Growing up with WWE and then taking that fandom with you into adulthood is okay. Aside from the occasional snide "you still watch that?" remark from your super-grown-up friend from graduate school, life as an adult WWE fan can be joyous—it's an escape from reality, just like "real" sports, Empire, and the new Drake mixtape. Entertainment is entertainment is entertainment. Just know, however, that if your favorite wrestler is John Cena, you've been vibing with a character who's been specifically engineered for kids.
In an interview with USA Today on the new WWE x Flintstones animated crossover film (if there's anything that proves who WWE markets to, it's that thing), Cena speaks openly about the generational gap between newer, younger fans and older ones. He admits that his character began to change once he realized who he was actually performing for. “I looked around and saw who was sitting in the audience and said, ‘You know what, I proactively need to change.’ And it was for the greater good," says Cena.
He also responds to criticism from OG fans who aren't totally cool with some of WWE's overdone superhero personas, pointing out the "greater good" he believes he's pushing forward by being John Cena, WWE's superhero superstar:
"I totally get it. I don’t necessarily spend my time watching programs that 6- to 10-year-old kids enjoy, so I get the need for different racy comedy and story lines. But at the same time I don’t want to offend anyone in our audience so I do what I do to the best of my ability.
I actually really enjoy being able to be a real-life superhero and an aspirational character both in live entertainment and animation films like Flintstones. It gives you a feeling of self-worth at the end of the day. It becomes more than just a job — you feel as if you’re affecting lives and that truly is pretty important.”
John "Cena-Stone" is coming to a screen near you soon, kiddo:
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