The report flew as fast as a five knuckle shuffle across Facebook on Monday: John Cena died of a head injury while practicing a routine with fellow wrestling superstar and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The post was not easy to dismiss as a hoax at first glance because it came with a purported link to a video of the fatal injury. It reads:
“John Cena (John Felix Anthony Cena) of World Wrestling Entertainment died in a head injury while perfecting a wrestling stunt with WWE wrestler, Dwayne Johnson or also known as The Rock. Authorities are now investigating. Watch the original video clip from WWE and their effort to save JOHN CENA (for 18yrs & above) –> [Link].”
Internet watchdog hoax-slayer.com quickly debunked the report as a hoax.
“The claims in the message are untrue. John Cena is alive and well. The message is a variant of another hoax that claims that WWE star Undertaker has died of a neck injury,” the website said.
The hoax was not as harmless as most false reports of celebrity deaths. “The messages are apparently designed to trick users into visiting a page that hosts a suspect Facebook application,” hoax-slayer.com declared.
Fortunately, Facebook quickly removed the link to the rogue app.