If you follow wrestling at all, or if you just happen to be aware of remotely popular things happening around you, then you’ve probably heard about the hashtag #beatjohncena that has been making the rounds.
The idea sprung from one wrestler on Monday Night Raw stating that it was fun to beat up John Cena and, apparently, multitudes of people agreed.
Some of them in very interesting ways:
Long before the hashtag #beatupjohncena started making its rounds on social media, I had already done the lightweight work of taking out one of wrestling’s most iconic stars.
I’m going to tell you a story about pudding, a folding chair and the one and only John Cena.
Just ask my nephew, John, about my magnificent accomplishment. About six years ago, my nephew was about as into wrestling as a kid can get. He knew all the stars and all their signature moves. He knew their backstories. He knew their affiliations. He knew how they took their tea in the morning.
And, to be honest, it was annoying. I don’t follow wrestling. I haven’t since I was a young kid and my mom would bring home VHS tapes of Wrestlemania for me and my dad to watch. I was in love with the spectacle back then. When Hulk Hogan hefted Andre the Giant and slammed him to the mat? It made the Hulk a demigod to me. And the sounds of the pipes playing as Rowdy Roddy Piper made his way into the arena? It gave me chills. And my fear of snakes? Wasn’t helped out much when Jake “The Snake” Roberts would pull out some monster snake and finish off his opponents by wrapping it around their necks.
As the years went on, my love for wrestling — like my love for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers and Air Wolf — faded and was replaced by other things (cars, sports and girls, mostly).
And, thus, wrestling faded away for me.
Until my nephew discovered it.
“Guess what, Uncle Sam?” he would start out as soon as I walked through the door at any location where he was. I would look at him and force myself to respond. “John Cena is going to wrestle Shawn Michaels and blah, blah, blah, blah.”
(The latter part of that quote is completely made up, just to be completely transparent and truthful.)
This would happen every time I encountered my nephew. Every. Single. Time.
So, one day, tired of hearing how great John Cena was, I decided to tell the tale of the time I had to put the world-class wrestling phenom in his place.
You see, the story goes that I once attended a high school where most of the students were professional athlete hopefuls (not true at all, I went to a very tiny school in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where most students were cousins) and one of my classmates just happened to be John Cena.
One day, I was in line in the cafeteria and Cena was ahead of me. I had my eye on a big bowl of chocolate pudding when, lo and behold, Cena took all of it. Every. Last. Drop. And me being a big fella who likes his pudding decided that wouldn’t do. So I confronted Cena and demanded he give me some. He refused and laughed at me, choosing to keep all of the beautiful pudding to himself. Obviously this upset me, and I said a few things that I probably shouldn’t have said and all hell broke loose. That is until I hit him with a folding chair and knocked him out upon whence I took his pudding and claimed it as my own and ate it triumphantly as he lay sprawled out on the floor.
My nephew was suspicious of the authenticity of the tale, of course. However, luck would have it that the very next day he had a substitute teacher who I had gone to high school with. So my nephew asked him about the story, and the sub told him that every word of it was true (it helps to have friends who automatically say you’re telling the truth, no matter what).
At that moment, my legacy as his favorite uncle was cemented.
Of course it was all lies. But that’s what uncles do, right? We tell harmless little lies about things to keep our nieces and nephews off balance and never sure what is real and what isn’t. My nephew is a teenager now. I highly doubt he believes that incident ever happened, but it was fun while it lasted.
But here’s the truth of the matter — I couldn’t beat up John Cena if I was paid (in pudding or otherwise). The guy is built like a tank. I am built like a gummy bear. His biceps make my thighs look small. He lifts weights as part of his job. I lift pencils and papers. He throws around fellow wrestlers for a living. I wrestle with which burger joint wants to be my friend for lunch.
Thankfully John Cena seems to be a guy who can roll with the punches and even laugh at himself a bit (I’ve even seen photos of “fans” wearing “Cena Sucks” shirts and he poses with them).
His response to the hashtag was what you would expect from someone who has spent his career either being loved or hated.
The hashtag is lighthearted, I’m sure, but you won’t see me throwing it up on my Twitter anytime soon. Just in case John Cena decided to take on a challenger and chooses one at random from those who’ve put the hashtag on social media, I don’t want there to be a chance that he can show everyone in the world who is truly the pudding king.