TAMPA, Fla. — WWE Superstar Ettore "Big E" Ewen wanted to use his Wrestlemania platform to raise awareness for good cause. The Tampa native wore the Feeding Tampa Bay logo on his wrestling gear to show his support for the fight against hunger.
"I watched a piece on food insecurity and how it had really escalated during the pandemic," Ewen said, via video chat. "And seeing the lines, just the long lines of people around the country who had just been struggling to feed their families during this pandemic. I learned more about Feeding America and Feeding Tampa Bay. Everything about it just felt right."
The move shocked the people of Feeding Tampa Bay who didn't know what Big E had planned.
"As he started revealing the entirety of his outfit, everybody went crazy and we started, of course, celebrating," said Thomas Mantz, president and CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay. "Ours is a cause that matters to everyone. And to get the attention that he was able to bring to our work, boy we were just over the moon excited."
After a year of waiting, Big E couldn't wait to spread his message in front of an in-person crowd in his hometown.
"When they had all the talent on stage to open the show, man, we lost it," he said. "Because the amount of emotion, the amount of gratification you get from a crowd being there, that’s the essence of what we do."
Now he's auctioning off his ring-worn gear to raise money for Feeding Tampa Bay.
"I hope the auction is just the beginning and we continue to have these conversations. And people continue to give," Big E said.
The auction runs through Friday, and all proceeds benefit Feeding Tampa Bay.
Here's a link to the auction: https://ebay.to/3diXcuG