Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. John Cena’s mantra and character are that of those spandex-clad, butt-kicking heroes from your favorite comic books.
This rant began as a review of Monday Night RAW, which made an appearance in Detroit, Michigan on December 16th, 2014. I was invited to attend the event by #WWEMoms, a group of mothers and fathers of young and enthusiastic wrestling fans. This wasn’t my first WWE live event, but it was definitely my first as a fan of the brand.
I’ve become a fan because WWE is operating in a modern era. I can identify with WWE’s motivations. The brand is cohesive, it embraces technology and social media as well as current social and economic events. Much of what we’re seeing on television and newer content available on WWE Network is reminiscent of the Golden Age of wrestling, a by-gone era where larger-than-life personalities and melodramatic motivations ruled our living rooms and imaginations each week, yet it still remains grounded. There’s no better time than now to jump on WWE’s train.
While there are numerous wrestlers (Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt) appealing to millenials and generationals, John Cena has endured and carried the franchise with unwavering devotion to his beliefs: hustle, loyalty and respect. These aren’t just catchwords describing the entertainer, this is how Cena lives his life outside the ring too.
No other athlete volunteers more time and energy (hustles) to granting Make-A-Wish requests, and he very rarely misses a WWE broadcast. Given every reason to turn heel (the bad guy), Cena refuses to turn his back (loyalty) on those that believe in his positive message, even when rabid haters chant for his demise almost every single appearance. John Cena is also heavily involved (respect) with the U.S.O. He even greets soldiers in the audience, sometimes offering a salute for their service.
Cena’s biggest fans are children. Peppered throughout the auditorium, beacons of yellow and red tee-shirts and those trademark arm bands and sweat bands stand next to mothers and fathers sharing in their fandom. It’s an exciting albeit emotional experience when your child’s posture perks and a smile grows from ear-to-ear, as they hear their favorite wrestler’s theme music begin to blast from the loudspeakers above. Cena comes running out to ignite his fans and then gives 100% of his effort to defeating that evening’s foe. Often he wins, sometimes he doesn’t, but he always holds his head high and provides assurances that tomorrow he will work harder. These are the traits of superheroes. John Cena is living, breathing proof that real-life superheroes walk among us. Thank you John for being a fantastic role model for my son.