The Firefly Fun House Match between John Cena and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt on the second night of WWE‘s WrestleMania 36 had no shortage of utterly bizarre moments, taking Cena through supernatural projections pertaining to the history of his career and his own subconscious fears (yes, really). One such vision features something that has dominated online wrestling photoshops for years, but fans never thought they’d ever actually see: John Cena as a member of WCW’s New World Order.
At one point during the match, The Fiend appeared in the ring sporting a red-and-black NWO Wolfpac t-shirt. As he spoke into a microphone to introduce John Cena, the feed was cut with existing footage from WCW’s heyday, featuring former company executive (and NWO member) Eric Bischoff speaking the same words as The Fiend. It is at that point Cena appeared, making his way to the ring in the most NWO way possible.
With the screen changing from color to black-and-white, Cena entered from a stage designed to look like that of WCW Monday Nitro. With the NWO’s iconic theme “Rockhouse” playing, the former Doctor of Thuganomics walked down the ramp sporting an old school black-and-white NWO shirt with a matching hat, throwing up the “too sweet” hand gesture and playing air guitar with the spray painted WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt à la “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan.
During the sequence, the puppet depicting WWE Chairman Vince McMahon piped up from the commentary desk, declaring, “This is such good shit” (in reference to an actual behind-the-scenes saying of Vince’s that gained status as a meme in recent months). Cena ultimately lost the Firefly Fun House Match, with The Fiend being declared the winner after 13 minutes.
Although the fabled Monday Night War was before Cena’s time as a WWE superstar, he actually does have an interesting history with WCW. Prior to making his WWE main roster debut in 2002, Cena actually had an uncredited, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in the David Arquette-starred 2000 film Ready to Rumble, which was made in cooperation with WCW and featured major members of the now-defunct promotion’s roster. While the NWO was eventually brought back under the WWE banner, Cena sporting the logo of the iconic stable — which is synonymous with both WCW’s meteoric rise and it fall from grace — in an official capacity is still a surreal sight, to say the least.
WrestleMania's surreal Firefly Fun House Match between John Cena and The Fiend imagined John Cena as a member of WCW's New World Order.