While John Cena was in China filming Project X-Traction with Jackie Chan, not only did the actor’s training team help him cut weight and get even more jacked than he already was, but they gave him the fundamentals for his sixth move of doom — the Lightning Fist.
While discussing his latest promotion with Hefty Ultra Strong trash bags, Cena spoke to With Spandex about loving his time in China and how his new finishing move came to be last September.
“I spent six months in China and I was training with the Jackie Chan stunt team in the Jackie Chan stunt team training center and learning all of this amazing stuff that I really would only practice for a brief time in a picture I just wrapped with Jackie Chan,” Cena said.
“I’m fascinated by Chinese culture. I’m doing my best to study Mandarin so I can kind of be more immersed in the culture. I filmed in China for six months and loved it. I want to go back. Everything over there is just extremely interesting to me.”
While Cena enjoyed his time filming in China, he also did some work for his other employer, WWE. Cena recognized the leader in sports entertainment doesn’t have a big presence in the country, so while he was there, he tried to figure out what exactly the leader in sports entertainment is missing.
“The country just doesn’t understand what we do because they have no one essentially to connect to,” Cena said.
“It’s not culturally important because they don’t have a hero. Pretty much every other place in the world we tour, we perform and they have their favorites and they have the people they love to hate, but China’s been a bit of disconnect for us.”
In an attempt to bridge the gap, Cena decided to implement some of the lessons he learned with Chan’s training team into his move set, thus creating the Lightning Fist.
“So I wanted to use some of the things that I learned in training with the stunt team and incorporate in my offensive moveset to pay respect and homage to my wonderful time in China,” Cena said.
“So the guys taught me a little bit of bajiquan and it’s a very fast, very defensive kung fu mechanism which is meant for close quarter stuff. And I just kind of modified it a little bit and came up with the Lightning Fist. Shǎndiàn quántóu is a really cool name in Mandarin and I’m surprised I call it Lightning Fist because I always call it shǎndiàn quántóu. That’s also another conscious choice to make sure that the culture knows that I respect what I learned over there and I’m constantly trying to move that bridge forward.”