John Cena’s Fruity Pebbles.

This is a wrestling post. If you’re not interested in wrestling, it’s also a cereal post. If you’re not interested in wrestling or cereal, well, I’m pretty zooted, and this could end up becoming a play-by-play of Roald Amundsen’s 1903 search for the Northwest Passage. Or maybe a tribute to my favorite shape, the enneadecagon. Stick around!

Current WWE champion John Cena has been immortalized on boxes on Fruity Pebbles cereal, forming an unholy alliance with Bamm-Bamm Rubble. Rising through the tag team ranks, their formula is simple but effective. John brings the strength, and Bamm-Bamm brings a hypnotic spoon that lulls their opponents into a waking sleep.

It’s no big deal to us, but trust me, when today’s youth waxes nostalgic on the Dinosaur Draculas of tomorrow, they will be posting about John Cena’s Fruity Pebbles. They will never forget this box, or the strange events that led to its creation. 

“Enjoy your Fruity Pebbles, you Yabba-Dabba bitch!”

It all started in 2011. The Rock returned to WWE after a long absence, kicking off a feud with Cena that just barely ended a week ago. (Or did it?) During interviews, Rock’s most memorable jabs had to do with Cena looking like a walking bowl of Fruity Pebbles. (Cena’s assorted shirts were very brightly colored, see.)

And that’s how John Cena came to be an official part of Flintstones canon. This isn’t your typical promotional caricature, no sir. A goofy insult led him here, and God knows how much money WWE pocketed in the aftermath. Next year, maybe they’ll have Rock call Kane “Big Red Gum” just to see where it leads.

I’m pretty sure that Post brightened the hue on the “blue” Pebbles to better match Cena’s shirt. They definitely did it on the box, and possibly in the actual cereal. Now that’s attention to detail. I like to think that the decision was a star-making moment in the life of someone at Post, who ordered a stop on all presses so the art team could paint bluer Pebbles. A calculated risk that many thought mad. Now they all eat crow.

I should note that Cena is also on boxes on Cocoa Pebbles, even if there’s not much reason for him to be. Rock called Cena many foods over the course of their three-year war, but “Cocoa Pebbles” wasn’t one of them. On the other hand, as our palates mature, we realize that Cocoa Pebbles really does taste better than its sister. To hell with historical accuracy: Give me my chocolate boulders.

The side of the box includes wrestler standees to cut out. I must confess that “standee” is a bit of a misnomer, as the figurines are quite terrible at standing.

There are two on each box. I got John Cena and Kofi Kingston. Don’t know if I’m supposed to make these cardboard figures “wrestle,” or what. Cena looks like he’s just hanging out, but I’m taking Kofi’s lazy Mortal Kombat stance to mean that he’s ready for battle.

Fold your arms, Kofi. You know you’re just gonna job.


I’m going to try to explain this, but it’s going to be really hard to make it make sense. And frankly, that disclaimer isn’t helping matters.

Each box has a special code inside, which you can enter online for a chance to win wrestling stuff. It should be a simple matter of entering the code along with your e-mail address, but you know how these cereal companies are. If they’re sending you online, they have to make a game out of it.

So that’s what Post did. After you give them the code, they make you go through the motions of this ridiculous “Pebbles Power Up” game. You just sit there tapping the space bar until John Cena explodes off the screen, leaving a trail of Fruity Pebbles in his wake.  Keep in mind, in 99.9% of all instances, your reward is a “SORRY, YOU ARE NOT A WINNER” screen. This is not why Adobe Flash was invented.

Still a great promotion for all involved, especially considering its roots. Let this be a lesson to us all. When somebody calls you names, figure out how to monetize it. Believe me, the guy who came up with “Mean People Suck” wasn’t a 6’ baller. But then, neither was Skee-Lo.

38 Responses to John Cena’s Fruity Pebbles.

  1. I don’t follow much wrestling, but I don’t know if I can handle having John Cena on my Fruity Pebbles box.

    As for the flash game, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a while. It’s like Cena is a rocket and the Fruity Pebbles is the smoke.

  2. Thanks Adam!

    @TonicBH: I just love the thought of today’s seven-year-olds looking back at this when they’re in their twenties. It’ll be one of those obscure and weird things that they’ll never forget. Like us and TMNT Pudding Pies, or something.

  3. Cena was also eating a bowl of Fruity Pebbles on Raw one day not too long after Rock first called him out for looking like the cereal. This was before the official promotion too!

  4. They also announced a while back that a direct-to-dvd animated movie where Scooby Doo and the gang teamup with various WWE personalities. I kinda want to see this, as I have fond memories of watching reruns of the old “Scooby Doo Movies” that were also teamups.

  5. I love Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles. Sadly, you can’t find them here, and the versions they sold in Canada… well, let’s just say they lived up to their name, and I don’t mean the “Fruity” and “Cocoa” parts.

    And I’m glad they never pursued Cocoa Pebbles in their name-calling feud. That could have been… well, awkward, to say the least.

  6. I just can’t help but think today’s wrestlers won’t have the same camp value in the future since now they seem to mostly just be regular muscle-y dudes.

  7. That box creeps me out. I don’t trust Cena. I think he keeps the livers of the sick kids he ‘volunteers’ to meet in the pockets of his cargo pants. He’s looking at Bamm-Bamm with that same sick look in his eyes. Now you see it too, don’t you? It’s only a matter of time until we find out that Cena is an X-File Monster of the Week. When they finally catch up to him, he’s just going to say “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” and disappear.

  8. Am I the only one who wants to see a no-holds barred match between Cena and Bamm-Bamm? Bamm-Bamm could legally use his club!

    Truth be told … I just wanna hear Michael Cole say ‘Vintage Bamm-Bamm!’

  9. I didn’t understand a word of this, it made it all the better.

  10. Cena and his jean shorts. The belt really ties it all together.
    Funny post! If I didn’t have this issue about milk and food together, I might just give Pebbles another try.

  11. I don’t know a damn thing about wrestling. Cereal is slightly more relevant to my interests.

    I’ve never been able to understand the appeal of Fruity Pebbles. They turn to disgusting soggy mush in like 1.5 seconds and they just kinda taste like sugar rather than fruit. If I’m gonna eat artificially fruit-flavored cereal, I’d go with Trix.

  12. Q: What do John Cena and Bret Hart have in common?

    A: Jorts

    Sorry. Someone mentioned jean shorts.

  13. I dig me some Cena. He’s this generation’s Hulkster, or something, brother! Never ate a lot of Pebbles I must admit owing mostly to an aversion to milk. Strangely the only time I break out a spoon is freebasing cocaine and eating pudding. And balancing them on my nose. That’s always fun.

  14. I’m not really a fan of John Cena and I don’t like Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles, so how about a better wrestling-cereal promotion?

    Like say, Kurt Angle on boxes of Cap’n Crunch making the Soggies tap out to the ankle lock?

  15. I’m also not a wrestling fan. I’ve been selling this at the grocery store where I work for months without knowing who that guy on the cover is with Bamm Bamm. Now I know. Thanks, Matt!

  16. Nice theory, but if that’s the case why aren’t there more political pundits on Kool-Aid packages. They accuse each other of drinking the Kool-Aid (like that’s a bad thing for non-cultists) all of the time.

  17. wwf was dead to me right around the introduction of John Cena…kind of…I still watch raw on occasion …. it’s so fake now though.

  18. I’ve never understood why nobody is supposed to be able to see John Cena. Are we just dreaming when we think we see him?

  19. @MarkDz: Same here. I’m sure it was defined during Early Cena Lore™, but I must’ve missed it. I’d get it if his gimmick was that of a lightning fast ninja, but it certainly isn’t.

  20. C’mon, they didn’t even come up with a lame Flintstone-pun-name for Cena, like “John Ce-Rock”?

  21. after virtual movie night and virtual saturday morning, can we have virtual smoke a bowl with matt, get zooted, and call in sick to work tuesday?

  22. Better yet, they tied it all together at Wrestlemania Axess (the fan event thing before Wrestlemania) by giving out bowls of fruity pebbles and having a wrestling ring full of foam blocks of various colors for kids to play in.

  23. Matt,

    I just wanted to say I discovered Dinosaur Dracula a few days ago and I LOVE it. (I’ve sat here until my ass has gone completely numb because I HAD to read every Halloween entry. I’m sure that was information you needed to know…)

    Anyway, thank you, sir, for being so f*&!ing entertaining.

  24. WormwoodStar: If you loved this, you shoud check out his old site: You’ll have MONTHS of great reading.

  25. You know, I work in a grocery store and have been walking past these boxes for at least a week now and never realized that was supposed to be John Cena or that it had anything to do with wrestling. I just thought it was a poorly designed, generic baseball player for some reason. Is it bad that cartoon John Cena just looks like a generic baseball player?

  26. @WormwoodStar: Thank you! Glad you like Dino Drac. :)

  27. I remember seeing these at a walmart a few weeks ago and thinking it was ridiculous, even if I did know the origins. There’s just something about it that is so odd I swear. But I guess if it gets the little jimmy’s to buy the cereal then I suppose it’s working. I dunno personally I always thought he was more like a one-man power rangers group with all those colorful clothes and his ability to no-sell everyone.

  28. John Cena was cool originally when he was a villianous rapper. He’s went from Deez Nuts to Fruity Pebbles.

  29. I bought I box of this awhile back just for the hell of it. I remember thinking at the time (and I was sure I wasn’t alone), that the WWE and Post would be absolutely STUPID not to do a legitimate cross-promotional thing due to how it stuck episode after episode.

  30. They had Skee-Lo on television recently, well at least his song was on there!

  31. I’m no wrestling fan (haven’t watched it in years), but I’m with Black Zarak, that doesn’t look like John Cena, it looks like a generic baseball player.

  32. Cena is just awful. Seriously, WWE has what would be a fairly entertaining show that for some reason they try to make you NOT watch. I can’t even fathom who would find this douche duffle entertaining in any way. Even the hick little kids that are supposed to be buying his stupid shirts are booing the hell out of him most nights. Meanwhile Cesaro is wrestling free matches outside during Wrestlemania.

  33. Come on Matt I consider you to be a smart individual. They obviously made Rock say that line to introduce this cross promotion. It was set up from a mile away. There is no sincerity in wrestling. And yes I do find the whole concept incredibly ridiculous. I don’t mind vintage wrestling stuff, like Hulk Hogan because I can appreciate the vintage corny charm of it. Other then that I have no value in the franchise.

  34. General Mills should pair up with La Parka. They could team him up with Count Chocula and Franken Berry to sell some cereal. But, not Boo Berry. Nobody would buy that shit no matter how cool La Parka is.

  35. On the subject of wrestling, did you know that the creators of Married with Children were wrestling fans? King Kong Bundy made several appearances on the show, but he’s also the namesake of the Bundy family. Steve and Marcy Rhoades are actually named after Dusty Rhodes and Al’s co-worker in the shoe store for the first season was named Luke Ventura after Jesse Ventura.

  36. EAT fruity pebbles

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