If you didn’t think John Cena could be any more “super” than he already is, then you should watch his speech during a press event in which he speaks in Mandarin.
According to New York Daily News Sports, the WWE traveled to China for a press release which took place on Thursday, June 16. The reason for it was to further better relations between the popular leader in sports entertainment and the country. Apparently, the newfound business relationship is starting well as they announced their first-ever Chinese WWE Superstar, Bin Wang.
For those who do not know, the WWE — primarily Paul Levesque who is better known by his ring name Triple H — has shown interest in the wrestling talent coming from Asian countries starting with Japan two years ago. Their first signing, as a result of WWE’s said interest with Asian wrestling talent, was popular Japanese wrestler, Kenta Kobayashi, who is now known by his ring name under NXT, Hideo Itami. He was eventually followed-up by Kanako Urai, now known by her current ring name in NXT, Asuka, and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Given the fact that John Cena is still considered the WWE’s most popular superstar despite his mid-card status, it was no surprise WWE would want him to attend the WWE press release in Shanghai, China too. What was a surprise for many who attended was Cena speaking Mandarin for about two-and-a-half minutes. The Verge pointed out that speaking Mandarin for that amount of time is long for someone who does not speak it as a first language. Add the fact that Mandarin is notoriously difficult to learn, it is amazing Cena even got through his speech without any major criticisms. Most likely, the Chinese in attendance appreciate John Cena’s attempt because it was considered an authentic means of going beyond the call of one’s job description in support of their company.
What one must wonder is how did John Cena learn Mandarin in the first place? It is possible that he could have decided to take language courses on his own, but that comes off as a side hobby given his busy schedule. Take note that Cena is not just a wrestler who will be taking on AJ Styles at the 2016 WWE Money in the Bank, but he is an actor who had memorable appearances in Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home, and Sisters, a philanthropist who has granted over 500 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and an entrepreneur who created his own workout program. So how did Cena have time to learn Mandarin?
What many WWE fans, including the hardcore ones who’ve been devoted to the product way before the Attitude Era, may not know is that the WWE offers free language courses for their wrestlers, and they can learn as many as they want. Maybe that’s why certain wrestlers know more multiple languages. Former WWE Superstar and current Japanese language commentator, Shoichi Funaki, is fluent not just in Japanese, but English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Nevertheless, it is amazing just to watch John Cena speak another language given how he was in the beginning of his wrestling career when he tried to be a rapper and “thug it out” with throwbacks and chains. And just so it is known, Mandarin isn’t the first foreign language Cena knows. A few years back in Montreal, Canada, John Cena insulted CM Punk in French.
[Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Fast Company]