John Cena loves granting wishes for kids involved in the Make-A-Wish foundation, but he didn’t always want cameras present for it.
For over 20 years now, John Cena has been in the spotlight as one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time. Cena was known for his popularity in WWE as the unquestioned top star for many years and his main event run lasted from 2005 when he first won the WWE Title until around 2018 when his career slowed down.
Over the last four years, Cena has concentrated more on being an actor, TV host, commercial pitchman, and other things. However, Cena is still a big part of the WWE family as we recently saw when he showed up unannounced at Money in the Bank two weeks ago in London just to tell the UK fans how incredible they are.
At WrestleMania 39, John Cena challenged Austin Theory for the US Title, which is a match that Cena lost. Cena also had a special entrance he was joined on the stage by several Make-A-Wish kids that got to live a dream by making a WrestleMania entrance with their hero Cena.
Fans of WWE know of Cena’s incredible work with Make-A-Wish that has seen him grant more wishes than any celebrity by far. In 2022, Cena reached over 650 Make-A-Wish wishes and Make-A-Wish also issued a statement saying that “John Cena is the most requested celebrity — and that no one, except for Cena, has ever granted more than 200 wishes in the foundation’s history.”
Bruce Prichard is a WWE Executive Director who has worked behind the scenes in the company for most of the last 30+ years. Bruce was there during Cena’s rise in the company when he started granting Make-A-Wish wishes.
During an episode of Bruce Prichard’s “Something To Wrestle” podcast talking about John Cena’s rise in the company, Bruce spoke about how Cena was reluctant to have cameras around during his Make-A-Wish visits.
“John hated doing Make-A-Wish if there was presence of any kind involved, even our own people. John would always insist on, ‘Their wish wasn’t to be surrounded by cameras and press. Their wish was to meet me and they’re gonna get an experience with me, a one-on-one experience with me, and I’m not doing it for publicity. I’m not doing it to have people say what a great guy I am. I’m doing it because a dying child asked to meet me.’ That’s John Cena.”
“The battle to get John to allow us and allow Make-A-Wish to acknowledge him for everything he had done was a bit of a battle. He’s like, ‘Why do you want to recognize me for something that I do because it’s the right thing to do?’ That’s not work to him. That’s just his love, his appreciation that someone appreciated him that much and that was his give back. He truly loves those kids and loves doing that.”
As Bruce Prichard continued, he said that’s just the kind of guy that John Cena is
“So that’s the real John and that’s the guy that, you know, when people point to Make-A-Wish, ‘Oh, yeah, they’re doing that publicity.’ Man, the fight to even be able to say it, was a fight. ‘It’s about one thing and it’s about that kid that day, that moment. That’s their moment. That’s not my moment. It’s not your moment. That’s there’s’, and, you know, eventually, you got to the point where parents, Make-a-Wish, and everybody, just bragged on it so much, and okay, yeah, you know, we made it public and so on and so forth, but you never heard about all the Make-A-Wishes that he did.”
“It’s a big deal when somebody from Hollywood goes and, you know, makes a wish come true. As many as John’s done, as many times as John has looked at his schedule and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got 12 hours. I can make a flight, you know, four hours someplace, to go meet a child, spend a few hours with them, and then fly back four hours and do what I needed to do.’ Instead of saying, ‘I’m gonna sleep in. I’m gonna train. I’m gonna go eat at this restaurant or whatever.’ It’s like, no, ‘I’ll make that work.'”
“You don’t hear about that stuff, and again, that’s the thing that makes John Cena the human being, the great human being he is that then makes him the huge megastar that he has become.”