As a wrestler, John Cena has always been slightly above average. As a talker and performer, he's always been great. On #SaturdayNightLive, Cena delivered with the confidence and precision of one of his Doctor Of Thuganomics wrestling raps, coming across as a natural performer, who appears even more suited for the comedy stage than the pro wrestling one.
Cena gets an A.
In the parlance of wrestling speak, #SNL put #johncena over, big time. The writers booked him as a sex symbol in at least five of the skits. Cena showed more cleavage than Nikki Bella on an episode of Smackdown Live. He even played the handsome inner, more attractive, fantasy self of Donald Trump.
While #CenaonSNL didn't have any single-defining blow away skit, his charisma, presence and dimples carried him, and the camera loved him.
He played in nine skits, as a game show host, a cop, a karate master, a college athlete, a game show contestant, a guy in a tight shirt at an office party, a stock boy at an Adult Book store, a reality TV contestant, and as Donald Trump
He opened the show in a tie-less black suit and introduced himself:
"My name is John Cena and to those of you who voted for #Hillary, I am a wrestler."
Three cast members then came out, pro wrestling style, trying to stop him, before Cena ripped off his jacket to reveal his ripped arms, to loud "oooohs" from the audience.
During Cena's game show skit, we even got an appearance from a #conormcgregor character, which fell flat. #SNL took a few digs at McGregor, asking him what happened the last time he was in Las Vegas: "I lost."
The host, played by Kenan Thompson, called the McGregor character, "an angry little leprechaun."
Cena played a hokey bimbo -- or Rob Gronkowski -- on a game show, although he looked a lot more like Tom Brady.
Cena nailed it as a jock football player from the University of Alabama whose Applied Sciences final topic was "bananas." His character "Ray" needed an "A" so he could play in an upcoming Bowl game.
The panel of teachers, one of them wearing University of Alabama face-paint colors, gave him 100 percent.
"A banana is a yellow snack that monkeys eat," Cena's character said. ". . . . I just have to get A+ on my English Lit final first, but I am not worried. I know the hell out of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Cena also reinterpreted "The Karate Kid." In this version, the bully won.
Toward the end of the show, Cena played a Fabio-looking stock boy at an erotic book store. This segment seemed to only exist to allow the former WWE world champion to rip open his shirt to reveal his upper body. In the office party skit, Cena's shirt was about two sizes too small, revealing his pectoral muscles.
The 39-year-old revealed an ability to be funny and charismatic, all while showing off his athletic good looks. The writing was not brilliant and there was nothing overly clever involving Cena. The 15-time champion, however, burst through as legitimate star, thanks to his on-camera presence, magnetic personality and good looks.
Cena may be a bit rough inside the ring, by on television, acting in comedy skits, he's right where he belongs.