John Felix Anthony Cena (pronounced /ˈsiːnə/; born April 23, 1977) is an American actor, hip hop musician, and professional wrestler currently employed by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its Raw brand.
In professional wrestling, Cena is a nine-time world champion having won the WWE Championship seven times and the World Heavyweight Championship twice. In addition to these championships, Cena has also won the WWE United States Championship three times, the World Tag Team Championship two times (once with Shawn Michaels and once with Batista). Cena also won the 2008 Royal Rumble match, and the 2009 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award.
Cena started his professional wrestling career in 2000, wrestling for Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), 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 #15 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and starred in the feature films The Marine (2006) and 12 Rounds (2009). 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.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Professional wrestling career
o 2.1 Training
o 2.2 World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–present)
+ 2.2.1 Debut (2002–2003)
+ 2.2.2 United States Champion and WWE Champion (2004–2005)
+ 2.2.3 Various feuds and injury (2006–2007)
+ 2.2.4 Return, Feuding With The Nexus (2008–present)
* 3 Other media
o 3.1 Film
o 3.2 Guest appearances
o 3.3 Television
o 3.4 Endorsements
o 3.5 Fashion
o 3.6 Music
* 4 Personal life
* 5 In wrestling
* 6 Championships and accomplishments
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links
Cena was born April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts, 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 bodybuilding, and also worked as a chauffeur for a limousine company.
Professional wrestling career
Cena started training to become a professional wrestler in 2000 at the California-based "Ultimate University" operated by Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). 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) 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 Entertainment (2002–present)
Cena performing an FU (now "Attitude Adjustment") to Kurt Angle.
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 and almost beat Angle kicking out of his finishing move, the Angle Slam and enduring the ankle lock submission hold. Cena ultimately lost to a hard amateur wrestling-style pin. Following the near-win, Cena became a fan favorite and started feuding with Chris Jericho. 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 Lesnar's F-5. Cena won a number one contenders tournament against Lesnar at Backlash. However, Cena was defeated by Lesnar. 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 Champion and WWE Champion (2004–2005)
Cena, wearing his customized U.S. Championship belt
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 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 (kayfabe, 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 kayfabe 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 re-started 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.[