Cena said he was "grateful for an incredible and unforgettable experience" after the game
John Cena might want to stick to professional wrestling.
The 16-time WWE world champion-turned-actor made his hilarious amateur baseball debut over the weekend, joining the Savannah Bananas exhibition team for an at-bat during their game on Saturday afternoon in Tampa.
Cena, 46, approached the plate with a championship belt and tried to squat down as low as he could to minimize his strike zone in order to try to get on base with a walk.
But the umpire wasn’t having it. The umpire called the Argylle actor out on strikes before launching into a pro wrestling elbow-drop move to emphasize Cena’s strikeout.
Cena played along with the bit, arguing with the umpire about the call and then rushing to the mound as if he was going to start a fight with the other team’s pitcher, Bret Helton. Instead, Cena grabbed Helton’s arm and raised it in the air to a raucous applause.
The Bananas announcers noted that Cena told them before the game he hadn’t played baseball since he was 15 years old. They then teased Cena for his “unique” batting stance – a goofy strategy that ultimately didn’t help Cena get on base.
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The Bananas have been likened to baseball's version of the Harlem Globetrotters for playing games based around the basic rules of the sport — but with the addition of zany elements aimed at entertaining fans.
The Georgia team have made headlines for bringing in former athletes and celebrities for one-off appearances during their games, as well. During Saturday’s game, former New York Yankees star Nick Swisher also joined the Bananas for an at-bat after Cena's appearance.
“A chance to be on @TheSavBananas for a day sounded appealing, but these guys kick some serious potassium!!!” Cena joked on social media after the game. “Grateful for an incredible and unforgettable experience!”
Despite his focus on his film career, the Fast X star told PEOPLE last month that he’s still interested in pro wrestling. Still, he’s aware that he’s approaching the end of his in-ring opportunities. “I turned 47 this past year and I don't have much time left in the WWE,” Cena said, adding, “I'm trying to figure out when to close that chapter.”
Cena hasn’t appeared full time with the WWE since 2017 as his career began to shift towards acting. His 16 WWE world championships tie an all-time record with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, who similarly won 16 world titles throughout his career.
Since stepping away from WWE full time, Cena has become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars with roles in films like Trainwreck and the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as a leading role in the HBO series Peacemaker.
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