John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. (/ˈsiːnə/; born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor and reality televisionshow host signed to WWE.
Cena started his pro wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), and won the UPW Heavyweight Championship the following year. Cena signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to WWE) in 2001, debuting on the WWE main roster in 2002. From a generic character in 2002, Cena morphed into an arrogant and edgy rapper for the time period of 2002-2003.Cena later transitioned to his current character, which he describes as a “goody-two shoesSuperman”.However, Cena has been labeled as the “most polarizing pro wrestler ever” as his character has many supporters and many detractors. In 2015, WWE credited Cena as being the “face of WWE” from 2004, while in 2012, IGN described Cena as WWE’s franchise player since 2005.
So far, Cena has won 24 championships, with 15 reigns as a world champion (12 times as WWE Champion/WWE World Heavyweight Champion and three times as World Heavyweight Champion),five reigns as United States Champion and four reigns as world tag team champion (two World Tag Team and two WWE Tag Team). Furthermore, he is a 2012 Money in the Bank ladder match winner, a two-time Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013), and a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, 2012). Cena has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, behind Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan. He has also headlined WWE’s flagship event, WrestleMania, on five different occasions (WrestleManias 22, 23, XXVII, XXVIII, and 29) over the course of his career.
Outside of wrestling, Cena has released the rap album You Can’t See Me, which debuted at No. 15 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and starred in the feature films The Marine (2006), 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), and Sisters (2015). Cena has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk’d, Psych, and Parks and Recreation. He was also a contestant on Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, where he made it to the final round before being eliminated, placing third in the overall competition. Cena is the host of American Grit on FOX.
Cena is involved in numerous philanthropic causes; most notably with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has granted the most wishes in Make-A-Wish history.
John Felix Anthony Cena Jr.
April 23, 1977 (age 39) West Newbury, Massachusetts, United States
Tampa, Florida, United States
Professional wrestler, actor, hip hop artist
2004–05, 2014 (rapper)
2016–present (reality TV show host)
US$35 million (2016)
Elizabeth Huberdeau (m. 2009;div. 2012)
Nikki Bella (2012–present)
Tony Lupien (grandfather)
Professional wrestling career
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
251 lb (114 kg)
“Classified” (UPW) West Newbury, Massachusetts (WWE)
Ultimate Pro Wrestling
Ohio Valley Wrestling
November 5, 1999
Cena’s father, John Cena, Sr.
Cena was born on April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts, the son of Carol (née Lupien) and John Cena, Sr. He is the second oldest of five brothers: Dan, Matt, Steve, and Sean.His maternal grandfather was baseball player Tony Lupien. His father is of Italian descent and his mother is of French-Canadian and English ancestry. Cena originally attended Central Catholic High School inLawrence, Massachusetts, before transferring to Cushing Academy, a private prep boarding school. After graduating from Cushing Academy, Cena attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In college he was a NCAA Division III All-American center on the college football team, wearing the number 54,which is still used on some of his WWE merchandise.He graduated from Springfield in 1998 with a degree in exercise physiology,after which he pursued a career in bodybuilding,and worked as a driver for a limousine company.
Professional wrestling career
Ultimate Pro Wrestling (1999–2001)
Cena started training to become a professional wrestler in 1999 at Ultimate Pro Wrestling’s (UPW) California-based “Ultimate University” operated by Rick Bassman. Once he was placed into an in-ring role, Cena began using a semi-robotic character known as “The Prototype”.Some of this period of his career was documented in the Discovery Channel program Inside Pro Wrestling School. He held the UPW Heavyweight Championship for 27 days in April 2000. Cena wrestled for the UPW until March 2001.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000–2002)
On October 10, 2000, while billed as The Prototype, Cena made his unofficial debut for then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) on a SmackDown! taping in a dark match against Mikey Richardson, which he lost. He received another tryout on January 9, 2001 at a SmackDown! taping in Oakland, California, this time defeating Aaron Aguilera. Cena wrestled again in a dark match at a SmackDown! taping on March 13.
In 2001, Cena signed a developmental contract with the WWF. He was assigned to its developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).During his time there, Cena wrestled under the ring name The Prototype. He held the OVW Heavyweight Championship for three months and the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (with Rico Constantino) for two months.
Through 2001, Cena would receive four more tryouts with the WWF as he wrestled multiple enhancement talent wrestlers in both WWF house shows and dark matches. Through the early months of 2002, Cena constantly found himself doing live events for the WWF, he wrestled against the likes of Shelton Benjamin and Tommy Dreamer.
Rise to superstardom (2002–2004)
Cena performing an “FU” (standing fireman’s carry takeover) on Kurt Angle in January 2005
Cena made his WWE television debut on the June 27, 2002 episode of SmackDown! by answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle. After declaring that he possessed “ruthless aggression”, Cena gave Angle a hard fight and only lost by a pinning combination. After the match, Cena was congratulated by The Undertaker, Rikishi, Faarooq and Billy Kidman. Following the near-win, Cena became a fan favorite and startedfeuding with Chris Jericho, defeating Jericho at Vengeance. On that weeks episode of SmackDown! Cena continued his winning ways defeatingTest in a singles match. In September, Cena feuded with Eddie and Chavo Guerrero and Cena picked up a victory over Chavo Guerrero on the September 3, 2002 taping of Velocity. Cena went on to defeat the likes of Albert and D-Von Dudley as he was restricted to appearances onVelocity for the rest of September.
In October, Cena and Billy Kidman took part in a tag team tournament to crown the first WWE Tag Team Champions of the SmackDown! brand, losing in the first round. The next week on SmackDown!, Cena turned on and attacked Kidman, blaming him for their loss, becoming a villain for the first and only time in his career. At Rebellion, Cena teamed with Dawn Marie to take on the team of Billy Kidman and Torrie Wilson in amixed tag team match in an losing effort. On the October 18 episode of SmackDown!, Cena defeated Kidman in a singles contest, but was defeated by Kidman in a rematch on the October 25 episode of SmackDown!. Shortly after the Kidman attack, on a Halloween themed episode ofSmackDown!, Cena dressed as Vanilla Ice performing a freestyle rap. The next week on SmackDown!, Cena received a new character: arapper who cut promos while rhyming. As the gimmick grew, Cena began adopting a variant of the 1980s WWF logo – dropping the “F” – as his “signature symbol”, along with the slogan “Word Life”. Moreover, he was joined by an enforcer, Bull Buchanan, who was rechristened B-2 (also written B² and pronounced “B-Squared”).Buchanan was later replaced by Red Dogg, until he was sent to the Raw brand in February.
For the first half of 2003, Cena sought the WWE Championship and chased the reigning champion Brock Lesnar after WrestleMania XIX, first having to go through Chris Benoit, who mocked him by wearing a “Toothless Aggression” shirt.Cena won a number one contender’s tournament against Lesnar at Backlash. However, Cena was defeated by Lesnar. At Vengeance, Cena lost a singles match against The Undertaker. At the end of the year, Cena became a fan favorite again when he joined Kurt Angle as a member of his team at Survivor Series.
Cena with his customizedUnited States Championshipbelt
In early 2004, Cena participated in the Royal Rumble match at the 2004 Royal Rumble, making it to the final six before being eliminated by Big Show. The Royal Rumble elimination led to a feud with Big Show, which Cena won the United States Championship from Big Show atWrestleMania XX.The reign ended almost four months later, when he was stripped of the belt on July 8 by Angle after he accidentally knocked him over, thus attacking an official. Cena won the championship back defeating Booker T in a best of five series that culminated at No Mercy,only to lose it to the débuting Carlito Caribbean Cool the next week.After the loss to Carlito, the duo began a feud, which resulted in Cena allegedly being stabbed in the kidney while at a Boston-area nightclub by Carlito’s bodyguard, Jesús. This worked injury was used to keep Cena out of action for a month while Cena was filming The Marine.Immediately on his return in November, Cena won the United States Championship back from Carlito.
WWE Champion (2005–2007)
Cena took part in the 2005 Royal Rumble match, making it to the final two. Cena and Batista went over the top rope at the same time, ostensibly ending the match. The match was restarted in which Batista eliminated Cena to win.The next month, Cena defeated Kurt Angle to earn a spot in the SmackDown brand’s WrestleMania 21 main event match, beginning a feud with then WWE Champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) and his Cabinet in the process. In the early stages of the feud, Cena lost his United States Championship to Cabinet member Orlando Jordan,Cena defeated JBL at WrestleMania winning the WWE Championship, giving Cena his first world championship.Cena then had a spinner WWE Championship belt made, while JBL took the original belt and claimed to still be WWE Champion, until Cena reclaimed the original belt in an”I Quit” match at Judgment Day.
Cena was drafted to the Raw brand on June 6, 2005, becoming the first wrestler selected in the annual draft lottery. Cena immediately entered a feud with Eric Bischoff, after refusing to participate in the “war” against the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) roster at One Night Stand. With Bischoff vowing to make Cena’s stint on Raw difficult, he hand picked Jericho to take Cena’s championship from him. During their feud, even though Cena was portrayed as the “face” and Jericho as the “heel”, a vocal section of live crowds, nonetheless, were cheering Jericho during their matches. Crowds started to heavily boo Cena during his next feud with Kurt Angle,who took over as Bischoff’s hand-picked number-one contender after Cena defeated Jericho in a You’re Fired match on the August 22Raw.Cena held on to his championship through his feud with Angle, losing to him by disqualificationat Unforgiven and pinning him at Survivor Series. The feud with Angle also saw Cena add a secondary, submission based, finishing maneuver – the STFU (a stepover toehold sleeper, though named for a stepover toehold facelock) – when he was put into a triple threat Submissions Only match on the November 28 Raw.
Cena facing off against Edge at a WWE house show
At New Year’s Revolution, Cena participated in the main event Elimination Chamber match where he retained the WWE Championship when he pinned Carlito. Immediately after a bloodied Cena won, Edge made his way to the ring to cash in his Money in the Bank contract – a “guaranteed title match for the WWE Champion at a time and place of the owner’s choosing.” Two quick spears allowed Edge to pin Cena, winning him the championship. Three weeks later, Cena won the championship back at the Royal Rumble. After winning the championship, Cena began feuding with Triple H, in which the crowd again started booing Cena and cheering the intended villain, Triple H, after being mostly cheered the last few months. Cena beat Triple H at WrestleMania 22 to retain his WWE Championship.The negative reaction towards Cena intensified when facing Rob Van Dam at One Night Stand. Taking place in front of a boisterous crowd of mostly original ECW fans at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Cena was met with raucous jeering and chants of “Fuck you, Cena”, “You can’t wrestle”, and “Same old shit”. When he began performing different moves into the match, the fans began chanting “You still suck”. Cena lost the WWE Championship at One Night Stand, with Van Dam pinning Cena after interference from Edge.
Cena while addressing fans at a Raw show
In July, Edge won the championship from Van Dam in a triple threat match that also involved Cena,re-igniting the feud between him and Cena from earlier in the year. After Edge went about retaining the title by dubious means – getting himself disqualified (for which championships do not change hands) and using brass knuckles– he introduced his own version of Cena’s “custom” belt, this one with his logo placed on the spinner.Cena eventually won the championship back in a match and arena of Edge’s choice: a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at Unforgiven at the Air Canada Centre in Edge’s hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada after FU’ing Edge through two tables off a ladder. The match had a stipulation that, had Cena lost, he would have left the Raw brand for SmackDown.Cena returned his version of the spinner belt on the next night’s Raw.
On the heels of his feud with Edge, Cena was placed in an inter-brand angle to determine the “Champion of Champions” – or which was the most dominant champion in WWE’s three brands. Cena, the World Heavyweight Champion King Booker, and the ECW World Champion Big Showengaged in a mini-feud leading to a triple threat match at Cyber Sunday, with the viewers voting on which of the three championships would be placed on the line. At the same time, Cena became involved in a storyline with non-wrestler Kevin Federline, when he began appearing on Rawwith Johnny Nitro and Melina. After getting into a worked physical altercation with Federline on Raw,Federline appeared at Cyber Sunday to hit Cena with the World Heavyweight Championship during the match, helping King Booker retain his championship. 2006 ended with Cena beginning a feud with the undefeated Umaga over the WWE Championship, while 2007 began with the end of his storyline with Kevin Federline. On the first Raw of the new year, Cena was pinned by Federline with an assist from Umaga, although later in the night he was able to get his hands on Federline performing an FU on him.
One night after the Royal Rumble, an impromptu team of Cena and Shawn Michaels defeated Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton) for the World Tag Team Championship, making Cena a double champion. On the April 2 episode of Raw, after losing a WWE Championship match to Cena at WrestleMania 23, Michaels turned on Cena, costing them the championship in the second of two 10 team battles royals, by throwing Cena over the top rope and eliminating the team. The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) eventually won the match and the championship. For the rest of the month, Cena feuded with Michaels, Orton, and Edge until The Great Khali declared his intentions to challenge for Cena’s championship attacking and “laying out” all three of the top contenders before assaulting Cena himself and stealing the physical belt. For the next two months, Cena feuded with Khali over the championship, eventually becoming the first person in WWE to defeat him by submission at Judgment Day and then by pinfall at One Night Stand.Later that summer, Randy Orton was named the number one contender for the WWE Championship,starting a feud between the two. Leading up toSummerSlam, Orton delivered a number of sneak-attacks, performing three RKOs to Cena, but in the actual match, Cena retained the championship.A rematch between the two occurred at Unforgiven, with Orton winning by disqualification after Cena ignored the referee’s instructions and continued to beat on him in the corner.
During a match with Mr. Kennedy on the October 1, 2007 episode of Raw, Cena suffered a legitimate torn pectoral muscle while executing a hip toss.Though finishing the match and taking part in the scripted attack by Randy Orton after the match, surgery the following day found that his pectoralis major muscle was torn completely from the bone, estimating at the time to require seven months to a year of rehabilitation. As a result, Cena was stripped of the title by Mr. McMahon on the next night’s episode ofECW, ending what was the longest WWE Championship reign in over 19 years. Cena’s surgery was performed by orthopedic surgeon James Andrews at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Two weeks later, in a video update on WWE.com, Dr. Andrews and Cena’s physical trainer both said that he was several weeks ahead of where he was expected to be in his rehabilitation at that time.Despite his injury, Cena attended the annual WWE’s Tribute to the Troops show filmed at Camp Speicher inTikrit, Iraq on December 7, and aired on December 24.
World championship reigns (2008–2010)
Cena as one half of theWorld Tag Team Champions
Cena made a surprise return as the final participant of the Royal Rumble match, winning the match, and the traditional WrestleMania title shot, by last eliminating Triple H. Instead of waiting until WrestleMania, the title shot was cashed in against then WWE Champion Randy Orton at February’s No Way Out pay-per-view in a match where Cena won by disqualification, resulting in him not getting the championship. The night after No Way Out, Cena was placed back into WrestleMania XXIV’s WWE Championship match, making it a triple threat match also involving Triple H, during which he was pinned by Orton. At Backlash, Cena failed to regain the title in a fatal four-way elimination match, in which he was pinned by Orton. Triple H won the title during that match. During the match, Cena eliminated JBL, renewing their feud from 2005. Cena defeated JBL at Judgment Day and then at One Night Stand in a First Blood match. JBL, however, defeated him in a New York CityParking Lot Brawl at The Great American Bash in July.
On the August 4 episode of Raw, Cena became a World Tag Team Champion for a second time, teaming with Batista to defeat Cody Rhodes andTed DiBiase,but failed to retain the championship the following week against the former champions. Batista defeated Cena atSummerSlam; shortly after, he was named one of four contenders for CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Championship in the Championship Scramble match at Unforgiven. He was replaced by Rey Mysterio, however, after Cena suffered a herniated disc in his neck, which required surgery. Cena underwent successful surgery to repair the injury.
Cena made his in-ring return at the November pay-per-view event, Survivor Series, defeating Chris Jericho to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. The two continued their rivalry up to Armageddon, where Cena retained his championship. Cena lost the championship atNo Way Out to Edge, after Kofi Kingston was attacked by Edge, who took his place in the Elimination Chamber match. Cena was given an opportunity to regain the title at WrestleMania XXV in a triple threat match also involving Big Show, which Cena won.
Cena lost the championship back to Edge in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash after interference from Big Show, who chokeslammed Cena through a big spotlight.This resulted in Cena beginning a feud with Big Show in which Cena defeated Big Show at Judgment Day and atExtreme Rules in a submission match by applying the STFU.
At the July pay-per-view, Night of Champions, he participated in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship, which also involved Triple H and WWE Champion Randy Orton. Cena, however, did not win the match.Two months later, at Breaking Point, Cena defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in an “I Quit” match to win his fourth WWE Championship.At Hell in a Cell, Cena lost the title back to Orton in a Hell in a Cell match.Three weeks later, at Bragging Rights, Cena defeated Orton in a 60-minute Iron Man match. Cena successfully defended the title against both Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match at Survivor Series, but lost it to Sheamus atTLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs in a tables match.
Cena as WWE Championin 2010
Cena regained the title at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in an Elimination Chamber match. His reign was cut short after Mr. McMahonimmediately made him defend the title against Batista, who won the title.Cena defeated Batista at WrestleMania XXVI for the title,and successfully defended it at Extreme Rules, in a Last Man Standing rematch. Cena faced Batista one more time, winning an “I Quit” match atOver the Limit, thus ending their long-time feud.
Feud with The Nexus (2010–2011)
See also: The Nexus
On the June 7, 2010 episode of Raw, Cena was suddenly thrust into a new storyline when during his main event match against CM Punk, he was attacked by all eight former contestants of the first season of NXT, with Wade Barrett as their leader. Punk, his follower Luke Gallows, and other personnel around the ring were attacked as well, but Cena took the worst of the attack and was carried out on a stretcher. This group later referred to itself as The Nexus. At Fatal 4-Way, Cena lost the WWE Championship to Sheamus, in a fatal four-way match involving Edge andRandy Orton, after The Nexus interfered. Cena again lost to Sheamus in a steel cage match at Money in the Bank, after The Nexus again interfered.Cena, in retaliation to The Nexus, formed an alliance with Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, R-Truth, The Great Khali, and Bret Hart. They defeated The Nexus at SummerSlam, with help from the returning Daniel Bryan, a former member of Nexus, who replaced Khali after he was injured.
Cena being forced to read a public address by Wade Barrett while a member of The Nexus
Hoping to end The Nexus, Cena challenged Wade Barrett to a match at Hell in a Cell with the stipulations that if he were to lose, he would join The Nexus. After Barrett defeated Cena, he joined The Nexus, and was forced by the anonymous Raw general manager to follow their orders or be fired. Cena and fellow Nexus member David Otunga defeated Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Tag Team Championship atBragging Rights.Later that night, he was forced to help Barrett defeat Orton in a WWE Championship match, giving Barrett the disqualification win, but not the title.The following night on Raw, Cena and Otunga lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to fellow Nexus members Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, when Barrett ordered Otunga to lay down and lose the title.At Survivor Series, Cena officiated a match for the WWE Championship between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton. Per stipulation, if Barrett didn’t win the championship, Cena would be “fired” from the WWE.
Orton defeated Barrett to retain the title, thus terminating Cena’s WWE contract (kayfabe). The following night on Raw, Cena gave a farewell speech, before costing Wade Barrett the WWE Championship by interfering in his rematch with Randy Orton. A week later, Cena invadedRaw, first as a spectator, but then attacked members of Nexus, explaining that he would still take down Nexus one by one, despite not having a job in the WWE anymore. On the December 13 episode of Raw, Cena was rehired by Barrett, in exchange that he would face him on December 19 at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs in a chairs match, which Cena won.
Cena at Tribute to the Troops in 2010
On the December 27 episode of Raw, The Nexus, minus Barrett, announced they were under new management and offered to bury the hatchet with Cena, to which he refused. The Nexus attacked Cena, leaving a Nexus armband in the ring during the process. As the group retreated, CM Punk, who had attacked Cena with a steel chair twice the week before, came to the ring to apparently attack Cena, but instead put on the armband left behind to symbolically announce his allegiance with The Nexus, becoming leader the following week by manipulating Barrett’s banishment from the group.On the January 17 episode of Raw, Cena returned and faced Punk in a match, which ended in a no contest after Cena was attacked by the debuting Mason Ryan, who later joined The Nexus. Cena competed in the 2011 Royal Rumble match at the pay-per-view, which saw Cena eliminate most of the Nexus members, ending his feud with the stable.
Record-breaking WWE Champion (2011–2013)
The Rock and Cena agree to face each other at WrestleMania XXVIII
During the same match at the Rumble, Cena made it to the final five before being eliminated by then WWE Champion The Miz, who wasn’t part of the match. Cena won the Elimination Chamber match at the titular pay-per-view to face Miz at WrestleMania XXVII for the WWE Championship.
On the February 21 episode of Raw, Cena replied in rap form to comments made by The Rock the previous week, as The Rock returned as the announced guest host of WrestleMania. That night, Cena was placed into a WWE Tag Team Championship match, with him teaming with The Miz, where they defeated Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater to become WWE Tag Team Champions. Their rematch clause was immediately invoked and they won the title back after The Miz attacked Cena.After weeks of insults, Cena and Rock finally met, where, after a verbal confrontation, and brief attack by The Miz and Alex Riley, Cena hit The Rock with the Attitude Adjustment.At WrestleMania, Cena and Miz fought to a double countout. The Rock restarted the match and hit Cena with a Rock Bottom, allowing The Miz to retain the title. The next night on Raw, Cena, in response to The Rock “screwing” him out of the title, agreed to face him in the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII, making it the first match to be set up for WrestleMania one year in advance.At Extreme Rules, Cena defeated The Miz and John Morrison to become WWE Champion.Cena went on to successfully defend the title against The Miz atOver the Limit in an “I Quit” match and R-Truth at Capitol Punishment.Cena then began a feud with CM Punk, who was leaving the company at Money in the Bank, where he defeated Cena to win the WWE Championship, and left the company with the title. After Rey Mysterio won the WWE Championship in a tournament, Cena challenged and defeated him later that night to become WWE Champion for a record-breaking ninth time,only to be interrupted by CM Punk, who also claimed to be champion. Punk again defeated Cena at SummerSlam in a championship unification match.After Alberto Del Rio became WWE Champion by cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, Cena became number one contender and beat Del Rio at Night of Champions to win the WWE Championship for the tenth time. He lost it back to Del Rio atHell in a Cell, in a triple threat Hell in a Cell match also involving CM Punk.]Cena lost his rematch to Alberto Del Rio at Vengeance in a Last Man Standing match, due to interference by The Miz and R-Truth.After a few weeks of Miz and Truth attacking Cena and other employees, Cena was allowed to choose his partner to challenge Miz and Truth at Survivor Series and Cena chose The Rock as his partner. Despite exchanging insults in the following weeks, they defeated Miz and Truth, though Rock closed the show by giving Cena a Rock Bottom.
Cena and The Rock face off atWrestleMania XXVIII
Cena then began a feud with Kane, who cited his disgust for Cena’s “Rise Above Hate” slogan and claimed that Cena would need to embrace the hate in order to defeat The Rock at WrestleMania. Cena fought Kane to a draw at the Royal Rumble, and then defeated him in an Ambulance match at Elimination Chamber. At WrestleMania XXVIII, Cena faced The Rock in the main event match which had been building for a year and was billed as “once in a lifetime”. The match ended when Cena attempted the People’s Elbow on The Rock, and The Rock countered with a Rock Bottom for the pinfall.
Brock Lesnar faces off with Cena after his return in April 2012
The following night on Raw, Cena accepted the loss at WrestleMania and invited The Rock to the ring so that he could congratulate him. However, Cena’s call was answered instead by the returning Brock Lesnar, who then attacked Cena with an F-5. This resulted in Cena feuding with the Raw general manager John Laurinaitis, who revealed that he signed Lesnar to bring “legitimacy” to WWE and for Lesnar to become its “new face”.At Extreme Rules, Cena defeated Lesnar in an Extreme Rules match. His feud with Laurinaitis escalated after Big Showcost Cena a match against him at Over the Limit, but Laurinaitis was fired at No Way Out after Cena defeated Big Show in a match with both of their jobs on the line.
Cena won the Money in the Bank ladder match at the eponymous pay-per-view, earning a contract for a shot at the WWE Championship anytime within a year. At Raw 1000, Cena cashed in his contract on CM Punk, and won the match by disqualification after Big Show interfered, becoming the first person to cash in a Money in the Bank contract and not win a title. Cena’s feud with Punk continued into SummerSlam, where Punk defeated Cena and Big Show to retain the title, and at Night of Champions, where they fought to a draw.After being sidelined with a legitimate arm injury,Cena returned at Survivor Series to be pinned by Punk in a match which also featuredRyback. Cena then feuded with Dolph Ziggler over an alleged relationship with AJ Lee and at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, lost to him in a ladder match for his Money in the Bank contract, after AJ turned on Cena.The following night on Raw, Cena teamed with Vickie Guerrero to face Ziggler and AJ in a mixed tag team match which ended in a disqualification after Cena was attacked by the debuting Big E Langston. Cena then defeated Ziggler on the January 7, 2013 episode of Raw in a singles match, and again in a steel cage match the following week, despite interference from AJ and Langston in both matches.
On January 27, Cena won his second Royal Rumble match, and later announced that he would pursue the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29. Cena, along with Ryback and Sheamus,began feuding with The Shield, which culminated in a six-man tag team match at Elimination Chamber, where The Shield were victorious. On the February 25 episode of Raw, Cena defeated CM Punk to reaffirm his status as number one contender for the Rock’s WWE Championship.Cena then returned to his rivalry with The Rock, with Cena blaming his personal and professional troubles on his loss to The Rock the previous year, going so far as admitting his own vanity had cost him the match. At WrestleMania 29, Cena defeated Rock in their rematch to win his eleventh WWE Championship. Cena then began a rivalry with Ryback,during which Cena suffered a legitimate achilles tendon injury,while also battling The Shield and facing them in losing efforts.Cena defeated Ryback in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules,and in a Three Stages of Hell match at Payback. He defeated Mark Henry via submission at Money in the Bank.AtSummerSlam, Cena lost the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan, with Triple H as the special guest referee. The following night on Raw, Cena announced that he would undergo surgery for a triceps tear and would be out for four to six months.
World championship pursuits and reigns (2013–2015)
Cena returned at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view and defeated Alberto Del Rio to win his third World Heavyweight Championship. Cena successfully defended his championship against Damien Sandow on the October 28 episode of Raw, and Alberto Del Rio in a rematch at Survivor Series. Next, Cena challenged then WWE Champion Randy Orton to unify their respective championships, with The Authority agreeing and arranging for a Tables, Ladders and Chairs title unification match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, which Cena lost. A rematch occurred at the Royal Rumble for the now unified WWE World Heavyweight Championship, where Cena lost after being distracted by The Wyatt Family. The Wyatts continued to interfere in Cena’s matches,and at Elimination Chamber, caused Cena’s elimination in the Elimination Chamber match.
“I know how John Cena feuds tend to work. He loses one match, then wins the next two or three. Look at Rusev andBray Wyatt as examples. These feuds don’t really help talent. They’re established… as definitively below Cena. This is a running theme in WWE booking. Owens is… worse off than he would have been if he had never had the second and third matches with Cena”.
Pro Wrestling Dot Net analyst Will Pruett in July 2015
After Elimination Chamber, Bray Wyatt accepted Cena’s challenge for a WrestleMania match, Wyatt wanted to prove that Cena’s heroic act was a facade characteristic of “this era of lies” while further wanting to turn Cena into a “monster”. At WrestleMania XXX, Cena overcame interference from Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to defeat Wyatt.The feud continued after WrestleMania based on the story that Wyatt was capturing Cena’s fanbase, which was exemplified by Wyatt leading a children’s choir to the ring on the April 28 episode of Raw, with the children later putting on sheep masks. At Extreme Rules, Wyatt defeated Cena in a steel cage match, after repeated interference from the rest of the Wyatt Family members and a demonic child. Cena’s feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback, where Cena buried Wyatt under multiple equipment cases to win the match.
On the June 16 episode of Raw, Cena defeated Kane in a stretcher match to qualify for the ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank, where Cena won his 15th world championship. Cena then retained the title at Battleground in a fatal four-way match against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Kane. At SummerSlam, Cena lost the championship to Brock Lesnar in a squash match, during which Lesnar hit Cena with sixteen suplexes and two F-5s, ending his reign at 49 days. Cena invoked his title rematch clause against Lesnar for Night of Champions, nearly winning before Seth Rollins attacked him to cause a disqualification. Cena then began feuding with Dean Ambrose for the right to face Rollins at Hell in a Cell, but Ambrose got that right after beating Cena in a No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole match. Cena would instead face Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match to determine the number one contender to face Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which Cena won.
On October 27 episode of Raw, Cena rejected The Authority’s offer to join forces. This resulted in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination tag match between Team Cena and Team Authority at Survivor Series.Cena’s team consisted of Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan and Ryback; At Survivor Series, Big Show turned on Cena, causing Cena’s elimination, but Ziggler eventually won the match for Team Cena with the interfering Sting’s help. Thus as per the match stipulation, The Authority were stripped from power and only Cena could bring them back. At TLC: Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Stairs, Cena defeated Rollins in a tables match to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship #1 contender status. It was then announced that Cena would face Lesnar for the title at the Royal Rumble.On the December 29 episode of Raw, Rollins and Big Show held guest host Edge hostage, forcing Cena to reinstate The Authority. On the January 5 episode of Raw, The Authority added Rollins to the title match at the Royal Rumble involving Cena and Lesnar, and Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan were “fired” for joining Team Cena at Survivor Series. On the 19 January episode of Raw, Cena won a handicap match against Rollins, Big Show and Kane to retain his title shot at the Royal Rumble and win back the jobs of Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan. At the Royal Rumble, Cena was unsuccessful in capturing the title.
United States Champion (2015–2016)
Cena after defeating Rusev for the United States Championship at WrestleMania 31
Following the Royal Rumble, Cena began feuding with then United States Champion Rusev and at Fastlane, Rusev won after Cena passed out to Rusev’s submission, the Accolade, after Rusev hit Cena with a low blow following a distraction from his manager Lana.In the following weeks, Cena challenged Rusev to a rematch, which was declined, and Stephanie McMahon decreed that Cena would not compete at WrestleMania 31 unless Rusev agreed to a match.On the March 9 episode of Raw, Cena attacked Rusev, refusing to release the STF submission hold, causing Lana to grant Cena the match. Cena defeated Rusev at WrestleMania to win the United States Championship for the fourth time, marking Rusev’s first pinfall loss in the main roster. The following night on Raw, Cena announced that he would issue an open challenge each week on Raw with his United States Championship on the line; he successfully defended his title against the likes of Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane, Sami Zayn, Neville, Zack Ryder and Cesaro. Cena retained his title against Rusev in a Russian Chain match at Extreme Rules and a “I Quit” match at Payback.The following night on Raw, Cena was attacked by then NXT Champion Kevin Owens, setting up a Champion vs. Champion match at Elimination Chamber, where Owens defeated Cena, but Cena defeated Owens in a rematch at Money in the Bank. Cena defeated Owens atBattleground to retain the United States Championship and end the feud.Cena then resumed his feud with then WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, with Rollins refusing Cena’s challenges for the title. The Authority instead forced Cena to defend the United States Championship against Rollins. Cena defeated Rollins despite suffering a broken nose during the match.Cena then faced Rollins in a “Winner Takes All” match at SummerSlam, for both the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the United States Championship, which Cena lost after guest host Jon Stewart, appearing to side with Cena, instead attacked him with a steel chair, ending Cena’s reign at 147 days.
Cena defeated Rollins to win the title for the fifth time at Night of Champions, a record in the WWE ownership era of the title. Cena then retained his title against Rollins the following night on Raw and then in a steel cage match at WWE Live from Madison Square Garden.At Hell in a Cell, Cena lost the title to the returning Alberto Del Rio in an open challenge.After a hiatus, Cena returned on the December 28 episode of Raw, defeating Del Rio by disqualification in a rematch for the title. On January 7, 2016, Cena underwent surgery on a shoulder injury, which would keep him out of action for an undisclosed amount of time.
Feud with The Club (2016–present)
Cena returned at WrestleMania 32, helping former rival The Rock fend off The Wyatt Family. Cena then made his full return on the May 30 (Memorial Day) edition of Raw, four months earlier than had been expected for his type of injury. He was confronted by AJ Styles, only to be betrayed by Styles, who joined his former Club teammates Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in attacking Cena. This set up a match between Cena and Styles at Money in the Bank, which Styles won with interference from Gallows and Anderson.
Cena has portrayed a babyface character for the majority of his WWE career. Cena’s signature ring gear includes jean shorts, sneakers, wristbands, and armbands. Cena also wears a variety of T-shirts and baseball caps which he throws out to the crowd before his matches.
The Doctor of Thuganomics
During his first years in WWE, Cena portrayed a vastly different character. This character, a white rapper who wore jerseys, backwards hats, and a chain with a padlock around his neck, was known as the “Doctor of Thuganomics”. Cena would sometimes use underhanded tactics to score victories, such as using his chain as a weapon behind the referee’s back. Cena often rapped before his matches, insulting his opponents, events that happened in the media, and even the crowd on occasion. Cena would also regularly do “rap battles”, where Cena and his opponent would take turns rapping on each other. Cena reverted to this persona once during his feud with The Rock.
Cena, with members of the United States Marine Corps, at the premiere of his film The Marine
WWE Studios, a division of WWE which produces and finances motion pictures, produced Cena’s first movie – The Marine, which was distributed theatrically by 20th Century Fox America beginning on October 13, 2006. In its first week, the film made approximately US$7 million at the United States box office. After ten weeks in theaters, the film grossed $18.7 million. Once the film was released on DVD, it fared better, making $30 million in rentals in the first twelve weeks.
Cena filming on the set of12 Rounds
His second film, also produced by WWE Studios, was 12 Rounds.Filming began on February 25, 2008 in New Orleans; the film was released on March 27, 2009.
Cena co-starred in his third film produced by WWE Studios, titled Legendary, which was played in selected theaters starting on September 10, 2010, for a limited time, then it was released on DVD on September 28, 2010.
That same year, Cena starred in the children’s film Fred: The Movie, a film based on Lucas Cruikshank’s YouTube videos of the same name, where he plays Fred’s imaginary father.The movie was released on the Nickelodeon channel in September 2010.
In 2015, Cena made appearances in the comedy films Trainwreck, Sisters and a cameo in Daddy’s Home.
He was the pace car driver for the 58th annual Daytona 500.
Before his WWE debut, Cena made an appearance on the Internet stream show Go Sick as Bruebaker, an angry, cursing wrestler in 2001.
Cena in 2008
During his WWE career, Cena has appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! three times. Cena has also appeared on morning radio shows; including the CBS and XM versions of Opie and Anthony as part of their “walkover” on October 10, 2006. Other appearances have included NBC’sLate Night with Conan O’Brien, Fuse’s Celebrity Playlist, Fox Sports Net’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period, FOX’s MADtv, G4’s Training Camp(with Shelton Benjamin), and two appearances on MTV’s Punk’d (August 2006 and May 2007), as the victim of a practical joke. He also served as a co-presenter, with Hulk Hogan, at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, as a guest judge during the third week of the 2006 season of Nashville Star, and appeared at the 2007 Nickelodeon UK Kids Choice Awards.
In January 2007, Cena, Batista, and Ashley Massaro appeared representing WWE on an episode
of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, giving the children of the family whose house was being renovated WWE merchandise and eight tickets to WrestleMania 23. Two months later, he and Bobby Lashley appeared on the NBC game show Deal or No Deal as “moral support” to longtime WWE fan and front row staple, Rick “Sign Guy” Achberger. Edge and Randy Orton also appeared, but as antagonists.On April 9, 2008, Cena, along with fellow wrestlers Triple H andChris Jericho, appeared on the Idol Gives Back fund-raising special. In March 2009, Cena made an appearance on Saturday Night Live during the show’s cold opening sequence. On March 7, 2009, he was a guest on NPR’s quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! in a Not My Job sequence titled “Sure, pro wrestling is a good gig, but when you win, do they throw teddy bears into the ring?”.
John Cena will host the 2016 ESPY Awards, becoming the first professional wrestler to do so.
In 2001, between his training in Ultimate Pro Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling, Cena was involved in the UPN produced reality show Manhunt. Cena portrayed Big Tim Kingman, leader of the group of bounty hunters who chased down the contestants who acted as fugitives. The show, however, was mired in controversy when it was alleged that the portions of the show were rigged to eliminate certain players, scenes were re-shot or staged to enhance drama and contestants read from scripts.
Cena was featured on the ABC reality series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, which aired in June 2007, making it to the final round before being eliminated on June 24, placing third in the competition overall.
In 2007, Cena was interviewed for the CNN Special Investigations Unit documentary, Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling, which focused on steroid and drug use in professional wrestling. When asked if he had taken steroids he was heard to reply, “I can’t tell you that I haven’t, but you will never prove that I have”, The day after the documentary aired, WWE accused CNN of taking Cena’s comments out of context to present a biased point of view, backing up their claim by posting an unedited video of Cena answering the same question – filmed by WWE cameras from another angle – in which he is heard beginning the same statement with “absolutely not”.A text interview on the website with Cena later had him saying the news outlet should apologize for misrepresenting him, which CNN refused, saying they felt the true answer to the question began with the phrase “my answer to that question”.They did, however, edit the documentary on subsequent airings to include the “absolutely not”.
Cena hosted the Australian Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards with Natalie Bassingthwaighte on October 11, 2008 in Melbourne.
Cena guest starred as Ewan O’Hara, brother of Juliet O’Hara, in an episode of the fourth season of the comedy drama Psych. He also guest starred as himself in the seventh episode of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana Forever.
On August 17, 2015 Cena guest co-hosted Today on NBC. He co-hosted the show again on December 28 and 29, 2015. Cena appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyerson August 21, 2015. Cena co-hosted Today again on March 28–30 and May 9, 10, 13 and 30, 2016.
Cena hosts American Grit on FOX, which is a reality television series with 10 episodes. 16 men and women will be split into four teams, where challenges will be given. A $1 million USD prize will be given to the winning team.American Grit premiered on FOX on April 14, 2016. Cena has been retweeting motivational tweets from his followers on Twitter who used #ShowYourGrit, in a way that the fan did something motivational to his/her friends in a real-life scenario. The finale of Season 1 aired on June 9, 2016.
Cena signing merchandise for a young fan
Cena posing with children
Cena has granted over 500 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses through the Make-A-Wish Foundation; the most in Make-A-Wish history.In 2009, Cena received the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award.
Cena at Fort Bragg on December 9, 2011
Before his professional wrestling career, Cena appeared in an advertisement for Gold’s Gym. As a wrestler he has endorsed the energy drink YJ Stinger, appearing in commercials beginning in October 2003, and Subway, for whom he filmed advertisements with their spokesperson Jared Fogle in November 2006 that began airing the next January. For a time in 2007 he also endorsed two “signature collections” of energy drinks and energy bars sold by American Body Builders. In 2008, Cena filmed a commercial as part of Gillette’s”Young Guns” NASCAR campaign.
In 2009, Cena expanded his relationship with Gillette by introducing a new online campaign called “Be A Superstar” featuring himself alongside fellow WWE wrestlers Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes. The campaign features motivational videos.
During his WWE career, Cena’s attire has attempted to reflect the most current fashions and stylings within the hip hop culture that hischaracter represents. Cena started out wearing “throwback jerseys” until WWE produced specific Cena merchandise which he began wearing. While Cena was a member of the SmackDown! brand, one of his WWE produced T-shirts bore the suggestive spoonerism”Ruck Fules”. Whenever it appeared on television the image was censored, not by the network, but by WWE to sell more shirts under the premise that it was “too hot for TV”. He also wore a chain with a large padlock, occasionally using it as a weapon, untilWrestleMania 21, when it was replaced with a chromed and diamond studded “Chain Gang” spinner medallion – reminiscent of the ones worn by members of G-Unit – matching his spinner title belt.
Around the time The Marine was released, Cena began wearing attire more military related, including camouflage shorts, dog tags, aMarine soldier cap and a WWE produced shirt with the legend “Chain Gang Assault Battalion”. Shortly after WrestleMania 23, when promotion for The Marine ended, the military attire diminished and was replaced with apparel bearing his new slogan “American Made Muscle” along with denim shorts, not seen since he was a member of the SmackDown! roster. He then wore shirts that promoted Cenation and his trademark line “You Can’t See Me”. From late 2011 until WrestleMania XXVIII, Cena again switched to camo shorts (honoring the U.S. Armed Forces), to coincide with his black “Rise Above Hate” T-shirt promoting WWE’s “Be a Star” anti-bullying campaign. On September 16, 2012, Cena debuted a new pink and black T-shirt and cap combo with the phrase “Rise Above Cancer” that he wore through October in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
John Felix Anthony Cena
April 23, 1977 (age 39)
West Newbury, Massachusetts
West Newbury, Massachusetts
Columbia Records, WWE Music Group
Tha Trademarc, Jake One,MGK
“The Time is Now” by John Cena & Tha Trademarc (2005)
Sample from “The Time Is Now” by John Cena & Tha Trademarc.
Problems playing this file? See media help.
In addition to his wrestling career, Cena is a rapper and a hip hop musician. Cena performed his fifth WWE theme song, “Basic Thuganomics,” himself, and it was featured on the WWE soundtrack album WWE Originals. He also recorded a song,”Untouchables”, for the company’s next soundtrack album WWE ThemeAddict: The Music, Vol. 6. He collaborated on the songH-U-S-T-L-E remix along with Murs, E-40, and Chingo Bling.
Cena’s debut album, You Can’t See Me, was recorded with his cousin Tha Trademarc. It features, amongst other songs, his entrance theme, “The Time is Now”, and the single “Bad, Bad Man”, for which a music video was made that parodied 1980s culture, including the television show The A-Team. A video was also made for the second single, “Right Now,” and premiered on the August 8Raw. Cena and Tha Trademarc were later featured on a track by The Perceptionists named “Champion Scratch.” Cena will appear on Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins’ upcoming album Still Cool featuring other guests.
In October 2014, Cena was featured on two songs with rapper Wiz Khalifa for his two singles “All Day” and “Breaks” for the soundtrack to the WWE 2K15 video game.
“You Can’t Handle This Episode” (season 4: episode 10)
True Jackson, VP
“Pajama Party” (season 2: episode 12)
“Love That Lets Go” (season 4: episode 9)
“The Hunter” (season 1: episode 13)
Fred: The Show
Parks and Recreation
“The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show” (season 7: episode 10)
Also executive producer
2016 ESPY Awards
Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race
The Edge & Christian Show that totally reeks of Awesomeness
Recurring Role, 2 episodes
Cena appears in many video games; he made his video game debut in WWE Wrestlemania XIX and appears in ‘WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain, WWE SmackDown! vs Raw, WWE Day of Reckoning, WWE Day of Reckoning 2′, ‘WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2009, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2010, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2011, WWE ’12, WWE ’13, WWE 2K14, WWE 2K15, WWE 2K16, and WWE 2K17
Main article: Unexpected John Cena
Cena is a fan of Japanese anime and has mentioned that his favorite anime movie is Fist of the North Star. He has also said he is a fan of the video game series Command & Conquer and noted that it was his favorite game. Cena is also a fan of the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays,Los Angeles Dodgers,New England Patriots,Boston Celtics and English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.Cena collects muscle cars and has over 20, some of which are one-of-a-kind.
While promoting his 2009 film, 12 Rounds, Cena announced his engagement to his girlfriend Elizabeth Huberdeau. They were married on July 11, 2009. On May 1, 2012, Cena filed for divorce, which was finalized on July 18. The divorce was mentioned once during Cena’s feud with The Rock amid their rematch at WrestleMania 29.
Since November 2012, Cena has been dating WWE Diva Nikki Bella.
Cena performs an Attitude Adjustment on Kane
Cena applying an STF to Mark Henry
Cena’s delivers his signature taunt, “You Can’t See Me”, to Chris Masters
Cena delivers the Five Knuckle Shuffle to Dolph Ziggler