John Cena is a curious individual in that despite being wider than a car door with a job that involves delivering missile dropkicks to fridge-shaped men and occasionally Megatron, a good number of internet denizens would earnestly claim to be unable to see him. Something that is the direct result of bet Cena made with his brother a decade ago that has seemingly condemned to a cursed existence as an ethereal ghost wrestler.
If you currently have no idea what in the hell we’re talking about, some background on how Cena somehow became Internet Hollow Man.
The short version is that at the start of his rise to wrestling super stardom, Cena was well known among fans and peers for being a ruthlessly effective self-promoter. Often weaponising carefully curated controversy to keep his name in the minds of fans. For example, as we’ve discussed before, early in his career Cena could be seen wearing a shirt that said “Ruck Fules” on it. A shirt WWE would censor every single time it appeared on screen leading to fans buying it on mass to spite heavyhanded censorship of The Man.
The thing is, neither the WWE nor television censors actually gave a shit, they just blurred it to drum up controversy. Controversy Cena rode the coattails of before FU-ing neck first into a concrete post.
Speaking of which, Cena similarly gave all of his finishing moves near-the-knuckle and euphemistic names like the, well, Five Knuckle Shuffle. A slang term for knocking out a swift wank. Other finishing moves of Cena that followed a similar naming convention include The FU and The STF. Which some fans have taken to be euphemisms for Fuck You and Shut The Fuck Up respectively.
Anyway, as you might imagine knowing this, Cena has a pretty good sense of humour and has revealed over the years that many of the facets of his wrestling persona were born out of jokes with friends and family. Which is how he became Wrestling Reptile.
You see, according to Cena when he was workshopping ideas for his theme music – which fun fact, Cena wrote and performed himself – he would run ideas past his brother who, during one fateful hangout started dancing like a fucking dork. Shaking his head from side-to-side with his hand in front of his face in time with the music.
A move Cena found so hilarious he promised his brother he’d do it on TV when he debuted his new finishing move. Innovating on his brothers weak shit dance by moving his entire hand and telling his opponent, “You Can’t See Me“. Yes, this looks exactly as dumb as you’re imagining it.
Now according to Cena the intention behind the phrase is that his moves, like his rhymes, would be so fluid and dynamic his opponents wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, the internet, being the internet, decided to take this literally and began acting like the maneuver literally made Cena invisible.
To which you’re probably thinking, but it doesn’t though, does it? But here’s the thing, it kinds of does. At least in the ring.
To explain, in the world of professional wrestling there’s a concept known as kayfabe which is essentially an agreement of sorts between the audience and the performers to treat everything happening in the ring as if it is real. While kayfabe isn’t as big of a deal as it was in the past, with everyone who watches wrestling being in on it, it’s nonetheless still considered an integral aspect of the sport and one of it’s biggest draws.
This means that when Cena performs there’s an unspoken agreement between everyone in and outside of the ring that at that moment, he becomes invisible. It gets better though because many wrestlers consider it taboo to ever break kayfabe meaning Cena has had to commit to this bit ever since.
Meaning, for all intents and purposes, you really can’t see him.