World Wrestling Entertainment boss Vince McMahon on Tuesday bestowed the ultimate compliment on John Cena, a West Newbury native who’s parlayed his career as a WWE grappler into colossal movie and music stardom.
McMahon tweeted out a birthday message to Cena, who turned 42 on Tuesday, and compared him to baseball legend Babe Ruth.
Former boxing champ Vinny Paz, a Cranston, R.I. native, seconded the sentiment, replying to McMahon, “All 4 of those. That’s amazing for one person to have all of them. They don’t make them like this anymore.”
Cena, meanwhile, tweeted out photos of his shirtless, chiseled frame to his 11.6 million followers.
“Turned 42 today,” Cena wrote. “Shot these and realize that by sharing I open the door towards ANY comments you have. But I share these for the message within them. WE ARE THE SUM OF OUR ACTIONS. 42 is usually a forgettable # but it’s special for me.”
“I found my passion for fitness by beginning a dedicated workout/nutrition program at (yes this is correct) age 12,” Cena tweeted. “This year I celebrate 30 years of chasing the unattainable, and never giving up. 30 years of pushing beyond limits, never giving up.”
He said Tuesday marked “30 years of overcoming failures, literally facing the man in the mirror, and knowing that growth will come thru pain and discomfort, and never giving up. Find your passion. The thing you can do for 30 years and hope for 30 more. And chase it. With the ‘best you’ everyday.”
Cena also included a word of caution amid the inspirational verbiage.
“No matter what you chase, it is NOT easy, even when you enjoy it!” he wrote. “Because we all have good and bad days, embrace the good and fight like hell thru the bad. Never give up. 30 years. Straight. And I’m just getting warmed up! Own Your Everything!”
Cena’s biography on the WWE website lists a number of his accolades in and out of the squared circle.
“He’s a 16-time World Champion, New York Times best-selling author and record-setting Make-A-Wish granter,” the bio says. “He’s released a hit album, starred in blockbuster movies, and carried the torch for WWE since he first set foot in a WWE ring nearly two decades ago. If you really can’t see John Cena at this point, chances are you simply aren’t looking.”
Plus he’s defeated a number of other leading lights in tights.
“Cena’s resume of defeated foes comprises future WWE Hall of Famers like The Rock, Randy Orton, Batista, Brock Lesnar and Triple H and some of WWE’s new guard in Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Rusev, Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt,” the bio says.
It should be noted that pro wrestling matches are scripted slobberknockers that feature acrobatic moves, flamboyant costumes, and splashy rhetoric from combatants to the delight of a rabid fan base.
But while the outcome’s predetermined, you still have to sell it.
“Cena still finds time to adjust attitudes and knuckle-shuffle fools into defeat on the regular,” his bio says. “Sure, a few detractors might chant ‘Cena sucks,’ but for John Cena, rising above hate is just part of the job description, and he’s still making camp on the mountaintop waiting for someone to take a swing.”