By: Rebeccah Pearson – October, 2014
He was married for 30 years, having 5 wonderful sons. Stephen, the oldest, is a computer specialist he is an IT director in Rochester, NY and went to Rochester College; his son, John, is a professional wrestler with WWE and went to Springfield College and has a daughter Nichole; Sean went to college; Daniel has two degrees in criminal justice and is a sergeant in the West Newbury Police Department and has a young daughter named Ashland and married to Janet; Mathew is a service rep and writer for Mercedes Benz who has two daughters, Shelby and Noel, and married to Coverly . “I’m very fortunate to have two wonderful daughters because I don’t have any daughters,” he says with a smile.
The Wrestler: John Sr. always used to watch television with his grandfather he would go there on Saturdays and Sundays and watch wrestling on his black and white TV. His grandfather would go and take a nap and he would turn the TV to wrestling. When TV turned to color TV, his grandfather thought it would automatically change over to colored TV, which of course it did not, which he laughed about. He began his love for wrestling then, and started going to shows, became a promoter and then a manager. Along his path in wrestling, he has met some of the greats which include Chief Jay Strongbow, Classy Freddie Blassie, Padro Morales, Stan Stasiak who has passed away, Jake The Snake Roberts, Tito Santana, Greg The Hammer Valentine. Daniel and John use to accompany him to professional wrestling shows. They would by the nosebleed seats because “we were not rich with money, but rich with love.” When cable television came out, John was the first person to get a cable TV just to watch wrestling. Then, Pay per views were only $12, now they are up to almost $60. The whole family including his dad would watch wrestling. John Sr. also did ring announcing for MMA. After seeing an ad in the paper for a wrestling ring announcer at Starwars Wrestling in Salisbury, he went for the ring announcer and left a Heal Manager “a bad guy.”
The character, Johnny Fabulous, was made and born at Starwars Wrestling. Vince and Kennedy McMann from WWE has been an amazing part of his life, and all began in 2001 when John Cena, Sr. was introduced to the crowds, “I can’t thank the McMann’s enough, they are an amazing family and have given me and my family such wonderful opportunities and I can’t thank them enough.” Two great names, one outstanding person!
His three most memorable experiences in professional wresting were when John was fighting Edge for the Heavyweight Championship, which you can YouTube the amazing slap that happened. The second was when John was fighting Randy Orton; John, Sr. was pulled over the top rope and kicked in the head and had to be rushed to the hospital, then three weeks later, John, Sr., at a pay per view, was able to kick Randy back and get his revenge. John, Sr. got to do his debut. When Jonathan Coachman was the general manager of RAW, John, Sr. found himself in the ring battling it out with Randy Orton while John, Jr. was handcuffed to the ring. “I love you dad, and you don’t have to do this” John’s son said as the senior John entered the ring to help him keep his title, “I love you too, and that’s why I have to do this,” was John, Sr.’s remarks to his son as he walked through the ropes. “Two things I remember the most is the kick in the head, and the rope, and would love the opportunity to come back and do some more and work again with the McMann’s.”
The Justice of the Peace: John, Sr. when he was younger wanted to become a priest, but realized god had different intentions for him. There was an opening for a Justice of the Peace in West Newbury, after sending in his paper work he is also allowed to solemnize a marriage. “I want the weddings to be meaningful and to be a great day, so I interview the couples to get to know them and help them make their day as special as it should be.” He also writes all services that he does. He has been marring couples now for over 14 years.
“I’m having a great time doing it and have many memorable experiences. He has married people at The House of the Seven Gables for a gothic wedding; King Arthur’s wedding where they were king and queen with nights and armor and ladies in waiting; he has done ceremonies at the beach; also he had married his son John in his first marriage. One of his most memorable marriages he performed was a woman that had cancer and was in the service in the desert. He came back from the war and wrote their own vows and she showed up in a horse and carriage, and was simply wonderful and memorable.”
Another incredible thing that I learned about John, Sr. is that every year he plays Santa Claus for local charities, passing the love of the holiday season to those that need a little extra love around the holidays. It began around the early years when he was 15 years old because he grew up in an Italian area, and no one spoke Italian, so he would go around speaking to the children in Italian keeping the holiday magic alive. He even gave a family in need presents, food and a tree after visiting their home as Santa and seeing that their holiday happiness needed a helping hand. “Open hands brings smiles, that’s what the holidays are all about. Santa Claus is kindness, he is love, he is giving, and in the heart I don’t care how old you are. Christmas is not just for children, Santa is in the heart of everyone.” Like I said earlier, just a wonderful example of this kind hearted nature.
When ending the interview, I asked John what we would like to pass on to the readers of The Valley Patriot. He smiled and with a wonderful look in his eyes he said, “To people in love, married couples, couples going together, being together, people with families, first of all take time for each other. One day a week, make a date night, I don’t care if you walk the beach holding hands, if you go to the movies, or go to dinner. Take time for you. No matter what demands are made upon you or your day. Love your children because they grow so quickly, I worked so hard and missed so many things with my sons that I can never get back. Love them, love each other, love is the greatest gift in the world, that I think we have forgotten how to share that and how to give that. Enjoy good food, enjoy good company, live life to the fullest with those you love, and do the things you want to do. Because life is like a match, once it’s lit and the wind blows it out, you can never relight it. And the one thing you never want to do is to look back. Never look back, we always make mistakes in life, god knows I have made a lot of mistakes in my life with raising my sons and my mistakes in my marriage, but don’t look back on mistakes learn from them , glue the pages from that life together with crazy glue and go to the new chapter, learn and begin again. Love each other, love life, love everything you have and enjoy. And my last thing is don’t worry, worry causes wrinkles, heart attacks, worry causes marriage breakups, it causes hate and it causes anger. Hate is a poison, be careful you don’t drink your own poison. Worry to me…I have a little saying that my son John gave me ‘Don’t worry it will all take care of itself’, why worry, people need to see the real treasures in life.”
So I have to tell you, all in all, during this interview I found myself in complete awe. Learning about John, Sr.’s life and his family was simply amazing. This article could have gone on forever, and many things we talked about I simply don’t have the room to include. A man that had lived through much, loved through many, and found his world surrounded by wonderful children, fantastic friends, fans, and nature.
Thank you John, for having me to your beautiful home, and giving me the opportunity to learn more about you and your life. For more information about John Cena, Sr. or to book him for a charity event for wrestling, or a justice of the peace for your wedding you can find him online at www.JohnnyFabulous.com or www.JohnCenaJP.com