John Cena Once Did an Unthinkable Gesture To Bring Rare Smile on the Face of Old Man at the Grocery Shop Who Lost His Wife 5 Years Ago; Also Clicked a Selfie

Published 06/23/2023, 5:00 PM EDT

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If you are a John Cena fan, you must have seen him through a larger-than-life lens where he came to the help of distressed. But you ain’t just imagining it. Cena did it for real. John Cena once turned into a real-life superhero in a public store in Florida by doing a kind gesture for a retired veteran.

Cena, 46, WWE’s ultimate face of the ruthless era is not a stranger to charitable work. But amid the pandemic situation in 2020, what he did to an old man, an ex-army official named Charles Bud Phillips, was downright impressive.

John Cena gifted a smile to a retired army man


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Apart from being a phenomenal figure in the pro wrestling industry, John Cena let the world see his king-size heart multiple times through his various generous actions. The multi-time world champion once visited Publix supermarket in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, where he saw a retired army veteran grabbing supplies.

via Imago

Cena stepped into his ‘Super Cena’ self and paid all the bills on his behalf. On top of it, he brightened the ex-army man’s day by posing for a selfie with him.


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The picture went viral on social media. The daughter of the veteran later shared in an interview how the heartwarming moment unfolded. She explained, ‘‘My dad was behind him in the checkout line. They were chatting and John thanked my dad for his service [after] seeing his SeaBees hat. John secretly paid for all of his groceries. My dad didn’t even know until he was being checked out and the cashier said, ‘John paid for your groceries.’ The bill was around $100.”

She also stated that the old man lost his wife years ago and wasn’t in good spirits since then. Thanks to Cena, he had a reason to smile once again.

Likewise, John Cena has been gifting smiles to countless children for years through his active participation in WWE’s Make-A-Wish initiative.

John Cena reached a massive milestone through his Make-A-Wish participation

The 46-year-old superstar has been extra sensitive when it comes to children and the military as depicted by his involvement in WWE’s ‘Tribute to the Troops’ campaign and Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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Cena’s list of world records went beyond the squared circle when he registered his name in The Guinness Book of World Records for the highest  number of wishes granted through Make-A-Wish. The Leader of Cenation granted his first wish in 2002 and the rest is history with The Guinness Book of World Records, verifying 650 wishes in his name so far.

Make-A-Wish confirmed that Cena is the most requested celebrity, and no one has ever granted more than 200 wishes except for him in the history of the foundation.


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What’s your take on John Cena’s kind gesture to a retired old man? Let us know in the comments.


Written by:

Shreya Nag


One take at a time

Shreya Nag is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports, whose love for the sport began when she saw Cody Rhodes win the Royal Rumble in 2023. Since then, she has been an ardent fan of Rhodes and the world of pro wrestling. Shreya's writing combines her passion for the sport with her writing abilities, which she uses to provide readers with a nuanced analysis of WWE superstars.
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Edited by:

Sherjeel Malik