James Dixon: Ghetto John Cena welcomes us to West Newbury, MA, where it all started for him. We skip the customary family talk in exchange for a handful of photos, and move straight onto his wrestling and rapping. The way he talks comes across like a parody of bad rapping, akin to something you might see in the Scary Movie films.
We start with Cena’s Halloween promo on SmackDown!, which essentially saved his career, then he talks smack about Brock Lesnar. “I showed Brock Lesnar a thing or two about a thing or two.” He plays PS2 with his cousin Marc ‘The Trademarc’ Predka, one of the co-conspirators on his aural menace of a rap album ‘My Time is Now’. We go to the Cena-Lesnar program, which is basically Cena dissing his muscled foe via the medium of rap. A crack about Lesnar’s back tattoo being a portrait of his mother amuses. Dr. Vanilla Cena T gets his knee smashed by Lesnar in an unseen angle, which prompts a response from the inside of a trailer. White trash! Cena implies that he wants to f*ck Brock up the ass, referring to them as inmates and warning him not to drop the soap. I knew it. That relationship with Nikki Bella is just a sham, isn’t it? No one of sound mind could put up with her for that long in real life. We get a lot of promos for this match. A lot. Cena is actually quite funny, and goes close to the edge with some of them. “I’m a Viagra triple shot, you’re just a Limp Bizkit.” Burn. No highlights of the match, because it sucked and Cena lost. It is available on the extras though.
Cena is off to record a new song (or rather, “song”) for WrestleMania XX, but first we visit his feud with The Undertaker, and Cena outs him as a homosexual. In 2003, that was still considered a crime in WWE’s world. Cena reckons Taker and Paul Bearer had a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ going on, and that Taker only attended funerals so he could hit on priests. Crikey. Next, Cena does a promo from inside a flaming pentagram, then another sat on a hog, telling Taker he will leave him in a wheelchair like Stephen Hawking, before labelling him a “fairy” for his open-assed leather chaps. He wouldn’t get away with any of this in the PG Era.
We meet DJ Chaos, whoever the f*ck he is. Apparently he had something to do with the WrestleMania XX hip-top track. We go back in time to WrestleMania XIX and Cena’s silly open challenge inviting any rapper to fight him… on the pre-show. He buries Jay Z for not showing up, and, as has been the theme of the disc, rags on him for enjoying man-love. We get the whole thing, including the line, “If they lived at the sperm bank, they couldn’t get their comeback”. He also gets in a dig at the XFL, which gets a big “ooohh” from the Seattle faithful. Good promo actually, even if it was ultimately a waste of time that furthered nothing.
Now, some “battle raps” from SmackDown!, first pitting Cena against Rikishi. Cena raps off the cuff in a black fluffy hat, and he doesn’t make any homophobic slurs. Personal growth! Rikishi goes for the obvious, calling Cena an Eminem wannabe who dresses worse than Vanilla Ice. He isn’t funny, but he does rhyme. Does that give him the win? How do battle raps work? I am obviously not street enough for this disc.
Post defeat to Brock Lesnar at Backlash, Cena raps his defence for losing, blaming the referee. That brings out the wonderful Brian Kendrick, who does a delightful impression of Cena. He refers to himself as “Spanky”, his RoH and Indy name, which draws lots of forced laughing from Michael Cole and Tazz. It seems Spanky has come up with a rap, and he needs a beat. John Cena forces referee Brian Hebner to give him one, mockingly, and it turns out he is great at it! Spanky’s rap is a riot too, and the crowd are totally into it. Cena gets hot, even more so when Spanky starts an, “I say Cena, you say… sucks” chant. Maybe this is where the “Cena sucks” stuff began. (Note: It isn’t). Eventually, Cena gets fed up and beats the piss out of Kendrick, ending a really entertaining segment. Honestly, it was. Funaki is next to battle Cena. EminJohn has some choice words for Michael Cole, who he accuses of loving boy bands. Funaki decides to respond, singing ‘U.G.L.Y’ at him and doing the robot dance. Cena floors him. Kurt Angle comes next, during a rare babyface run, and he looks absolutely furious to be out there. He is a wrestler, not a rapper. He opts against rapping, and instead tells a story. It’s a doozy:
“There once was a kid who talked a lot of smack / He’s actually whiter than me, but he thinks he is black / And the kid thinks he is the king of talking smack / Until one day he bumped heads with the king of kicking ass / He had a secret weapon, he liked to use a steel chain / I’ll shove it straight up your ass if you try to use it again / He can’t run, he can’t hide, it doesn’t even matter if he’s rapping / Because at No Mercy when I get my hands on him, his ass will be tapping”
And now Big Show – ever the fan of goofy comedy, dressing up like a dork, and desperately trying to be anything but a lumbering giant oaf – wants a turn with Cena. Bless him, he even dresses up in his best streets. As expected, his delivery is drawling and dumb, except for a line about Cena being a white girl and him being Kobe Bryant. You know, that was the exact comment this hypocritical company fired poor Abraham Washington for in 2012. Gotta love those double standards. If only Big Show had been fired back in 2003, what a nicer place wrestling would have been. Show is an easy target for Cena. He calls him fat, says he smells, and makes “yo momma” jokes. I guess that is all he needed to beat Show in a battle rap. Hell, I could beat Big Show in a battle rap.
Because Cena was getting over, the McMahons had to get their grubby hands on him, starting with Stephanie and her ugly straw hair. She looked horrific in 2003, like she had been dragged through a bush backwards. Cena talks about her match with Sable, and because Steph is obviously the object of every man’s affections, Cena has to claim to have had a dream about her, then gets all worked up in front of her. After telling Steph he wants to find out if the carpet matches the curtains, then offering her $20 to rip Sable’s top off in their PPV match because he has a nipple fetish, Cena asks via rap and crowd participation if he can smack her ass. Steph blushes, and smiles. Loving the attention, she asks him if he wants to put his money where his mouth is. “HELL YEAH!” he yelps, bouncing on the spot. Steph dares him to smack her ass, then turns around and bends over. What am I watching here!? Cena smacks her ass, and she loves it. This is one of the weirdest segments I have ever seen. A few months later, a few days after Survivor Series 2003, Cena is in the ring with a battered and bloodied Vince McMahon, and his sidekick Sable. Or “the slut”, as Cena calls her. Vince’s face during Cena’s ripping on him is a picture. I am not sure he understands half of what Cena is saying, but he sells it well anyway. Cena is great here, and few over the years have been allowed to shred Vince McMahon to his face in such a manner. You can see why he got over to the level he did. He was so fresh and interesting that it made him stand out a mile.
A few more random raps from Cena, with the timeline now all over the place. The first is aimed at Rhyno, and it is one of his weaker efforts. Another sees him call Billy Gunn out for being, you guessed it, gay. I mean, come on John, that is too easy. The guy was in a gay (for a while, until they got cold feet) tag team with Chuck Palumbo for ages before ditching he gimmick and going back to the well with his played out ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn persona. Next, Zach Gowen, the one legged wrestler who weighed about 50lbs. “Whether you like it or not homie, you feeling hip-hop”. Very good. At Thanksgiving in 2003, Cena says grace. It is, erm, unconventional. Lots of jokes about tossing Torrie Wilson’s salad, and crude innuendos about breasts, legs, and bones. It’s funny though. His line about “white sprinkles on your chocolate mousse” to Shaniqua is not exactly dinner table talk though. Cena calls his Christmas 2003 rap in Iraq the best moment in his career. The army folk certainly enjoy it, especially when Cena mocks Saddam Hussein, the French army, and the Big Show. Yep, those three subjects seem to be fitting bedfellows.
[continued on next page]