Where does the gesture come from?
Cena has been doing the “You Can't See Me” move since he brought it to the WWE in the early 2000s, waving an open hand across his face to suggest he’s too fast for his opponents to see him coming.
It was also the title of Cena’s 2005 debut rap album, which included “The Time is Now,” his now-iconic entrance song.
Cena may have popularized the gesture, but he didn’t create it from scratch. He publicly credits rapper and G-Unit member Tony Yayo with doing it first, in his 2005 “So Seductive” music video with 50 Cent.
How did it get into Cena’s hands? He’s brought that story to several talk show stages in recent years.
He told Jimmy Fallon last year that when he was working on his 2005 album, his younger brother Sean was “always our litmus test” and never satisfied with any of the songs. But when Sean heard “The Time is Now,” he says, he offered a seal of approval in the form of Tony Yayo’s move — bobbing his head in front of his open hand.
Cena remembers saying he’d do it on TV — and his brother daring him.
“So basically, on a dare, by absolute chance, I went out there and I figured this wasn’t visible enough,” he says, demonstrating the head nod versus the hand wave. “So I wanted to do this, and the term ‘you can’t see me’ is like, ‘Well, you’re not even on my level.’”
The catchphrase has morphed into an even bigger meme in the years since, with people joking now that they literally cannot see Cena. (He correctly predicted on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that those quips would flood the YouTube video’s comment section.)
What have the players said?
Both players have already commented publicly on Sunday night’s controversy.