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He can goof his way toward averting alien chaos in "Peacemaker," or he can bumble two steps behind a Vee-dub Autobot in "Bumblebee." Pretty much anytime John Cena leaps in the ring to tackle a screen role, in fact, you can bet he brings the same charisma that elevated him to Superstar status in the WWE.
Just in time for his 20th anniversary in the WWE this June, Cena’s been named the man of the hour at Peacock, where fans can flock all month long to feather their knowledge nest for all things Cena-adjacent. Whether it’s his epic 2016 hosting turn on "Saturday Night Live," his genuine appreciation of WWE history, or his pretty great sportsmanship as the ideal reality-TV boyfriend, Peacock’s the place to turn to peep the 16-time World Champion’s versatile talent in front of the camera — even when he’s not delivering an Attitude Adjustment to his next WWE victim.
Ready for some of the deeper cuts from Cena’s surprisingly lengthy screen career outside the squared circle? Peacock’s got us covered, so let’s dive in.
'Saturday Night Live': Season 42, Episode 9
There was never a time when Cena wasn’t funny, but his "SNL" hosting debut in December 2016 opened a lot of eyes for fans who’d mainly known him as a wrestling tour de force. Fitting in like a longtime cast regular, he lined up one knockout skit after another, whether it was slathering on the romantic cheese alongside Aidy Bryant in “Romance Bookstore” or playing a hopelessly dumb ‘Bama football star who literally can’t fail a make-or-break pre-bowl game class in “Science Presentation.”
It’s tough to pick a standout highlight out of all the hulking hilarity, but watching Cena knock a Daniel LaRusso wannabe right out of his pants in the 1980s sendup short “Karate Teen” — all while barking a barrage of side-splitting insults — has to rate near the top. Thanks to Peacemaker, Cena’s an even bigger star now than he was when SNL brought him on six years ago, which leaves us with just one question: When’s he gonna host again?
WrestleMania Legendary Moments
Cena indisputably knows his way around a wrestling ring, but this 2020 WWE documentary, narrated by the Superstar himself, shows an affection for the sport that reaches far, far deeper — all the way, in fact, into the farthest reaches of the WWE’s star-studded, storied past.
Cena balances a fan’s enthused appreciation with a downright erudite grasp of old-school WrestleMania highlights, serving up insightful walkthroughs of heart-stopping moments like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, and Hulk Hogan’s epic “slam heard ‘round the world” defeat of Andre the Giant. In a cool (and surprisingly modest) nod to his own master-of-ceremonies role, Cena uses his behind-the-mic time on WrestleMania Legendary Moments to revisit his own gut-wrenching loss — courtesy of The Rock — at WrestleMania XXVIII.
How long has John Cena been bringing the star power? Looking at the numbers, his one-episode turn as Ewan O’Hara, coming all the way back in a 2010 episode of "Psych," ended up as the sleuthing comedy’s most-watched Season 4 episode. True to type, Cena’s character showed up, if only for a blip, as the battle-tested military brother of main character Juliet “Jules” O’Hara (Maggie Lawson) for “You Can’t Handle This Episode,” the 10th episode installment of Season 4.
But the TV series wouldn’t be Cena’s only chance to flesh out Psych’s twisted family ties: He eventually went on to reprise his turn as Ewan in a hugely expanded role for 2017’s "Psych: The Movie." Let’s just say Cena’s character played a pivotal part in the film’s cliffhanger ending, running from a SWAT team and setting up what creator Steve Franks teased — at least for a time — as the jumping-off point for a second "Psych" flick that would feature Cena in the leading role. We’re still waiting for that particular story arc to emerge, but at least we’ll be prepared: Peacock’s the place to go to check out both the series and the movie.
Parks and Recreation
Not that anyone needs an excuse to binge one of the funniest series ever, but here’s a good one: Cena made his network television sitcom debut on "Parks and Recreation," and it proved to be a surreal splash when his character — an exaggerated version of his real self — ended up getting dunked in water, all to appease a roomful of kids.
Showing up in the 2015 episode "The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show,” Cena played a boneheaded but big-hearted thief who stole a $900 million guitar (no, that number’s not a typo) — all because he thought Johnny Karate wanted him to. Taking an ignominious shame dip before a live studio audience was the punishment for committing the caper, but perhaps more importantly, Cena’s funny walk-on fell just at the time when Hollywood was beginning to recognize his comedic gifts: He showed up in a pair of big-screen comedies, "Trainwreck" and "Sisters," that very same year.
We’ll admit it: It’s almost disgusting how swell and genuine a guy Cena comes off on reality TV. But we wouldn't have him any other way! Back before his famous split with Diva Nikki Bella, Cena made up half of the WWE’s famous power couple as a regular face on both "Total Divas" and "Total Bellas," joining the main cast through the E! Network series’ first three seasons of "Bellas."
Cena was a good sport pretty much at every IRL turn through the full duration of his "Total Bellas" stint, so much, in fact, that even Nikki herself couldn’t say anything bad about the man in the wake of their high-profile split (which meant, of course, his departure from the show as well). “He was on this journey with us from the beginning,” Bella told "People" in 2019, adding that Cena “never took one paycheck” for his appearance on the show.
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