There’s an enormous difference between John Cena the character as portrayed on WWE programming, and John Cena the human being.
Whilst the former is a plot and character development nightmare of rousing “third act of Braveheart” speeches and minimal believable jeopardy, the latter is a tireless workhorse with an unparalleled record of charity work.
For example, Cena holds the record for most wishes granted for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with over 450 wishes for sick and terminal children granted. That’s an astonishing feat, particularly given the WWE’s ridiculous travelling and work schedule. And that doesn’t take into account the work he does with other charities, United States armed forces personnel, media appearances and so on. The guy is a machine.
Those of you who caught WWE Raw this week would have picked up on Cena pointing out a fan in the crowd at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. In the rows near the ringside area stood a young fan – decked out in his Cena gear – brandishing a homemade sign that read “I’m beating cancer!” This came in the middle of a promo segment between Cena and main roster newcomer Kevin Owens, who defeated Cena cleanly in his debut match the previous night at Elimination Chamber (and, just as an aside, the match itself was absolutely brilliant and should be sought out by anyone with even a passing interest in wrestling – FIGHT OWENS FIGHT).
What you didn’t see was what happened when Raw went off the air.
Cena, back out on the arena floor, sought out the fan and brought him into the ring – to the unanimous cheers of the San Antonio crowd.
This is the kind of thing that has untold and immeasurable benefits in the individual battle against the wretched disease. It’s the reason why Make-A-Wish and celebrity hospital visits exist.
In the ring – and particularly for the older, slightly more jaded fan – Cena can be divisive. But to a young fan in need, having your idol – for all intents and purposes a living, breathing superhero – seeking you out specifically and telling you to keep fighting and never give up? That’s the benefit and worth of John Cena. That’s where he earns universal respect a thousand times over.
That was a simply wonderful moment. And that, right there, is why I will always be pro-wrestling.
via With Spandex.