Source: ABC News
As noted, John Cena will be hosting this year's ESPY Awards, which will take place on Wednesday, July 13th. ABC News interviewed Cena about the big hosting gig, below are some highlights:
The significance of a WWE star hosting the ESPYs:
"It's greatly significant. I've worked my entire career to try to broaden the perception of the WWE. A lot of folks think because we're so entertaining and oftentimes have such wild and well-defined characters that it's all we are. It has kind of been my life's work to tell the public that's not true. To be able to host an event like the ESPYS and be able to do all the things I've been fortunate enough to do outside of the WWE, and all the while still return to the WWE, hopefully it's a step in the right direction."
Wrestlers now openly talking about character development and storylines, if that has helped in getting mainstream coverage:
"We could have that conversation all day. I'm kind of a unique example in that I use my real name. I don't have an overly crazy look to me. It's something that fits everywhere rather than, like, The Undertaker, for example. He doesn't use his real name and he is characterized as a dead man walking. It's not something you can see in everyday places. It's great for promotion and success within our realm but very difficult to promote and succeed outside our realm. I just want to be a vehicle to let everyone know we're doing some good things over here. I think a lot of those opportunities are now coming to fruition for the other WWE superstars, as well."
If his goals have changed with his recent mainstream success:
"My goals don't change. It's the same thing when I started in 2002, it's to get the mainstream audience a better perception of what WWE does. I am so passionate about what we do and I'm so quick to promote the WWE as a brand because I'm so loyal and passionate about it and I want everybody else to feel the same way. There are so many people that don't watch our product at all and have preconceived notions about who our performers are and what they do, and my goal next month or five years from now is to change that perception. There are some very talented individuals that perform for our brand. I think our brand of entertainment is up there with anything as far as live experience. I want people to know that. It's not uncool to do what we do."
Cena also talked about his opening monologue at the ESPYs, Total Divas, his relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, if crowds affect him and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.