Wrestling & MMA

This is why John Cena is the Miami Herald Sports Entertainer for 2018

John Cena talks about voice acting in Ferdinand

Miami Herald reporter, Jim Varsallone, spoke to WWE superstar, John Cena, about his role in his upcoming film, Ferdinand.
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Miami Herald reporter, Jim Varsallone, spoke to WWE superstar, John Cena, about his role in his upcoming film, Ferdinand.

John Cena is the Miami Herald Sports Entertainer for 2018.

The acknowledgment is based on pro wrestling as well as other entertainment endeavors outside the ring during the 12-month period.

A longtime WWE Superstar, Cena competed for World Wrestling Entertainment in 2018, highlighted by another WrestleMania appearance. That makes 14.

In the 2018 version, he battled the iconic Undertaker and then wrestled Triple H at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

Cena teamed with Bobby Lashley against Kevin Owens and Elias at WWE Super Show-Down. He opted out of the WWE Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia after the murder of a Saudi journalist at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

Away from WWE, Cena completed a very busy schedule with high-profile movie releases such as Blockers and Bumblebee.

He hosted the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. He created a show on WWE’s YouTube channel. He appeared on many mainstream TV talk shows and continued his role as the voice of Ernie the elephant in a commercial for Wonderful Pistachios.

A champion of putting smiles on kids’ faces. Cena won the prestigious Muhammad Ali Legacy Award by Sports Illustrated for his philanthropy efforts. Granting more than 600 Make-A-Wish wishes during his WWE career, he became the first pro wrestler to win the award since its inception in 2008.

A West Newbury, Mass. native., the 41-year-old Cena had his personal life -- the ups and downs -- made public via Total Bellas on E!.

Even with his movie career taking off to new heights, when WWE needed him, the WWE lifer became readily available.

Who else made the list

If you’re looking for a Mount Rushmore of sports entertainers for 2018, I’ve got a list for you.

This entails pro wrestling as well as other entertainment ventures away from the ring.

John Cena is there for reasons mentioned above.

Ronda Rousey has to be there, too. She burst onto the pro wrestling scene in 2018 and proved quickly she belonged, impressing fans and capturing the WWE Raw women’s title (beating Alexa Bliss) in just five months of her match debut.

Rousey brought more mainstream attention to WWE. She later main evented Evolution, WWE’s first women’s pay-per-view, battling Nikki Bella.

Originally from Riverside, Calif., Rousey was ranked No. 1 of the top 100 female singles wrestlers in the PWI Female 100 in 2018. Quite the accomplishment for a rookie.

Outside the ring, Rousey maintained her spot in the mainstream. The 31-year-old talent was in the movie Mile 22 and also appeared in a Twizzlers commercial. She was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame.

For the second consecutive year, Cody Rhodes made the list. Rhodes, 33, from Marietta, Ga. starred in Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He teamed with The Young Bucks to win the ROH six-man tag titles, beating The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, Vinny Marseglia). He also won the IWGP United States title.

Rhodes won the NWA title (beating Nick Aldis) at All In. His father, American Dream Dusty Rhodes, wore the NWA belt, so it was quite the honor, but the bigger feat is All In. Rhodes teamed with The Young Bucks to produce, run, create All In, an independent pro wrestling show that drew 10,000 fans to Chicago. The historic event sold out in 30 minutes.

Away from the ring, Rhodes appeared in the CW hit TV series Arrow and also on WAGS Atlanta on E!. He continued the popular web series Being The Elite on YouTube.

If you’re gonna have a list, who better to be on it than Chris Jericho.

Jericho, 48, of Manhasset, N.Y. participated in the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble. He also worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling, competing in a stellar match against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. He later won the IWGP Intercontinental title, beating Tetsuya Naito.

Out of the ring, Jericho toured with his rock group Fozzy. He also created the Chris Jericho Rock-n-Wrestling Rager at Sea, a successful cruise that featured pro wrestlers, rock music bands, comedians and more. His outstanding podcast Talk is Jericho moved to Westwood One in 2018.

The Miz, Johnny Impact, Becky Lynch, Colt Cabana and Xavier Woods each also had an outstanding sports entertainment year in 2018.

- My Pro Wrestling on the Web and Social Media


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Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Spanning four decades, he currently covers WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, MLW, WOW, FSCW, AEW and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA -- mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team talent in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes feature stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) -- sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).
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