John Cena arrived early and left late, to the enjoyment of adoring supporters at the Ultimate Card and Comic Universe at 12-60 150th St., only hours before he was scheduled to appear at the Nassau County Coliseum. The performer for World Wrestling Entertainment signed autographs and spoke briefly to as many as 1,000 fans thrilled to have met him, the store owner said."It was the experience of a lifetime," said teenager Felix Bones of Flushing, who chatted a bit with the pumped-up wrestler and rapper. Bones saw him on a cable program recently with a woman wrestler, and used that as a conversation starter. "I reminded him he kissed a girl on Raw, and he said 'It's all good,'" the 17-year-old said, with a grin.Cena is a member of a pantheon of wrestlers from the WWE league. Each man, and several women, conform to one of a variety of personalities spanning extremes of good and evil. Cena's personality falls somewhere in the middle as an urban hip-hopper who is tough in the ring but friendly outside. He traveled to India recently in a publicity tour for the league.The owner of the store, which is changing its name to The Wrestling Universe, said the event was a success. Jack Balian resorted to youthful language to describe the crowd that waited in a line stretching around the block outside his store."It was sick, it was absolutely sick," he said.Fans lingering in the store after the signing explained why Cena was a crowd favorite. Sadman Islam, 14, from Astoria, said he liked the wrestler because he rose to the top through hard work.He liked him "not because he is champion but because he is still rising and is part of a new generation," he said.Naziat Habib, 16, from Richmond Hill described him as "a people's champion."The only disappointment in the event seemed to be the price tag. The store charged a flat fee to have an item signed, either supplied by the store or brought by a fan."It was a little expensive at $30," said Lee Chrysafis, 22, who traveled from Fresh Meadows with his girlfriend's 10-year-old brother, who gleefully clutched a framed portrait - signed - of the star. But the young boy thought it was worth every penny."It was crazy," Paul Bucaria said. "He said hi and shook my hand."Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at news@times
©2006 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.