Following the stirring Black Lives Matter speech by Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James wasn't an easy task, but John Cena definitely rose to the occasion with his ESPYs opening monologue.
After throwing a brief shot at J.R. Smith and the mysterious absence of his shirt since Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Cena turned the attention on him, openly wondering why ESPN chose him to host tonight's ceremony. "Biggest night in sports, they couldn't go out and get Kevin Hart? Matt Damon? Kristaps Porzingis? He was my No. 1 by the way," the wrestler explains. "Instead, they hand it to a guy, who spends most of his life in jean shorts and is actually proud of it."
Cena's opening monologue had a great premise, showing how the rigged, er, scripted WWE is just like real-life sports. He pointed out that James has gone from the good kid to the bad guy to the good guy all over again, while Kevin Durant has now assumed the role of heel by signing with the Warriors. After poking fun at different athletes in the crowd, Cena took down NFL commissioner Roger Goodell by comparing him to Vince McMahon. Somewhere, Bill Simmons is probably wondering how ESPN let Cena fire off that joke.
All in all, it was a great job by someone who said he was "pretty terrified" about assuming this type of role for the first time in his life.
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