WrestleMania 39 happened this weekend in Los Angeles, and there are a multitude of storylines to follow up on. The post-game topics for the Showcase of the Immortals usually focuses on in-match moves or chicanery that led to a heel being victorious over a crowd-favorite face.
Fashion choices are not an area that typically garners a lot of attention, but that wasn't the case on the first night of this year's show. In the very first match, John Cena came to the ring for his match with U.S. champion Austin Theory with some surprising footwear.
We have seen wrestlers "promote" food establishments before, such as with Brock Lesnar's Jimmy John's shorts. However, Cena's decision to wear Kowloon restaurant sneakers was motivated much more by his fondness for a favorite eatery than expanding his bank account.
So, what exactly is the Kowloon, and why is it so beloved by WWE superstars?
The Kowloon Restaurant: A North Shore Massachusetts Staple
Thank you @JohnCena for wearing our Kowloon Nike Sneakers at Wrestlemania 39 in LA!#KowloonRestaurant#JohnCena#WrestleMania39 pic.twitter.com/G0S4baRBZu
— Kowloon Restaurant (@KowloonSaugus) April 2, 2023
The Kowloon restaurant is located on Route 1 in Saugus, Massachusetts. The establishment serves Cantonese, Szechuan, Thai and Japanese cuisine seven days a week. Initially called The Mandarin House when it opened in 1950, the name was changed to Kowloon when Madeline and William Wong bought the place in 1958. The Kowloon has been in the Wong family ever since.
Visiting the restaurant has served as a rite of passage for residents on the North Shore of Massachusetts for 65 years. However, the Kowloon will see the restaurant's space severely reduced in the near future. The family has decided to use some of the restaurant's massive area to construct two separate residential buildings.
The restaurant's current, 1,200-seat capacity will go down to roughly 350 seats when construction is completed, according to the owners.
As can be expected, this news was not met with an outpouring of support from fans of the Kowloon. It's an understandable decision by the Wong family considering the financial implications of getting into the real estate game. But the restaurant's visitors won't be cut into those profits and will be getting a diet version of a beloved spot from now on.
Now available! Limited Edition Kowloon Sneakers! In partnership with local artist "Sway from blueswaydshoes". Hand painted collectors?s item! Only 100 will be produced of this First Inaugural Design! These are pre-orders. Order Online at https://t.co/IyTAm6U18b pic.twitter.com/3AzcvyeMcR
— Kowloon Restaurant (@KowloonSaugus) February 19, 2023
Appreciation for the restaurant will only continue to rise as the construction dates get closer. Sway from blueswaydshoes recently designed the version of Nike's Air Force 1 sneakers that Cena wore to show his affinity for the Kowloon.
Wrestlers Love Egg Rolls
Cena's hometown of West Newbury is a little over 30 minutes away from Saugus. Wearing the Kowloon sneakers to kick off WrestleMania was a show of love for his home state — kind of like NFL players saying their high school's name in the Sunday Night Football introductions.
Cena is not the only wrestler who is a fan of the Kowloon restaurant, though. Over the years, it has become one of the most popular places for WWE talent to visit when their tours come to the Boston area. Owner Andy Wong once said in an interview, "After beating each other up all night, they just want to, like, hang out and maybe have a mai tai and grab some Poo Poo Platters."
And in the end, isn't that what we all want?
MORE: The Top 10 WrestleMania Moments from the WWE's Long History of Electricity
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