“For someone to get one wish and their wish is to hang out with you, that’s the most awesome thing ever.”
The return to the “Doctor of Thuganomics” was not the only highlight of WrestleMania weekend for John Cena.
Cena also helped induct 26 children into WWE’s Circle of Champions during an event with Make-A-Wish on Saturday in New York’s Times Square.
“I want to make sure everyone has a wonderful experience,” said Cena. “For someone to get one wish and their wish is to hang out with you, that’s the most awesome thing ever. I have great perspective of what it is and never take it for granted. I’ll always try to give as much happiness as I possibly can.”
A day later, Cena appeared at WrestleMania, reprising his freestyle rapping “Doctor of Thuganomics” character last seen in 2005. He interrupted Elias, dropping some lyrics on him before dropping him on his head and ruining his WrestleMania for the second year in a row.
The entire experience was cathartic for Cena, who was able to focus his WrestleMania weekend on his Elbow Grease book signing and sharing a piece of his heart with the children at the Make-A-Wish event.
“This is the first time in a long time I haven’t had to focus on a main-event profile segment,” said Cena. “There wasn’t that looming WrestleMania Sunday in the back of my mind saying, ‘I have to do this and this is what people pay to see.’
“I had a lot of fun watching it from the crowd last year, because I knew that was going to be special, and this year gave me liberty to have even more fun.”
WWE is one of Make-A-Wish’s longest-standing partners, and Cena alone has granted 600 wishes.
The now-storied connection between Make-A-Wish and Cena originated with WWE’s Sue Atchison. Cena presented her with the Warrior Award at the Hall of Fame ceremonies this past Saturday, honoring her 30 years of work in WWE that has helped define the company’s well-deserved reputation for outstanding community outreach.
“None of this happens without Sue,” said Cena. “She introduced me to a charity that has become part of my value system.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.