John Cena – one of the biggest faces in WWE and well known for both his power and promotion of self-improvement – was a guest on ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Falon’ recently to promote his new children’s book, ‘Elbow Grease Fast Friends’.
However, instead of spending his time with Fallon talking about the book, he talked about the South Korean phenomenon, BTS. This is the result of Cena being a guest on the show while the show was running their weeklong BTS takeover, where the boys perform and have short segments on the show alongside Fallon. Cena, the first in-person guest Fallon has had since production resumed following COVID-19 shutdowns, explained that it was the rap in the groups’ music that caught his attention.
“And they use, in some of their intro tracks and bookend tracks, they use sick boom-bap beats and they actually rap. So, I got interested in the music and then I got interested in what the music stood for.”
And as for how the group connects to him and his values, the 43-year-old shared:
“They advocate self-love, they advocate ‘don’t be afraid of failure’, they advocate that you are enough. They are trying to shatter all the stereotypical difficulties and uncomfortable situations that we go through and they’re catering to an audience that is living that – young people.”
Cena also went on to mention BTS fans, known as ARMYs’, who are quick to support their idols. Just recently, BTS fans followed the band’s lead and helped raise more than $1million for the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this year.
“BTS donated a million bucks to Black Lives Matter and the Army was like, ‘If they can do it, we can do it’. Fans who are already coming out of pocket to support artists came out of pocket more to support charities – and this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. That’s work and that’s purpose, and that’s f**king changing the world. That’s impressive. I don’t care how you feel about them, I don’t care if their music’s your bag. How they conduct themselves and the message they send to the world, man, that’s something special.”
In his own way, Cena is also doing what he can to change the world with the influence he has.
Self improvement is quite a popular topic currently. I really enjoy this as more and more people are realizing the power of change and the power of their potential. Just remember the word “self”. It’s starts in the mirror. Never give up.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) September 28, 2020
Cena’s children’s book is said to tackle toxic masculinity (the cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance that is harmful to mental health). ‘Elbow Grease’ centres around a small monster truck with big dreams, who enters the Demolition Derby race with his five brothers (all of whom have their own strengths). Elbow Grease has no special talents and thus, everyone believes that he will lose in the Derby. In the end, he does lose. However, Cena aims to allow boys who are often pressured to be as competitive as possible with their peers to understand that it is okay to fail.
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Story time with #thosedamnraymondiboys @johncena book Elbow Grease is a really good book with a great message. Any good books you suggest for the little ones? . . #elbowgrease #childrensbooks #johncena #reading #familytime #familytime❤️ #fun #illustration #ilovemysons #qualitytime #stayhome #stayhomestaysafe #quarantine #wwe #elbowgreasebook #monstertrucks
Cena is set to release a follow up to titled, ‘Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla’, on the 8th of October.
Watch John Cena gush over BTS for a full three minutes:
*Cover image credits: John Cena: Gage Skidmore on Flikr