John Felix Anthony Cena (born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, rapper and actor. He is currently signed to WWE.
In WWE, Cena has won 19 championships in total, including 12 world titles (having won the WWE Championship a record 10 times and the World Heavyweight Championship twice). In addition, Cena has also won the WWE United States Championship three times, and is a four-time Tag Team Champion, having held the World Tag Team Championship twice (once each with Shawn Michaels and Batista), and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice (once each with David Otunga and The Miz). Cena also won the Royal Rumble match twice (2008 and 2013), the 2012 Money in the Bank contract for the WWE Title, and is a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, and 2012). He has the fourth highest number of combined days as WWE Champion behind Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino. Cena is the only man to fail to capture a world title upon cashing in a Money in the Bank contract. He is considered as the current face of the WWE.
Cena started his professional wrestling career in 2000, wrestling for Ultimate Pro Wrestling, where he held the UPW Heavyweight Championship. In 2001, Cena signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) where he held the OVW Heavyweight Championship and the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (with Rico Constantino).
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), and Legendary (2010). Cena has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk'd, and Psych. Cena 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.
John Cena was born April 23, 1977, in West Newbury, Massachusetts, the son of Carol and John Cena, Sr. He is the second eldest of five brothers – Dan, Matt, Steve, and Sean. After graduating from Cushing Academy, Cena attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. In college he was a 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 also worked as a chauffeur for a limousine company.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Cena started training to become a professional wrestler in 2000 at Ultimate Pro Wrestling's 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. While in UPW, Cena held the UPW Heavyweight Championship for just shy of a month in April 2000.
In 2001, he signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) (now WWE) and was assigned to its developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). During his time there, Cena wrestled as both The Prototype and Mr. P, and held the OVW Heavyweight Championship for three months and the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (with Rico Constantino) for two months.
World Wrestling EntertainmentEdit
Cena made his television debut answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle on June 27, 2002. Inspired by a speech given by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to the rising stars of the company, exhorting them to show "ruthless aggression" to earn a place among the legends, Cena took advantage of the opportunity to face Angle. Cena managed to counter the Angle Slam and the ankle lock submission hold, but ultimately lost to a hard amateur wrestling-style pin. Following the near-win, Cena became a fan favorite and started feuding with Chris Jericho, defeating Jericho at Vengeance. 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, Cena turned on and attacked Kidman, blaming him for their loss, becoming a villain.
Shortly after the Kidman attack, on a Halloween themed episode of SmackDown, Cena dressed as Vanilla Ice performing a freestyle rap. The next week, Cena received a new character: a rapper 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, performing weekly "freestyles" challenging him to matches. During the feud, Cena unveiled a new finishing maneuver: the FU, a Fireman's carry powerslam, named to mock Brock Lesnar's F-5 because both moves start with Fireman's carry, with the first victim being Rikishi. Cena won a number one contenders 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.
United States and WWE Champion (2004–2005)Edit
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 and the Match being won by Chris Benoit. The Royal Rumble elimination led to a feud with Big Show, which Cena won the United States Championship from Big Show at WrestleMania XX. During his reign, Cena came into contention with SmackDown General Manager Kurt Angle over issues arising with René Duprée and Torrie Wilson. 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 debuting Carlito Caribbean Cool the next week. After the loss to Carlito, the duo began a feud, which Cena was 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 debuting a "custom made" spinner-style championship belt.
Cena took part in the 2005 Royal Rumble match, making it to the final two. Cena and Raw brand wrestler Batista went over the top rope at the same time, ostensibly ending the match. Vince McMahon, however, appeared on stage and restarted the match in sudden death rules, with Batista eventually eliminating Cena. 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 WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and his Cabinet in the process. In the early stages of the feud, Cena lost his US belt to Cabinet member Orlando Jordan, who proceeded to "blow up" the spinner championship with JBL and returning a more traditional style belt. 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 the June 6, 2005, becoming the first wrestler selected by General Manager Eric Bischoff in the annual draft lottery. Cena immediately entered a feud with 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 fan favorite and Jericho as the villain, a vocal section of live crowds, nonetheless, were booing Cena during their matches. More crowds followed suit during Cena's 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 22 Raw. As the feud continued and the dissenters grew more vocal, sometimes seeming to outnumber fans by wide margins, the announce team was forced to acknowledge the booing on television and began calling Cena a "controversial champion", claiming some people disliking him on account of his "in-ring style" and his chosen fashion. Despite the mixed and negative reactions, Cena held on to his championship through his feud with Angle, losing to him by disqualification – which titles do not change hands in WWE – at 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.