John Cena just recently returned to WWE programming, and he’s already back to melting the hearts of pro wrestling fans behind the scenes. Best known as one of WWE’s biggest stars of the past two decades, Cena is a 16-time world champion, though his involvement in charitable causes is just as well known. With over 650 wishes granted during his career, Cena has granted more wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation than any other celebrity.
Ahead of the world premiere of The Suicide Squad, John Cena was present for WWE’s weekly show SmackDown. After the event, he was outside mingling with fans at a time when many other performers would have already left the arena. This was when he was approached by a young boy in a wheelchair decked out in official John Cena merchandise, clearly one of the championship wrestler’s biggest fans. You can watch what unfolded in the video below.
In the footage, Cena can be seen signing a Never Give U towel for the boy before posing with him for a photo, bringing up tears of joy for the young fan. His mother then asks Cena if he would mind taking a short walk with him, to which the 16-time world champion happily obliges. With Cena’s assistance, Cena and his young fan take a little stroll, and as the boy gets back in his chair, he leans in for a hug that he gets from his favorite wrestler. If there aren’t tears in your eyes by that point, your heart is made of stone.
Cena is bigger than ever as one of the stars of The Suicide Squad, which bows in theaters and on HBO Max on Aug. 6. Director James Gunn has weighed in on the viral video of Cena with his young fan, and from his point of view, it was no surprise to see the wrestler behaving this way as that’s simply who he is. As Gunn writes, “This is John Cena through & through. He doesn’t trumpet it or use it as a publicity tool. It’s simply who he is & one of the reasons I’m proud to call him friend. (And I’ll trumpet it for him because he deserves the [love].”
For pro wrestling fans, Cena is a hero and role model who always encourages his fans to “never give up.” He’ll be taking a break from that persona, however, as the bizarre character Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad. He has been described as a villain who sees himself as a hero trying to create world peace by any means necessary, even mass murder and other violent crimes. Gunn has made it clear that fans shouldn’t go into The Suicide Squad expecting for Cena to be a good guy.
“Peacemaker has a clear set of ideals that I find really interesting,” previously told Empire. “You know: ‘I want peace no matter how many men, women and children I need to kill to get it.’ Sounds like nonsense, but it also makes a lot of sense. And you see in John’s performance how he does not feel good about it – something I thought was the seed of an entire eight-episode show.”
The Suicide Squad will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on Aug. 6. A spinoff series with Cena reprising his role in the movie, Peacemaker, will hit HBO Max in January 2022. The viral video of Cena’s recent fan interaction was posted by Joe Pompliano on Twitter.