When I was much younger, I was a huge fan of WWE and John Cena was my favorite wrestler. I grew up watching him basically dominate competition and put on a great show for the WWE. It was either on Monday nights or Friday nights because Mondays had Raw and Fridays had SmackDown (I think they should return to that model BTW).
Anyways, John Cena was THAT GUY in the WWE. And he definitely was to me. He was one of my heroes growing up. What a time.
I don’t remember exactly when it was. I want to say that it was 2004-2005 range. Sometime around then. John Cena was and had been WWE Champion for a while, at this time. But of course I didn’t mind at all. Cena decided to release a hip hop album, which I had my parents buy for me (mind you, I was probably about 8 or 9 years old at this time). Anyways, I listened to it so many times. I listened to it around the clock. It was my favorite album, favorite music to listen to and nobody anywhere could tell me that there was a better rapper than John Cena.
I was really a super-fan. I supported him to the fullest.
One day, I believe my family had heard about a special event going on, where Cena was coming to visit a local business in my hometown. It was literally right down the street from where I lived. Apparently, Cena was visiting a local physical therapy center for some reason. And he was going to be signing autographs for fans.
Oh yeah, I HAD to be there. This was going to be my chance to meet my idol, my hero. John Cena. This was huge.
Now, this was a long time ago so I really don’t remember everything that happened. But here goes: so I remember waiting outside in the line. There was a huge line of people waiting to get in to meet Cena. I was with my parents and they were talking to people in line. Everybody was asking each other questions like, ‘when do you think he will show up? Is he here yet?’ Everybody was very excited about Cena’s arrival and one guy in the line was like, ‘oh yeah, you’ll know when he’s here, you’ll see a helicopter flying overhead.’
That had us laughing.
Fast forward, we waited for a while and finally, I’m inside, getting closer to getting my autograph from Cena. I literally had his CD with me, it was ready to go, I knew I was going to have him sign that. At this point, I was so close to the autograph table that I could just barely see him. I could just see people standing in front of him, getting their autograph. And I was literally so nervous! I was probably about 4-5 people away from being at the front of the line, where I would meet Cena, get to talk with him and get my CD autographed. This was one of the most nerve-racking moments in my entire life. I shouldn’t have been nervous but I think it was like a mix of excitement and some nerves, just being unsure of everything, not knowing what to say to him, etc.
I was about to meet my hero.
This guy that I have watched on TV for years now, every Monday and Friday night. This guy that I have looked up to and admired so much through all these years. This guy I had wanted to be so much like. It was finally happening. I was about to see this guy in the flesh and talk to him. I just couldn’t even wrap my head around that. Completely starstruck. Almost in a frozen state, at this point.
When this person finishes up their few minutes with him and walks away, I’m really next. I just wasn’t speaking at this point. Complete shock. The person walks away and I just didn’t even know how to react next. I stood there and the guy looked at me. John Cena. I looked at him and just didn’t move. Had no idea what to do with myself. Literally, what do I do with my hands? My parents were like, Kev, go ahead, he’s ready for you. Get up there.
In my mind, I feel rushed, I’m like, oh okay, I have to walk up to the table now and talk to John Cena. This is totally normal, here I go… No stress.
So, I walked up to the autograph table and there he is. Cena looked at me and said something along the lines of, “hey, what’s up buddy, how you doing?” And I just was, I was completely frozen. Had no idea what to do. I couldn’t even handle the eye contact. We made eye contact, he was talking to me and I just couldn’t get any words to come out of my mouth. I had never felt like this in my life. My parents are behind me in confusion, like, “Kev, say something, he’s trying to talk to you.” But I just couldn’t. I was in complete amazement and total shock that I was standing right there, in front of John Cena.
What is life.
Cena actually responded to my parents, he basically responded to what they were saying. When they were telling me to speak, they were expressing out-loud how they didn’t want me to come off rude to my favorite guy on planet earth. I wasn’t trying to be rude but my parents didn’t want me to come off that way. So, Cena said to them, something like this, “no it’s okay, really, don’t worry about it. He’s all good.”
Cena looked at me and said something along the lines of, “Do you have anything you want me to sign for you today?”
I basically looked at him and didn’t say anything. I still couldn’t speak. I wanted to talk back but I couldn’t. Still in awe that this was really happening. His presence, it just had me frozen stiff. So I kind of just looked at him and barely nodded my head to say yes. The words that I thought of, that I tried to reply with, just came out as very very soft whispers and he definitely didn’t hear it. Anyways, I put my copy of his hip-hop album down on the table so he could sign it for me. The CD case happened to break on the way there, so it was literally broken in like 4 pieces when I handed it to him. The case was broken, not the CD itself. But still, I was so embarrassed.
Cena didn’t mind it though. He definitely noticed that it was broken and I tried to explain it but those words just didn’t come out either. He basically laughed it off and said it was cool, he signed it for me and reached his hand out to shake my hand. I literally stood there and was frozen, staring at his hand for a second. First of all, his hand was huge. I guess I didn’t realize how big he was in real life. My parents chimed in, “Kev, shake his hand, he’s trying to shake your hand.”
So, I reached my hand out and shook Cena’s hand. This was probably the most interaction that we had because in every other instance, I just couldn’t respond. Completely shocked the entire time that I was really meeting him. Regardless, it was a truly amazing experience. Even though I was starstruck the entire time, I was very happy and evidently, it was a very memorable experience, too.
All in all, I would say, if you ever have the chance to meet John Cena, definitely do it because he’s a really nice, great guy. And if you ever have the chance to meet anyone of your favorite WWE Superstars, also do it. It’s a very surreal but yet incredible feeling to say the very least!