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John Cena says he’s still trying to process the idea of hosting ESPN’s annual “ESPYs” awards show after it came together “just a couple of days ago.”
Cena talked to ESPN.com about being named the host of the ESPYs, which airs July 13 on ABC.
“They asked, and of course I said yes,” Cena said. “It goes without saying it’s a tremendous honor. The prestige of the show grows every year. It’s unbelievable. I obviously accepted, but it doesn’t go without its share of nerves. I just want to do the show justice. I’m going to do my due diligence and hopefully we can have a great show.”
Cena said he’s never attended the ESPYs (WWE’s busy schedule), nor hosted an awards show. But, he has in mind what his style will be as host.
“It’s going to be different. It’s not really my style to go into this and just trash everybody. That’s not the way I do business. I hope that’s not the way it works out,” Cena said.
“I appreciate these athletes and I know they are heroes to many people, including myself, and it’s not like I’m going to go in there trying to be too cool for school and try to be way smarter than the room. I’m going in there as appreciative of the athletes as everyone watching the show. I’m sure you’ll see good times and humor done as good as it can be, but most of it will be bouncing off me.”
As for the significance of a WWE star hosting a mainstream sports awards show like the ESPYs, Cena said he feels like it’s the pinnacle of his mission to broaden WWE’s appeal.
“It’s greatly significant. I’ve worked my entire career to try to broaden the perception of the WWE. A lot of folks think because we’re so entertaining and often-times have such wild and well-defined characters that it’s all we are. It has kind of been my life’s work to tell the public that’s not true,” Cena said.
“To be able to host an event like the ESPYS and be able to do all the things I’ve been fortunate enough to do outside of the WWE, and all the while still return to the WWE, hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.”