John Cena is possibly the best-known wrestler of the past two decades. Thanks to his achievements in WWE, he became a household name. His gimmick and character went viral until every casual wrestling fan became aware of him, and even non-wrestling fans knew about him.
However, there are parts of his character that the fans are not that aware of. When he made his way down to the ring, John Cena always started with a three-finger salute before running down the ramp to the ring.
While this salute seemed simple enough, it held a special significance to John Cena.
What does John Cena's salute mean to him?
The meaning of John Cena's salute is two-fold. When he made his way to the ring, he stood at attention and saluted as if acknowledging a superior's order.
In an exclusive with WWE.com, Cena revealed that it was a salute to the fans and those that had stood by him throughout his career.
"It’s a salute of loyalty to those that stand by me, that have been doing it for years."
However, that is not the only reason that he saluted every night before coming down to the ring.
John Cena's original popular gimmick in WWE was that of a hip-hop artist who made his way to the ring while rapping. However, he changed the character and he transitioned to a respectful character who believed in hard work. "Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect" became his theme and he adhered to every aspect of the character.
He revealed that the salute was a sign of respect to the United States military and that he adopted the ideologies of the United States Armed Forces into his character.
“When it came my time to slowly redefine who I was from wrestler to hip hop thug, to the next step in my career, I basically took the ideologies of discipline from the Armed Forces. I took honor, code and country and came up with hustle, loyalty and respect. I think exactly like they do.”
John Cena was the face that WWE was looking for at a time when they were trying to change their content into a more family-friendly product. Cena's character, who advocated hard work and respect, was the perfect person for the company to turn to at the time. Consequently, Cena managed to carry WWE and remained the top name in the company for more than a decade.
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