John Cena is a professional wrestler for the WWE. He has won the world championship 16 times, and has gone down in history was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
“My home is at the WWE. I truly do love performing. The atmosphere here isn’t like anything else. It’s truly where I belong.” – John Cena.
42. Birth of a Legend
John Cena’s birthday is April 23rd. He was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts.
41. Family Ties
His parents are John Cena Sr. and Carol Sena. He was one of five boys. He was quoted saying this about growing up with a clan of brothers: “My favorite thing about ‘Saturday Night’s Main Event,’ it was that one time where I could stay up late with my dad and four brothers, and we would all beat the tar out of each other while the show was on, and it was all okay because my dad was a wrestling fan.”
40. In Dad’s Footsteps
His dad, John Cena Sr., actually made a living off of professional wrestling. He was an announcer, and earned the nickname “Johnny Fabulous”.
Growing up, John Cena’s dad was the Little League coach for all of his boys and their friends. He would also sit down to watch wrestling with his kids. His parents were supportive of their athletic endeavors.
When he was 12, John Cena started getting picked on in school by bullies for the way he dressed and talked. This made him want to become bigger and stronger as soon as possible, so that nobody would try to mess with him.
At 12 years old, he began lifting weights at home. By the time he was 15 years old, he was already weightlifting at the gym.
36. The College Experience
He attended Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he majored in “exercise physiology”. The college’s football team was Division III, and he played as an offensive lineman and became the team captain.
35. The Hidden Number
On the football team, he was number 54. He was so proud of his time as a football player, that the number 54 comes up again and again during his wrestling career.
34. Heading West
With only $500 in his pocket, he left home and drove to California to become a professional bodybuilder. His parents disapproved of this decision. When he got to California, he needed a job. So he was hired at a gym in Venice Beach where he worked for minimum wage cleaning and folding towels.
33. You’re Getting a Ticket
John Cena was trying to find a second job and so he applied to become a Highway Patrol police officer, but unfortunately failed the exam.
32. Secretly Homeless
When he first moved to California he didn’t have enough money to rent an apartment so he slept in his car, a 1991 Lincoln Continental. Thankfully, he worked at a gym so at least he had a place to have a shower and get ready for work.
After a few months in California, a man working out at the gym was a professional wrestler. He encouraged John Cena to take Ultimate Pro Wrestling classes. Of course, he said yes.
30. Mr. Roboto
When he started getting into the wrestling world, John Cena gave himself the nickname “The Prototype” as a character that was basically a cyborg. By 2001, he was already noticed by WWE executives, who had him sign an official contract with Ohio Valley Wrestling.
29. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
In 2004, he won the WWE Championships. He defeated Big Show at Wrestlemania XX.
28. The Beginning
His first appearance in professional wrestling on TV was against Kurt Angle in 2002 during “Smackdown!”
27. Smoke Up
John Cena is a self-proclaimed cigar aficionado.
At his home, Cena doesn’t have a “man cave”. He calls it his “gentleman’s room”. It’s filled with dark wood and leather chairs. This is where his friends sit to smoke their expensive cigars and play poker.
John Cena came out with his own rap album called “You Can’t See Me”. It sold 143,000 copies in the first week.
When asked what music he likes , he says that Jay-Z is one of the greatest artists of all time.
23. The Real Deal
In the beginning, he had to play a cyborg. Then, he tried to act like an arrogant rapper. Eventually, he decided to stop playing characters while wrestling, and decided just to “an extended version” of himself. A lot of people call him a goody-two-shoes, but he is actually just a really nice guy.
22. Ten Hut!
Every night that he walks out to a performance, John Cena gives a salute. He explains that while he never served himself, he has a huge amount of respect for the military. He is saluting those who serve, and he is also saluting his young fans who have stayed loyal to him for years.
21. Oldie But a Goodie
While John Cena has a collection of muscle cars, he still keeps his old 1989 Jeep Wrangler around, which he drives around on a daily basis. He says it helps to keep him grounded and remember where he came from.
20. Do It For The Kids
The vast majority of John Cena’s audience are young boys. He explains that he takes this responsibility very seriously.”I’m the one person who wears the words ‘hustle, loyalty, respect’ on my T-shirts and merchandise. My audience is children. It’s very flattering to see a kid wear your T-shirt; it’s even more flattering to have a dad come up to you and say, ‘I watch you with my kid. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re a role model for my son.’”
19. Gotta Get That Protein
John Cena’s heritage is a mixture of Italian, and French Canadian. “Cena” is the Italian word for supper and he lives up to that name. He has to be a big eater to maintain those huge muscles. In High School, he only weighed 120 pounds, but through weight training and extra eating, he grew to over 250 pounds.
18. Do You Even Lift?
He never got to live out his dream as a bodybuilder, but he actually did end up getting recognized by the fitness community. He has been on the cover of Muscle and Fitness several times.
17. Eat Your Heart Out
The Rock was throwing shade at John Cena, saying he was a wrestler just for kids. He started a new nickname for him, “Fruit Pebbles”. Eventually, the cereal Fruity Pebbles actually hired John Cena to be on the cover of the box. He probably made a lot of money on that brand deal.
16. Hug it Out
John Cena used to have a beef with The Rock. He explains that he used to think that The Rock was not as committed to the WWE as everyone else, since he was off working on so many other projects. They have since put their differences aside.
15. On the Big Screen
In 2006, he starred in an action film called The Marines. He has also been in a few other movies, including 12 Rounds, and The Fred Movie.
14. High School Sweetheart
John Cena married Elizabeth Huberdeau in 2009. They had known each other since High School, and they were together through thick and thin. Sadly, they got divorced in 2012.
13. She Said Yes
After recovering from his divorce, John Cena started dating one of his co-workers, Nikki Bella. She is also a professional wrestler for the WWE. In 2017, he proposed to her in the middle of the ring, in front of a huge crowd of people.
John Cena loves anime. He says his favorite is “Fist of the North Star”, which has been called “The manliest anime ever.” Basically, all of the characters look a lot like him. During an interview with Men’s Fitness Magazine, they asked him what was his favorite thing to watch. He said, “I like NASCAR, and Japanimation. I know they don’t go together. I’m just telling you what I like.” Anime fans have completely run with this, using him in memes. At anime conventions, fans even show up cosplaying as John Cena, or scream his name in the halls.
He said that he plays video games sometimes, and mentioned Command & Conquer, which is a military-themed gave that is available on every system.
10. Funny Man
In 2015, John Cena was in his first comedy called Trainwreck. It also featured a star studded cast including Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, and LeBron James.
9. Man Behind the Curtain
John Cena is the host of a reality TV show called “American Grit”, where contestants have to push themselves to their physical limits, almost like going to boot camp.
In 2016, John Cena started taking lessons in Mandarin. He wants to be able to speak during interviews for his viewers in China. During a press conference in Shanghai, he got to practice speaking, and he did a pretty good job!
7. Wrestling is Very Real
Wrestling takes a serious toll on an athlete’s body, and injuries happen all the time. John Cena has had multiple surgeries, including pectoral surgery and a cervical neck fusion. He also has to go to physiotherapy on a regular basis.
6. Reality Star
Cena’s fiancee stars in a reality TV show called Total Divas. This has led to him making a lot of appearances on the show. What a Diva!
5. Time for Popcorn
His favorite movies are comedies. He named Tropic Thunder and Blazing Saddles as examples of his favorites.
While he visits his child-fans all the time, and he seems to be great with kids, John Cena reportedly does not want to have any of his own. He said, “I can barely raise myself.” He explains that he is scared that he would not be an “ideal” father.
John Cena says that he is a huge fan of the women’s WWE, and he is totally supportive of his fiancee’s show, Total Divas. He wants women and young girls to feel empowered. He calls it “The Diva Revolution”.
2. Giving Back
Kids love John Cena. He has granted over 400 wishes for the Make a Wish Foundation, where terminally ill kids decided that it was their life’s dream to meet him. During his shows, he kisses military dog tags he wears around his neck. What is written on them is a closely guarded secret but there are some who know the secret. All of the children who he has granted wished for are the guardians of this secret.
1. Gym Rat
John Cena says that he needs to go to the gym every single day, even if he is traveling. He says that even after a night of driving 250 miles, or an outrageously long flight to Australia, he still goes out of his way to find a place to work out.