WWE superstar John Cena may be busy with WrestleMania right around the corner, but that hasn’t stopped him from promoting the Nintendo Switch. Cena recently appeared at a special event where he played Nintendo’s new console with members of the press, in turn sparking interest in the pro wrestler’s history with the video game industry. As it turns out, Cena was a big fan of video games growing up, and is especially fond of the NES classics..

In a recent Sports Illustrated interview where he spoke about the upcoming WrestleMania pay-per-view event in addition to the Nintendo Switch console, Cena was also asked about his history with gaming. Cena said he was a fan of the NES as a child, pointing to games like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. as some of his favorite games from the era.

“I am a certainly a child of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, as the gamer Hall of Famers attribute it. That eight-bit graphical interface has truly stood the test of time, and now you see so many vintage designs and content available in eight-bit. I grew up with the start of the original eight games licensed from Nintendo—Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., which was before Super Mario Bros., then Super Mario Bros., Ice Climber, Urban Champion, Gyromite with the robot. You name it, I had it. I grew up through all that.”

What may impress some gamers is that Cena’s knowledge of games isn’t limited to just mainstream titles from the NES era. Games like Contra and Metal Gear, which were popular but didn’t quite break into the mainstream like Mario and Donkey Kong did, were also regularly played in the Cena household. Cena also enjoyed sports games like SNK’s Baseball Stars and Tecmo Super Bowl, with the latter standing as his absolute favorite game.


While Cena could name a number of other NES tiles that he enjoyed, like Punch-Out!! and Kung Fu for instance, it seems as though he stopped playing games after NES. It’s possible that Cena’s dedication to bodybuilding and training to become a professional wrestler distracted him from playing video games, but perhaps he will return to the hobby sometime soon.

After all, if Cena managed to find one, he could purchase an NES Classic Edition, which comes with a number of the games he listed as his favorites. Alternatively, if the eventual Nintendo Switch Virtual Console service has NES titles, he may be able to play them on Nintendo’s latest device.

If Cena is genuinely enthusiastic about the Nintendo Switch, then the latter could be a real possibility for the WWE superstar to jump back into the world of video gaming. While his praise for the Nintendo Switch could be chalked up to the fact that Nintendo hired him as a paid celebrity endorsement, he still could have legitimately enjoyed playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on it, which could prompt him to pick up the console on launch day…assuming he’s not too busy preparing for WrestleMania, that is.

Nintendo Switch will be available on March 3rd.