Time Speed Magazine

JOHN CENA: The Underdog Wrestler Who Became a Household Name

Early Life

John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. was born on April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts. He was the second oldest of five boys born to Carol and John Cena Sr.

As a child, Cena lived in a modest three-bedroom house and was described as a quiet boy who loved playing sports and video games. He played football throughout his childhood and also participated in wrestling tournaments.

Cena comes from a family with a strong military background. His maternal grandfather was a WWII veteran and his father served in the U.S. Marine Corps. One of Cena’s older brothers is a former Marine who served in Operation Desert Storm.

Amateur Wrestling Career

John Cena’s wrestling career began in high school, where he was a standout amateur wrestler at Cushing Academy and Springfield College in Massachusetts. He was a Division III All-American center and wore the number 54, which would become associated with him later in his WWE career.

In college, Cena was a dominant heavyweight wrestler, winning the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Heavyweight Championships in 1998 and 1999. He also placed 4th in the Junior College National Championships in 1996. His impressive collegiate wrestling record was 122-40 overall.

Some of Cena’s major amateur wrestling accomplishments and titles include:

  • 3-time All-American in college
  • NCAA Division III Heavyweight Champion (1998, 1999)
  • National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Heavyweight Champion (1997)
  • NJCAA All-American (1996)
  • 2-time National Prep Champion (1995, 1996)
  • 2-time Massachusetts State Champion (1994, 1995)

Cena’s success as an amateur wrestler in high school and college laid the foundation for his future professional wrestling career, where he would become known for his power and athleticism in the ring. His amateur wrestling background gave him credibility and skills that allowed him to transition smoothly to the world of sports entertainment.

Professional Wrestling Career

John Cena began his professional wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling, where he held the UPW Heavyweight Championship. In 2001, Cena signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was assigned to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).

Cena made his WWE television debut in 2002 and had his first WWE match against Kurt Angle the following year. His wrestling character adopted a hip hop persona known as “The Doctor of Thuganomics”. Cena’s popularity rose when he feuded with Brock Lesnar leading up to WrestleMania XX.

In 2005, Cena won his first world championship when he defeated John “Bradshaw” Layfield for the WWE Championship. He went on to become WWE’s franchise player and its public face as the company transitioned into the PG Era. Cena had memorable rivalries and matches against Edge, Randy Orton, Batista and CM Punk, among others. He won multiple world championships, including a record-tying 16 WWE Championship reigns.

Some of Cena’s most acclaimed matches were against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIII, Batista at WrestleMania XXVI, CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011 and Money in the Bank 2013, Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2013, AJ Styles at Royal Rumble 2017 and Roman Reigns at No Mercy 2017. He also participated in several critically praised multi-man matches such as the Raw Elimination Chamber at New Year’s Revolution 2006 and the SmackDown Elimination Chamber at No Way Out 2009.

Acting Career

John Cena’s acting career began in 2006 when he made his theatrical film debut in the action movie The Marine. Despite poor reviews, the movie was a box office success.

Cena’s first major role came in 2009 when he starred in the comedy film 12 Rounds. He portrayed New Orleans police detective Danny Fisher who must compete in a series of dangerous challenges throughout the city to save his girlfriend’s life. Cena showcased both comedic and action skills in this film.

Over the next few years, Cena expanded his acting range by portraying varied characters in films like Legendary (2010), Trainwreck (2015), Sisters (2015), and Blockers (2018). He often played against his wrestling persona by portraying gentler characters in comedies.

In 2021, Cena starred in F9, the ninth Fast & Furious franchise movie. As Jakob Toretto, brother to Vin Diesel’s character, Cena portrayed an antagonist role for the first time. His performance was praised, proving his ability to diversify beyond just heroic characters.

Cena continues to balance WWE wrestling with an active acting career in Hollywood. He has demonstrated impressive range across action, comedy, and dramatic roles over the past 15 years.

Other Media Appearances

John Cena has made appearances across various media outside of professional wrestling and acting. He has been featured as a guest on numerous talk shows and award ceremonies. Some notable appearances include Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the Teen Choice Awards.

Cena has also hosted a few television shows. In 2020, he was the host and executive producer of Wipeout on TBS. He previously hosted American Grit, a Fox reality series in 2016. Additionally, Cena was the honorary pace car driver for the Daytona 500 in 2010 and 2018.

Over the years, Cena has been featured in many commercials for brands such as Gold’s Gym, Gillette, Subway, and Fruity Pebbles. Arguably his most popular commercial stint was reprising his wrestling character for a series of over-the-top ads for Fruity Pebbles. He continues to appear in commercials today, bringing his charisma and energy to promote various products.

Overall, Cena has established a significant presence across various media platforms beyond wrestling and acting. His dynamic personality combined with mainstream popularity makes him a prime candidate for TV cameos, hosting gigs, and spokesperson roles.

Personal Life

John Cena keeps his personal life very private. He was previously engaged to Elizabeth Huberdeau, and they were married from 2009 to 2012 before divorcing. He later had a high-profile relationship with fellow wrestler Nikki Bella, to whom he proposed at WrestleMania in 2017. However, the couple called off their engagement in 2018 and ended their relationship.

Cena resides in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. He is an auto enthusiast and owns over 20 vehicles, including several vintage and luxury cars. Some of his noted cars include a 2006 Dodge Viper, a 1969 COPO Chevrolet Camaro, a 2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8, a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and a 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator.

In his free time, Cena is an avid fan of anime and comic books. He has one of the world’s largest collections of retro video games. He also enjoys listening to hip-hop music and watching movies, citing Goodfellas as his favorite. Cena is known for having a sense of humor and enjoys cracking jokes. He released a comedy rap album in 2005 titled You Can’t See Me.


John Cena is known for his extensive charitable work and philanthropy. He has granted over 650 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, more than any other celebrity in history. The Make-A-Wish Foundation helps grant wishes to children diagnosed with critical illnesses.

Cena is also an avid supporter of the Susan G. Komen organization which raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research. He has helped promote their annual “Race for the Cure” events.

Additionally, Cena works frequently with the USO (United Service Organizations) to support American troops and their families. He has visited military bases and hospitals to spend time with wounded soldiers.

Some other charities Cena actively supports include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Komen, Ad Council, ‘Be a STAR’ anti-bullying campaign, RAINN, Entrepreneur’s Organization and GLAAD.

Cena has shown dedication throughout his career to giving back and supporting charitable causes he believes in. His philanthropic efforts have made a significant positive impact.

Accomplishments and Legacy

John Cena is considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He has achieved tremendous success in WWE, including:

  • 16 world championship reigns – tied for the most in WWE history along with Ric Flair
  • 5 United States Championship reigns
  • 4 world tag team championship reigns
  • Money in the Bank winner in 2012
  • Royal Rumble winner in 2008 and 2013
  • 3-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner

Cena has been the face of WWE for over 15 years, headlining multiple WrestleManias and other major pay-per-view events. He holds several records, including most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation at over 650.

In acting, Cena has starred in movies such as Trainwreck, Blockers, Bumblebee, and F9. He received positive reviews for his performance in Trainwreck and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Teen Choice Awards.

Cena has become a pop culture icon with a massive global fanbase. His signature “You Can’t See Me” hand wave and “Never Give Up” slogan are instantly recognizable. He represents WWE’s brand as their most marketed star, appearing on talk shows, commercials, and charitable events. Cena inspired the loyal fanbase known as “Cenation” and has granted more wishes than any celebrity in Make-A-Wish history. His wrestling career and character have impacted pop culture and entertainment worldwide.


John Cena has had his share of controversies throughout his career in the public eye. One of the most well-known disputes was with fellow WWE wrestler The Rock. In the lead up to their match at WrestleMania 28 in 2012, Cena and The Rock exchanged insults on RAW, with Cena accusing The Rock of being a sell-out for leaving WWE to pursue an acting career. This touched a nerve with fans who felt Cena was tearing down one of their heroes.

Cena’s personal life has also faced scrutiny at times. When he filed for divorce from his high school sweetheart Elizabeth Huberdeau in 2012 after just 3 years of marriage, it led to speculation in the media about what caused the split. Cena later began a relationship with WWE wrestler Nikki Bella, which was featured on the reality show Total Divas. Their on-again, off-again relationship and eventual split in 2018 played out in the public eye. Throughout it all, Cena has tried to maintain privacy around his personal life. Visit our Website Time Speed Magazine.

Notable Quotes

John Cena is known for his memorable sayings and catchphrases both in and out of the wrestling ring. Here are some of his most notable quotes:

  • “You Can’t See Me” – Cena’s iconic catchphrase and hand gesture he uses to taunt opponents in the ring. He became popular during his rapper persona days.
  • “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect” – Cena’s motto exemplifies his work ethic and values. He lives by these words both professionally and personally.
  • “Never Give Up” – Inspiring quote exemplifying Cena’s perseverance. He believes you should always keep fighting no matter the obstacles.
  • “The Champ is Here” is a catchphrase Cena uses to announce his arrival and intimidate opponents. Reminds everyone he’s the champion and the one to beat.
  • “Rise Above Hate” – Quote promoting positivity and rising above negativity. Cena is outspoken against bullying and advocates standing up for what’s right.
  • “You want some, come get some” – Intimidating taunt inviting opponents to take him on if they dare. Shows his fearless nature.
  • “I’m like a big purple pinwheel, Randy. I’m all around you” – Humorous quote targeted at Randy Orton, likening his constant presence to a spinning pinwheel. Showcases Cena’s wit.
  • “Never underestimate the heart of a champion” – Highlights that true champions have perseverance and heart. Cena believes this separates contenders from champions.

Cena’s quotes provide insight into his wrestling persona and personal philosophy. His catchy slogans showcase his creativity and connection with fans.

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