WWE Superstar John Cena is not currently officially affiliated with a specific brand. Cena began his pro wrestling career in 1999, training at the Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) school. During his time at UPW, John Cena worked as the ‘Prototype,’ a half machine gimmick that had robotic tendencies. Cena won the UPW Championship in 2000, holding the belt for 27 days before leaving the promotion in 2001.
Cena signed with WWE in 2001 and was sent to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). John Cena again used the Prototype character in the promotion; cutting promos before then ‘rewinding’ them and saying the promo again. During his time in OVW, John Cena won the OVW Championship on one occasion and also held the OVW Tag Team Championships alongside Rico.
John Cena finally made his televised WWE debut in 2002, confronting Kurt Angle as the Olympic Gold Medallist issued an open challenge. Cena declared that he had ‘ruthless aggression;’ a term coined by Vince McMahon at that time essentially signalling a new ‘era’ for the company.
The first three years of John Cena’s WWE run took a completely different turn to what the eventual 16 time World Champion probably expected. Cena was originally portrayed as a ‘generic’ babyface character on SmackDown; where talent such as Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio and Edge were plying their trade. John Cena was perceived as so ‘bland,’ that WWE were reportedly looking to fire him in late 2002.
This all changed when Cena appeared on the 2002 Halloween episode of SmackDown. Cena appeared on the episode as Vanilla Ice, cutting a rap promo on Stephanie McMahon. This led to WWE running with the character, with Cena rapping before his matches and being given the gimmick of The Doctor of Thuganomics.
Doctor of Thuganomics
Cena would make his first ever WrestleMania appearance at XX (20). John Cena would face The Big Show in the opening contest of the 2004 event, defeating the giant and becoming the United States Champion in the process.
By 2005, John Cena had become one of the most popular performers on the WWE roster, meaning that at WrestleMania 21 he got the opportunity to face JBL (John Bradshaw Layfield) for the WWE Championship in the semi-main event of the show. The event was seen as a ‘changing of the guard’ for WWE, with Cena winning the WWE Title and Batista defeating Triple H to become the World Heavyweight Champion on Monday Night RAW.
It was at this time that Cena began to massively ‘tone down’ his gimmick, with the WWE Champion becoming the poster child for what would eventually be known as the ‘PG’ era in WWE. It was also around this time that crowds were audibly starting to boo the babyface hero, with feuds against Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle not quite getting the positive reaction for Cena that WWE had clearly wanted
At the end of 2005, Cena was still WWE Champion, until the New Year’s Revolution PPV. After retaining the title in an Elimination Chamber match; Edge cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase to defeat Cena and take the title. This was the first ever cash in, and is still regarded by fans as of the very best ever.
In what actually angered a lot of fans; John Cena won the belt back from Edge just three weeks later at the Royal Rumble in 2006. Cena would then retain the title at WrestleMania 22; defeating the villainous Triple H, although again fans would boo Cena and cheer for ‘The Game.’
2006 also saw John Cena take on Rob Van Dam as part of the ECW One Night Stand 2006 PPV event. Cena would appear at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York; a venue known as an ECW hotspot, and he was mercilessly booed out of the building. RVD won and declared that the belt was to be called the ECW Championship just a week later on the new ECW brand. This is regarded as one of Cena’s best performances ever inside a WWE ring.
WrestleMania 23 in 2007 featured arguably the best WrestleMania match in John Cena’s career; as he took on The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. The bout was the main event of the show and went nearly 30 minutes, with Cena retaining via submission. This was the same event that featured the battle of the billionaires with Donald Trump and Vince McMahon. Cena would suffer from a torn pectoral muscle later that year, making a shocking return in the Royal Rumble 2008.
Between 2010-2013, John Cena had some high profile bouts against CM Punk and The Rock. The Money In The Bank 2011 PPV saw Cena and Punk get the first 5 star rating from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in an extremely long time (for WWE). The Rock would interfere in the WrestleMania 27 match between Cena and The Miz; leading to bouts between The Great One and Cena at WrestleMania 28 and 29.
United States Open Challenge
In 2015, Cena began what is considered the best period of his ‘in-ring’ career. As the United States Champion, John Cena would hold open challenges where up and coming performers would take on the former World Champion. Cesaro, Neville (AEW’s PAC), Sami Zayn, Bad News Barrett and Zack Ryder all faced Cena at this time.
Cena’s 2016 and 2017 is mostly known for his unbelievable feud against AJ Styles. The Royal Rumble 2017 match between the pair is another in the pantheon of greats for the sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Cena has in recent times sporadically appeared for WWE, with his extremely unusual WrestleMania 36 ‘match’ against The Fiend Bray Wyatt being arguably the creative peak.
John Cena Wife
Cena married Shay Shariatzadeh at an attorney’s office in Tampa, Florida in October 2020
John Cena Movies
John Cena has appeared in a number of high profile films. These include Fast & Furious 9, Trainwreck, The Suicide Squad, 12 Rounds and The Marine franchise.
You Can’t See Me
You Can’t See Me is one of John Cena’s many catchphrases and also the name of his 2005 rap album.
John Cena Net Worth
Cena has a net worth of around $60 million US Dollars.
Cena’s theme song is The Time Is Now. The track comes from his 2005 rap album.
John Cena Finisher
Cena’s finisher is called the Attitude Adjustment. This was originally called the FU, which was a play on Brock Lesnar’s F5 finishing move.