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.