WWE Superstars aid family's "Extreme Makeover"
WWE Champion John Cena, World Heavyweight Champion Batista and WWE Diva Ashley are known for breaking opponents in half inside the ring. Recently, however, they traveled to Chicago's west side for a unique, and very special, tag team effort: helping the design team of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition renovate an uninhabitable home, and build a better life for the Noyola family. The episode is scheduled to air on ABC-TV Sunday, January 14, at 8/7 CT.
"It was awesome," said a very satisfied Batista regarding the home's transformation. "Having come from a humble background, I've been very fortunate in life, so being able to put a smile on somebody else's face, contribute something for a family who has had it rough…it feels so good."
Team leader Ty Pennington sent the Noyola family packing on a week-long vacation last November so that the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team—joined by builder Norcon Inc. and more than 500 construction workers—could spend the next seven days completely revamping a structurally unsound, rodent-infested brick house. The home had been purchased several months earlier by Geno and Melinda Noyola, active community volunteers who had spent the previous eight years raising their six children in his grandmother's attic.
Ashley described the Noyolas' story as one of "second chances." "Geno was a former gang member who got out of that life, straightened himself out and had six wonderful children with his wife," she said. "They bought a two-story home in Chicago that had holes throughout the entire house; you could actually see the bottom floor through huge holes in the top floor. It was so disheveled, just such a mess."
"It was a real fixer-upper," Batista noted, "such a big job that the father couldn't do all of it by himself. What the Extreme Makeover design team did in there was absolutely incredible. I was so jealous; I wanted that house myself, it was that amazing."
"We were floored by what they did in such a short amount of time," Ashley concurred. "All three of us were like, ‘Can you guys do our house?'"
As for what personal touches were added by the visiting Superstars, WWE fans will find out with the rest of the nation this Sunday, when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition "moves that bus" and introduces the Noyolas to their new living space. John Cena, however, did acknowledge that the family "is very musically inclined, and one of their favorite pastimes is sports-entertainment. So we came in bearing plenty of gifts."
Taking down opponents inside the squared circle is one thing, but when it comes to major home construction, The Champ readily admitted, "I'm a sports-entertainer by trade. I can probably hammer in some nails, but I'm not good with finish work. The design team was there for that, working with the electrical guys, taking care of things like crown molding and stuff. We met with the contractors, construction workers and grandparents, were shown the house, and talked about what we were giving the family."
"We didn't get to see the finished product," Batista said, "but I will be watching the show personally this Sunday, I guarantee you, because I can't wait to see it. I'm so excited for the family."