wear my Rise Above Hate t-shirt with pride. I am a 23 year old woman living an independent lifestyle, and while many look at Cena as this childish, unrealistic figure, I see him as an icon of all that’s good in the world and in all honesty I actually feel a little sorry for those that scoff at my love of Cena (friends and loved ones alike…). How is it weak or childlike of me to look up to someone that represents good prevailing?

His campaigns. ‘Be A Superstar’ is an anti-bullying campaign that the WWE run, where the Superstars go into schools and do talks about their experiences of bullying and encourage awareness and a zero-tolerance policy on bullying. Wrestling is fundamentally about creating the illusion (sometimes reality) of inflicting pain on others, which may seem a little at odds with an anti-bullying campaign. However, I think – you know what? Wrestling is what it is, and this has been the same for generation after generation. It will never change, people will never stop enjoying watching others hurt others. But what a pro-active way of combating the idea of fighting by promoting tolerance and acceptance? And keeping your tongue well and truly in your cheek about that never ending debate over the realism of wrestling.

Another good point? His sense of humour. In 2011 throughout the duration of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s rivalry with Cena, The Rock called Cena a Fruity Pebble (A multi-coloured American breakfast cereal), referring to his variety of brightly-coloured, child-friendly merchandise. The Rock intended this as a witty slight on Cena’s integrity as a genuine threat, however Cena bounced back with a promo (short backstage videoed clip) of him tucking into a huge bowl of Fruity Pebbles and relishing it. By taking ownership of this insult it came back on The Rock as Cena took it on the chin and saw the funny side. All of a sudden, Fruity Pebble t-shirts and banners were seen at Monday night WWE RAW shows, and Cena demonstrated the power of ‘Rising Above Hate’, and coming out on top. The fans loved it. (I remember gasping in a ‘Oh No He Di-dn’t’ way when The Rock first said it, and then laughing my head off, and then cheering the next week when I saw Cena’s promo.) What a response.

I love the WWE with its theatrical performances, occasional gritty matches, backstage drama, outlandish story lines, oily male wrestlers with grotesque throbbing muscles, Divas (the female wrestlers) that look like they chose their career in wrestling because they were too fake and unattractive (!) for trashy low-budget pornos. I smile when I am told the patronising ‘You do know it’s not real?’, because of course it’s not ‘real’. But what is real? I tell you what’s real, The Undertaker throwing Mick Foley 16 foot through the air, through a table in Hell in a Cell 1998. Foley dislocated his shoulder, had one of his teeth end up inside his nose, and had loads of other injuries I can’t even remember now.

Go and watch that, then come back and tell me wrestling isn’t real!

Cena is my hero because I try and live my life like a Superhero. I challenge you to watch this video below and not smile.