When it was announced late last month that WWE Live would return to Shanghai
on September 1, we could not see the professional wrestler, actor, philanthropist, television host and rapper John Cena among the lineup of vascular talents set to appear. But now, things have escalated quickly. Not only is he confirmed for the show, he has also announced plans to debut his '6th move of doom' at the show.
Cena, a marquee talent of the WWE franchise since the early 2000s, is known for five spectacular 'moves of doom' – the diving shoulder block, the sitout hip toss, the side-release spinout powerbomb, the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment – all done to lead up to his 'victories'.
In a video interview released by WWE, Cena reveals more about this '6th move of doom' which he has been fine-tuning while training in Tianjin with Jackie Chan's stunt team. Yes, John Cena is training with Jackie Chan's stunt team. If anything, that says all you need to know about WWE.
This '6th move of doom', according to Cena, is based on bajiquan, a Chinese martial art from Hebei province. He goes on to say, 'I couldn’t think of a better way to show my appreciation for China, Chinese people and Chinese culture than to debut what I think is a finishing move that will provide me much victory in Shanghai on Sept 1.'
Some might call that pandering, while others might call it being a 'cultural ambassador'. Yes, WWE wrestling, this confluence of athleticism, mythology, spectacle, politics and dramatic acting, is objectively a cultural exchange of sorts... for better or worse. You could also say John Cena's '6th move of doom' is a textbook case of Shanghai's iconic haipai, or 'east meets west' aesthetics. So this city is really the perfect place for the move's debut.