It was Extreme Rules 2011, and John Cena had just picked up the WWE Championship. The Rock cost him the WWE title against The Miz at WrestleMania 27, but luck was alongside The Champ in the next PPV.
In the main event of Extreme Rules, John Cena defeated The Miz and John Morrison to claim the title. But what he said after the game made the headlines. It was May 1, 2011, and news broke that founding member of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, had been killed by US troops.
John Cena, after the match, announced to the WWE crowd live that Osama bin Laden had in fact been killed. You can watch him say it in the most PG way possible below – “taken and compromised to a permanent end”:
For the fans attending live, it was last minute news. You can feel the fervor in the environment by the reaction they provided as soon as the champion said these words.
The following night on RAW, WWE replayed John Cena’s post and former host Lilian Garcia sang the United States National Anthem.
It’s a little weird looking back on it, but at the time, it was the biggest news in the world and it felt like it was something that needed to be done.
Arn Anderson explains why WWE chose John Cena to make Osama bin Laden announcement
Arn Anderson said the company was on the road when 9/11 happened. WWE paid a nice tribute after that, and Arn Anderson admitted he didn’t remember anything that rocked him deep inside the way 9/11 did.
It was something everyone felt strongly about, and it was Vince McMahon’s call for the Cenation leader to provide a sense of gratitude, publish such an incident, strange as it may be to do so in a wrestling show.
Arn Anderson also hinted that it might have to do with Vince McMahon’s desire to make John Cena the ultimate babyface. As a result, it seemed entirely appropriate that he was the one to make this announcement.
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