Kyle Johnson

Today in Debunkery: John Cena is Not Dead

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He's probably squatting a whole buncha weight at this exact moment

Update (3/10): John Cena is still alive

John Cena
John Cena: not dead, still won’t give up
Photo: Alexander Vaughn/WikiMedia Commons

Rest easy, WWE Universe. John Cena is not dead.

While perusing the terms that bring folks to The News Wheel, I noticed an unusual number of folks searching for something along the lines of “John Cena dead in car accident” or “John Cena car accident.” Being that I am something of a wrestling nerd (and by “something of a wrestling nerd,” I mean that I listen to New Japan Pro-Wrestling themes while I work), I decided that I’d try to get to the bottom of this matter.

Guess what: John Cena is not dead. This story–much like the story of the 2016 Lincoln Continental and the tale of the 200-mile Ford EV–is a complete hoax.

Turns out that this hubbub stems from a September 2012 article from International Business Times, which bears the headline “Is John Cena Dead? WWE Superstar Reportedly Dies, Victim of Celebrity Death Hoax”. Note how the whole “hoax” part is conveniently placed at the very end of that particular headline.

Now, if you were to search for “John Cena dead” on Google, this is what you get:

John Cena is not Dead

See the (possibly intentional) truncation of that original IBT headline, which very much makes it look like Cena is dead. Also see the top result, a photo gallery from of a car accident involving Cena. Circumstantially, the idea that John Cena may be dead suddenly seems plausible. At least until you, ya know, think about it. With your brain parts.

Now, let’s use those brain parts and think about this together for just a tick. If John Cena—15-time WWE Champion and one of the most prominent faces in pro wrestling in the last 20 years—were to die in a car accident, does anyone actually believe that WWE would choose to honor him by putting up a nice big gallery of pictures depicting the accident that claimed his life? Sure, this is the WWE—a company that is no stranger to exploiting death for any number of reasons (see: “Eddie’s in Hell”,  “Viva La Savings!”)—but that would be pretty low even by their standards.

In reality, WWE’s photos depict the tepid aftermath of a March 19th, 2012 accident. While traveling to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for that evening’s taping of Raw, Cena’s Chevy Tahoe was rear-ended by an Acura CL that had been rear-ended by a tractor trailer. The damage: some scrapes to the trailer, a busted up butt for the Acura, and a misplaced Bowtie emblem on the Tahoe’s rear bumper.

Cena was “a little shaken up” with symptoms consistent with whiplash, but he was in good enough shape to defeat Mark Henry later that night in an eight-minute match on Raw. Yes, Super Cena no-sold the damage of an honest-to-bah-gawd car accident. (It wasn’t clear if Cena hit the Acura with two consecutive shoulder tackles, ducked a wild punch and countered with a Protoplex, hoisted his right hand into the air, waved his hand across his face and told the car it couldn’t see him, hit the ropes, brushed his shoulder off, dropped a glancing fist, and scooped the vehicle up for an Attitude Adjustment for the clean finish.)

John Cena is still alive. He’s still working Rusev at Wrestlemania, he’s not turning heel any time this century, and you still can’t see him (though I’m not entirely sure if his time is still now given the whole “Old Man Cena” bit).

I can’t say the same, unfortunately, for Daniel Bryan’s main event push.

Though, as far as last tweets go, this would have been a good one…

The earth revolves around the sun, not an individual. Life is to be lived, but keep a solid perspective on things. #respect — John Cena (@JohnCena) March 3, 2015

…but John had to go and mess it up by 1) still being alive and 2) squatting like an absolute boss. — John Cena (@JohnCena) March 4, 2015

Hot damn, son.

We’ve got the latest scoop on John Cena’s not-deadness. Check in to see if he’s still hustling, being loyal, and respecting (the rules of the road):

Update (3/10): John Cena is still alive!

This image of Cena undergoing surgery on his elbow in 2013 is one of the many red herrings leading folks to suspect that the wrestler had died
This image of Cena undergoing surgery on his elbow in 2013 is one of the many red herrings leading folks to suspect that the wrestler had died