Watch John Cena’s Glorious Return To Rapping At Wrestlemania

Last night was Wrestlemania, the overwhelming stadium spectacle that WWE puts on every year. It was long, and at least intermittently, it was great. There were highlights. Kofi Kingston won the WWE Championship from Daniel Bryan in what was both a great match and a great moment. Becky Lynch ended the night by winning the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships. Cesaro spun Ricochet around about 500 times. But one of the most delightful moments was the vision of a 41-year-old man with a terrible haircut doing ultra-cheesy battle-rap punchlines.

Once upon a time, John Cena was a rapper. When WWE first introduced Cena, he was a fairly featureless good guy, and he didn’t get much traction. Then there was a Halloween 2002 episode of Smackdown where Cena dressed up as Vanilla Ice and rapped. A lightbulb went off over somebody’s head, and John Cena became a rapper. He would wear Reebok Pumps and throwback jerseys, and he’d call himself the Doctor of Thuganomics. Before matches, he’d go after the other wrestlers in raps that the Boston underground rap lifer Esoteric — currently of Czarface — wrote for him. At one point, Cena even released an album. (I reviewed it, though that is sadly not online anymore.) Cena eventually stopped rapping and became one of the biggest WWE stars of all time. He’s now a part-timer, and he’s starring in movies all the time. But last night at Wrestlemania, Cena brought back the Doctor of Thuganomics. And it was glorious.

Cena didn’t have a match at Wrestlemania, and he wasn’t part of the buildup to the show. When he came out, it was to interrupt Elias, the acoustic-guitar-playing bad guy wrestler, last seen on this site covering “Shallow” with Finn Bálor. Cena came out to his old music, in his old gear, with a hat covering up the profoundly goofy haircut that he currently rocks. And he did a few beautifully silly minutes of slightly insidery references and obvious dick jokes. It was wonderful. Watch it below.

This was the happiest that a wrestling crowd was to see Cena in what? At least a decade?