Source: Daily News of Newburyport
NEWBURY – The spectacle of large men grappling with each other might seem incongruous with prevention of drunken driving. But John “Johnny Fabulous” Cena is betting the former can help raise money for the latter.
“When my son was involved in an accident with an alleged drunken driver, I said, ‘How do I find a way to help out the Newbury Police Department and make people aware of drunken driving?'” Cena said. “The first thing that came into my head was what I do every weekend – put on a wrestling show.”
Tomorrow night at 8, Cena and Chaotic Wrestling will host a wrestling show at Triton Regional High School, with all proceeds going to the Newbury Police Association. The family event was organized after Cena’s son Daniel, a Newbury police officer, was injured in a February car crash, and will feature his brother, World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler John Cena, as referee for the final match.
The multiple-match event was just going to have local wrestlers, according to Officer Patty Fisher. But the elder Cena asked the WWE if his son could participate, and magnate Vince McMahon agreed, sending the wrestler Eugene as well.
“People are so excited John’s doing an event near his hometown,” Fisher said. “But it’s really for the spirit of preventing drunken driving. Dan’s at home because of an alleged drunken driver.”
Daniel Cena broke his leg in the accident, which occurred when a Rowley man crashed into Cena’s cruiser while under the influence of alcohol, police said. The proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Homecoming Fund, which is run by the elder John Cena. While the $45 ringside tickets, which include an autograph session with the younger wrestler, have sold out, $20 tickets are still available.
Cena and Fisher said the fund will only support substance abuse-related programs, and the police association will have to apply like any other organization to use the money. The Homecoming Fund is different than a previously established fund specifically for Officer Cena, Fisher said.
“If we want to run a class, we go to the keepers of the account,” she said. “They vote, and then they cut the check.”
All the wrestlers at the event will be working for free, and Kowloon Restaurant will be donating food for workers. Newbury police officers not on duty that night will be volunteering as security for the evening, according to Lt. John Lucey. But he and Fisher were sure that the event would only get as out of hand as the script called for.
“We went to a few Chaotic shows, we wanted to make sure they were family-appropriate,” Fisher said. “They’re very family-friendly, very good with the script.”
Johnny Fabulous is going to be part of that script. He’ll be managing a wrestler in the match that his son is refereeing. He’s not expecting any favors, and first wanted to act as a “heel,” or bad guy. But the organizers ultimately decided against it, he said.
“Originally, I was going to try and work as a heel, but it’s kind of hard for my son to deck me,” Cena said.
Homecoming wrestling match
Friday, May 25 at 8 p.m.
Triton Regional High School, 112 Elm St., Byfield
Tickets are $20