It is May, 2004. I’m at my third E3. THQ is doing some kind of WWE videogame, as it often likes to do. I land interviews with a couple of its big stars, including John Cena.
Remember, we’re in 2004. So this is not John Cena, Incredibly Popular WWE Champion and Movie Star. This is John Cena, Relatively New Guy Who Likes to Rap and Wear Videogame Clothes to the Ring.
Cena’s star was definitely on the rise, but he’s a year away from the championship belt and thus has to sit in a tiny rooms on the E3 show floor and do an interview with some stupid doofus journalist. Carrying my official Kobun Heat-branded messenger bag and wearing a Donkey Kong shirt, I ask him about his love for old videogames, etc.
Finally, I ask: You freestyle really well. Could you do something on the topic of, say, Kobun Heat?
He could, as it happened.