Apparently outside of being a 16-time WWE world heavyweight champion, a surprisingly decent rapper, and occasionally intangible to the human eye, John Cena is also a huge mark for the Metroid series.
According to Dan Ryckert, the Giant Bomb creative director and former WWE podcast producer, Cena told Nintendo representatives he’d love to play a new 2D Metroid game during his 2017 photo shoot for the Nintendo’s “Unexpected Places” Switch advertisement.
The kicker: “When Metroid Dread came out years later, he was sent a copy,” Ryckert said on Twitter. “Cena’s people sent an email back saying ‘John loves it.’” .
Krysta Yang, a former Nintendo staff member, corroborated Ryckert’s tweet, saying, “he did say how much of a Metroid fan he was. He’s a really nice guy!”
This isn’t the first time that the Doctor of Thuganomics has openly talked about his penchant for video games. Back in 2008, Cena spoke highly of his love for old-school games like the real-time strategy classic Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. The then-WWE champion proceeded to cut a promo of sorts on games like Madden, Tecmo Bowl and Baseball Stars saying the game was the very essence for what he stands for: “building a huge army and destroying a lot of shit.”
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Kotaku’s reached out to Cena for comment.
Over the years the designs for Cena’s WWE merchandise—y’know the ones fellow WWE Superstar-turned-Hollywood-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson didn’t admonish for being tantamount to toilet paper—were inspired by artwork from Super Mario Bros. 3 and other classic Nintendo games.
Maybe the Samus / Cena appreciation goes both ways, given that in Metroid Dread one of her new abilities, Phantom Cloak, allows her to pull off a “you can’t see me” of her own (helpful to avoid being detected by the dastardly E.M.M.I. robots stalking her). Sure, I could be reading too much into things, but tell me with a straight face that, come Cena’s return to the ring, you wouldn’t lose your shit if he added “transforming into a morph ball” to his five moves of doom.