John Cena, born April 23, 1977, is an actor, television personality, and professional wrestler. In 2000, he won the Ultimate Pro Wrestling (U.P.W.) title under the pseudonym The Prototype. He signed a deal with Ohio Valley Wrestling (O.V.W.) in 2001 and in February 2002, won the O.V.W. heavyweight title. In June of that year, he made his World Wrestling Entertainment (W.W.E.) debut and won the United States Championship two years later. Since then, the wrestler has broadened his image by releasing a hip-hop album and appearing on T.V. and in films.
On April 23, 1977, John Felix Anthony Cena was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts, to Carol and John Cena Sr. His mother is an English and French-Canadian, while his father is Italian. He went on to play college football at Springfield College, Massachusetts, where he was an N.C.A.A. Division III All-American center.
In early 2000, Cena had a chance encounter with a wrestler at Gold Gym who persuaded him to enroll in courses at Ultimate Pro Wrestling (U.P.W.), a former World Wrestling Entertainment developmental company. Cena’s father, (aka Johnny Fabulous), was a professional wrestler and entrepreneur and Cena spent hours watching his wrestling heroes such as Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Shawn Michaels battle it out in the ring. The ambitious Cena, called The Prototype, won the U.P.W. title on April 27, 2000, in San Diego, California. Cena grabbed the attention of W.W.E. management during the next year, and in 2001, the teenage wrestler signed a developmental deal to perform at Ohio Valley Wrestling (O.V.W.). In February 2002, Cena won the O.V.W. heavyweight title, and in June of the same year, he joined W.W.E’s Smackdown roster. Cena won the United States Championship two years later, defeating The Big Show at Wrestlemania XX in March 2004. Since then, Cena has racked up plenty of victories and trophies.
Cena, who has long been a fan of hip-hop culture, debuted as a recording artist in 2005 with the release of his rap album, “You Can’t See Me.” He has also starred in the action films “The Marine” (2006) and “12 Rounds” (2009), the latter of which had the wrestler attempting to defend his girlfriend from a group of terrorists in New Orleans. Cena devoted more time to his acting career in 2017, co-starring in “The Wall,” voicing the titular bull in “Ferdinand,” and reuniting with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg for “Daddy’s Home 2.” He had a significant role in the raucous comedy “Blockers” the following year, before returning to action with the “Transformers” spinoff “Bumblebee.” In the 2019 family comedy “Playing With Fire,” Cena teamed up with Keegan-Michael Key and John Leguizamo to play a group of wildfire fighters befuddled by rambunctious youngsters.
Cena married Elizabeth Huberdeau, his fiancée, in July 2009 but filed for divorce in May 2012. Their tumultuous divorce was widely publicized, but they eventually reconciled in July of that year. Cena began dating Nikki Bella, a fellow W.W.E. superstar, in 2012. After defeating The Miz and Maryse in a tag team match at Wrestlemania 33 on April 2, 2017, he proposed to Bella. Cena and Bella’s engagement ended in April 2018, and they momentarily reconciled before it was announced that they had split up again. The next year, the wrestler began dating engineer Shay Shariatzadeh. The couple would later marry in October 2020.
Cena makes his unofficial debut for the World Wrestling Federation (W.W.F.) at a SmackDown taping on October 10, 2000, as The Prototype, in a dark match against Mikey Richardson, to which he loses.
Cena signs a developmental contract with the W.W.F. in 2001 and is assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling's developing area (O.V.W.).
At the Survivor Series, Cena makes his return to the arena, defeating Chris Jericho to earn his first World Heavyweight Championship.
Cena wins his third and last World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Alberto Del Rio at Hell in a Cell.
On Fox, Cena anchors two seasons of American Grit, a 10-episode reality television series where 16 men and women are divided into four teams and given challenges.
On January 11, it is announced that he will be hosting the awards ceremony on March 24.
Cena co-hosts the T.V. game show “Wipeout.”
Why We Love John Cena
He is a dedicated and hardworking individual
If there's one thing we can be sure of about John Cena, it's that he puts in more effort than almost anyone else in the W.W.E. He works out consistently, attends every single meetup, makes appearances, and does commercials. He is focused, committed, and has a strong work ethic.
He is very charitable
Over 500 Make-A-Wish wishes have been granted by John Cena. He has been in 10 of the W.W.E's 13 Tribute to the Troops programs. His Rise Above Hate t-shirts aggressively promote W.W.E's anti-bullying campaign, Be a Star. This man is among the world's most generous celebrities, helping those in desperate need.
He is a great role model
Cena is a positive role model for children all across the world. Having someone who puts on a show about fighting may not seem like the best role model for your kids, but he emphasizes all of the positive things he stands for. Respect, loyalty, and hard work are something he emphasizes. These are all fantastic messages that he promotes both on and off-screen. This is the type of individual we're glad to have in a leadership role for the next generation of kids.
5 Surprising Facts
He began lifting weights because of bullying
Cena has created a career out of his muscular figure, but it all started when he was a child, teased for his choice of dress and music sense, as he explained on "The Tonight Show."
To ease anxiety, he eats Tic Tacs
Before each fight, Cena has a few tried and true rituals, such as knocking on wood, shaking his opponent's hand, and saying, "Good luck," as well as eating Tic Tacs before every wrestling match.
He has written several children's books
When Cena decided to write a children's book series, he wanted to convey the idea that it's acceptable to be different and so he created Elbow Grease, a monster truck that isn't the greatest in any competition but always stays true to itself and completes what he sets out to do.
He has granted numerous Make-a-Wish promises
The multi-talented superstar has made it a point to give back, particularly by granting the wishes of critically sick kids aged two to 18 through the nonprofit Make-A-Wish Foundation.
He speaks Mandarin
Cena, who has long been a champion for W.W.E., puts his all into growing the company's reach into Asia by studying Mandarin and has since dazzled fans across the world with his ability to speak in the difficult dialect during press conferences.
John Cena FAQs
Has John Cena ever been enrolled in the military?
Despite playing roles in Marine movies and portraying an army character on television, John Cena never served in the military but has a deep admiration for anyone who serves their country.
Does John Cena have kids?
No, he doesn’t have children.
Has John Cena retired from the W.W.E?
John Cena has stated that he is not retiring from W.W.E. and has revealed his WrestleMania match status. In August of last year, John Cena returned to W.W.E. for a big match with Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, but he left for Hollywood soon after.
John Cena’s birthday dates