WATCH: When WWE Icon John Cena and NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal Almost Broke the Table While Arm Wrestling on the Today Show

Published 02/27/2021, 6:44 AM EST


Very few people would be eager to accept a fistfight with John Cena. However, NBA legend, Shaquille O’Neal, didn’t think twice before taking the 16-time world champion in an arm-wrestling competition. 

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The two athletes met on The Today Show a few years back. Although the segment focused on Cena’s first-ever children’s book named “Elbow Grease”, one thing led to another, and the two icons had a short yet competitive arm wrestling match.

Cena and Shaq were asked a simple question – which of the two legendary athletes is stronger? While the audience craved for one definite answer, both of them displayed humility and took each other’s name.

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ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 31: John Cena wins his match against The Miz at the WWE Monday Night Raw Supershow Halloween event at the Philips Arena on October 31, 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)

“I’ll have to say John,” Shaq seemed pretty confident of Cena’s strength.

Similarly, Cena wasted no time in putting O’Neal over. Unable to find a definite answer, the host decided to put them through a test. In no time, they brought a table to the set and the game was on.

John Cena was given the liberty of choosing his stronger arm. Cena, aware of his strength, decided to give Shaq the opportunity to choose.

Shaq opted to go with his left hand as John Cena playfully aligned his hand with the 7 ft giant Shaq! Needless to say, the difference in the size of their arm was quite clear. However, the strength did not fizzle out at all.

John Cena took advantage of his sports entertainment background against Shaquille O’Neal

John Cena has an illustrious career in WWE, and he claimed that this bout would be evenly contested despite the size difference.

“I’d like to remind you that I’m a Sports Entertainer, so this is going to be fantastic.”

Although the audience waited for a definite result, the superstars almost broke the table just before Cena stopped and declared a tie. See the full video below – 

John Cena has stepped beyond the wrestling ring to try out his luck in a variety of sectors. The 43-year-old has already starred in a few films and has been a part of numerous television shows.

Apart from them, he has ventured into the music industry. His venture into writing a children’s book was something unexpected; although, for the man himself, nothing is impossible.

As they mentioned earlier, Cena and Shaq O’Neal have known each other for over 20 years. Shaq is undoubtedly a huge fan of wrestling and has appeared several times in the wrestling arena.

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Most interestingly, Shaq and Big Show almost had a match at WrestleMania. However, that never took place due to various disputes between multiple authorities. 

However, this could now turn into a reality, as Big Show and Shaq both work under the same network (TNT) and are bound to debut on AEW Dynamite.

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Angana Roy

910 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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