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This article was first published 18 years ago  » Sports » Cena sets pulse racing in Mumbai

Cena sets pulse racing in Mumbai

By Deepti Patwardhan
February 09, 2006 18:13 IST
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What is so special about big hulky men, with strange names and stranger wardrobes, beating chests and then smashing their opponents' face and then involving in the loudest of dramatics?

It's entertainment!

Parents may cringe at that thought, but kids love it, especially the male species; the adrenaline rush that accompanies when bang goes a man's head. Grrrh!

Hordes of youngsters turned out at the Crossroads mall in Mumbai to see WWE superstar John Cena. Some of the little ones came dressed for the occasion, slipping into costumes of other popular wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Big Show; some carried replicas of the championship belt. One of them appearently flew in from Dubai to see the WWE star.

The show, as made up for entertainment as the sport, was complete with a DJ and disco lights.

The crowd, which was steadily growing in numbers, went into a frenzy when Cena stepped on to the stage. Off went his T-shirt into the waiting hands of the mob and Cena got into the act. He involved the audience with the customary getsures and broke into a rap song. The man had once even walked into the stands and grabbed a beer from an astounded-yet-hystercial fan.

No beers here; only mobile phones poked out everywhere in the video tape mode.

He later thanked them and said it was the one of the biggest audience he had played to.

"The closest it came to was in Italy but this was beyond anything we had expected."

The American also said that the fans here were very knowledgable about the game. Another warning for parents to secure their TV censor mode better.

Cena, the former RAW champion, standing high at 6' 1 inches on 240 pounds and with 22-inch biceps, believe it or not, was once a very small kid.

"I got picked on a lot as a kid. So I thought enough of it; I'm going to be a big guy just so people stay away from me."

At 13, he started lifting weights and built his body in an intimidating mass of muscle.

After a shot at American football, Cena settled nicely into the WWE ring, which he asserts is a real world.

"For me, none of the matches are stage managed," said Cena.

"I have an unorthodox style, I beat people up. And because I don't know what I'm going to do next, it surprises people and entertains them. I like the spontaneity."

Cena is also all right with the WWE being viewed solely as entertainment and not as a sport.

"It doesn't disturb me that it is not taken as a serious sport. But the fact is that there are some of the finest athletes here. A lot of them have come from other professional sports. Unlike some sports, when people buy the WWE ticket at least they know they are going to be entertained fully.

"You see all this people here. They come because WWE is a great entertainment sport and they feel a part of it."

To involve the crowd further, Cena turned into a hip-hop singer and came out with his album 'You can't see me'.

"Music is another medium to express yourself, to release your emotion. Breaking into rap songs on the stage makes me think on the spot."

On his first visit to India, Cena also showed interest in the Indian favourites -- cricket and food. All he knew was that cricket was a lot like baseball and had heard about it in Australia on his last visit.

In the end, the experience of spending the morning with Cena and his fans, which turned out to be an outrageous number, was just the knid of tickling fun it was meant to be.

The WWF, or WWE as it is now known, bug that bites every youngster is back with a bite.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Harish Kotian and Rohan Dhond

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Deepti Patwardhan

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