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“Today is my WWE birthday and as I look around, people as far as the eye can see, you can feel the energy and you can certainly hear the noise. I can’t think of a better place to have my birthday," he gushed.
The crowd absolutely roared with delight. Many were holding signs that paid tribute to Cena, some including his catchphrase, “You can’t see me.” One sign thanked the Superstar for “20 years of jorts and never giving up.”
But Cena made it clear that it wasn't all about him.
“I’ve never been one to celebrate milestones because I’ve always been one to look forward to what’s next,” Cena said. “But, tonight is different. Tonight is very different because if you listen to stuff like that, tonight has nothing to do with anything that I have ever done.”
He added, “Tonight has everything to do with you.”
The champ thanked the crowd for allowing him to be with WWE for two decades.
"It has never been lost on me that each and every single time I stand in this ring, it's because you allow it,” he said.
He added that WWE fans have allowed him to be his “true self.”
“You’ve also been brave enough to tell me when I suck and you’ve also been kind enough to tell me when I don’t,” he said.
The crowd replied with chants of “Cena.”
Throughout Monday’s show, WWE ran videos highlighting his impressive career. Cena, a former bodybuilder from Massachusetts, joined WWE’s SmackDown roster in 2002. The career he charted was simply legendary: he won the WWE Championship a record 13 times, in addition to being a five-time U.S. Champion, and four-time World Tag Team Champion.
Cena said he has been waiting for “the right moment” to thank his fans for their support and loyalty over the years and he noted that Monday night felt like that very moment.
In turn, the crowd replied with chants of “Thank you, Cena.”
Not everyone was appreciative of Cena though. Theory confronted him, telling him that he'd accomplished more by age 24. He even called Cena an old man wearing jorts. Could this animosity mean that the two face off in the near future? And Seth Rollins thought he’d try to insult the legend by bringing up the past,
"Do you remember that time when I put my knee directly into your nose and broke your face into a million tiny pieces?" he told him, before bringing up the time in 2012 when Cena won Money in the Bank but failed to gain a championship when cashing in.
Still, the crowd spoke, and they all undoubtedly adore Cena.
And Catch the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on Saturday, July 2, at 8 ET/5 PT, streaming live on Peacock.
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