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John Cena
John Cena July 2018.jpg
Cena in 2018
John Felix Anthony Cena

(1977-04-23) April 23, 1977 (age 47)
Alma mater Springfield College (BA)
  • Professional wrestler
  • actor
  • rapper
Years active 1999–present
Elizabeth Huberdeau
(m. 2009; div. 2012)
Shay Shariatzadeh
(m. 2020)
  • Ulysses J. Lupien (great-grandfather)
  • Tony Lupien (grandfather)
  • Tha Trademarc (cousin)
  • Natalie Enright Jerger (cousin)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) John Cena
The Prototype
Juan Cena
Mr. P
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Billed weight 251 lb (114 kg)
Billed from "Classified"
West Newbury, Massachusetts
Los Angeles, California
Trained by Christopher Daniels
Mike Bell
Tom Howard
Fit Finlay
Debut November 5, 1999
John Cena signature.svg

John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. (/ˈsnə/ SEE-nə; born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, actor, and former rapper. He is currently signed to WWE. Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, he is tied with Ric Flair for the most world championship reigns in professional wrestling history.

Early life

United States Champion John Cena 2015 (cropped)
Cena after defeating Rusev for the United States Championship at WrestleMania 31

Cena was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts, on April 23, 1977, the son of Carol (née Lupien) and John Cena Sr. His mother is of English and French-Canadian descent, while his father, a former ring announcer for Chaotic Wrestling, has Italian ancestry. His maternal grandfather was baseball player Tony Lupien, while his maternal great-grandfather was businessman Ulysses J. Lupien. He is the second oldest of five brothers: Dan, Matt, Steve, and Sean. A fan of wrestling growing up, he would create championship belts out of cardboard for him and his brothers. He is a cousin of computer scientist Natalie Enright Jerger and was raised Roman Catholic. Cena was teased and beaten up while in school, and asked for a weightlifting bench at the age of 12.

Cena attended Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, before transferring to Cushing Academy, a private prep boarding school in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. He then attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was an NCAA Division III All-American center and captain on their college football team, wearing the number 54. He graduated from Springfield College in 1999 with a degree in exercise physiology and body movement, after which he pursued a bodybuilding career and worked as a limousine driver. Cena worked in the store area of Gold's Gym for $6 an hour.

Professional wrestling career

Cena March 2018
Cena in March 2018

Cena moved to California in 1998 to pursue a career as a bodybuilder, and switched to professional wrestling in 1999 before making his debut for Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). He signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 2001 and was assigned to its developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship and OVW Southern Tag Team Championship. After moving to SmackDown in 2002, Cena gained fame and success after adopting the character of a trash-talking rapper. After winning the WWE Championship in 2005, Cena transitioned into a clean-cut, heroic character which he described as a "goody-two shoes Superman". He led the company as its franchise player and public face for the next decade.

John Cena 2010
Cena at WWE Tribute to the Troops in 2010

A joint-record 16-time world champion, Cena has won the WWE Championship a record-setting 13 times. He is also a five-time WWE United States Champion, a four-time world tag team champion, a two-time Royal Rumble winner, and a one-time Money in the Bank winner. He has also headlined multiple major WWE pay-per-view events, including its flagship event, WrestleMania, five times. His professional wrestling career has been met with mixed critical and audience reception, with praise for his character work and promotional skills, but criticism for his perceived over-representation and on-screen dominance relative to other wrestlers.


Cena filming on the set of 12 Rounds

Cena has been called the greatest professional wrestler of all time by his peers Kurt Angle, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, and veteran industry personality Paul Heyman.

Bleacher Report named Cena one of the 10 greatest WWE wrestlers of all time. In 2012, WrestleMania 28, headlined by the John Cena vs. The Rock main event, became the highest drawing event in WWE history with 1,217,000 buys. The event held the record for the highest grossing live event in WWE history as of 2012; grossing $8.9 million.

Acting career


John Cena - The Marine premiere
Cena, with members of the United States Marine Corps at the premiere of his film The Marine, 2006

Cena first starred in The Marine (2006), and gained praise for his performances in Trainwreck (2015), Ferdinand (2017), Blockers, and Bumblebee (both 2018). He starred in F9 (2021) as Jakob Toretto, reprising his role in Fast X (2023), and portrayed Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad (2021) and the eponymous television series (2022–present). His only studio album, You Can't See Me (2005), was certified platinum.


In 2001, between his training in Ultimate Pro Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling, Cena was involved in the UPN produced reality show Manhunt, in which he portrayed Big Tim Kingman, leader of the group of bounty hunters.

Cena was featured on the ABC reality series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, which aired in June 2007, making it to the final round before being eliminated on June 24, placing third in the competition overall.

Cena hosted the Australian Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards with Natalie Bassingthwaighte on October 11, 2008 in Melbourne. Cena guest starred as Ewan O'Hara, brother of Juliet O'Hara, in an episode of the fourth season of the comedy drama Psych. He also guest starred as himself in the seventh episode of Disney Channel's Hannah Montana Forever.

John Cena 134616
Cena in 2008

On August 17, 2015, Cena guest co-hosted Today on NBC. Cena appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers on August 21, 2015. Cena co-hosted Today again on March 28–30 and May 9, 10, 13 and 30, 2016.

Cena hosted two seasons of American Grit on Fox, a reality television series with 10 episodes. 16 men and women were split into four teams, where challenges were given. A US$1 million prize was given to the winning team. American Grit premiered on Fox on April 14, 2016, and the finale of season 1 aired on June 9. Cena hosted the ESPN ESPY Awards on July 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. On December 10, 2016, Cena was the guest host of Saturday Night Live (SNL) on NBC.

On January 24, 2017, Nickelodeon announced that Cena would host the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards ceremony on March 11. On January 11, 2018, it was announced that he would be hosting the awards ceremony again on March 24, 2018, becoming the third host behind Whitney Houston and Rosie O'Donnell to host the ceremony back to back years. Two days later, the game show Keep It Spotless premiered with him as an executive producer. In addition, he was cast on Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the voice of the villain Baron Draxum. The series premiered in July 2018. On February 14, 2019, it was announced that Cena would host a revival of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader on the network, which premiered June 10, 2019.

In 2021, Cena co-hosted the TV game show Wipeout.

Music career

John Cena
Genres Hip hop
Years active 2004–2005, 2014
Labels Columbia Records, WWE Music Group
Associated acts

In addition to his wrestling career, Cena is a rapper. He performed his fifth WWE theme song, "Basic Thuganomics", and it was featured on the WWE soundtrack album WWE Originals. He also recorded a song, "Untouchables", for the company's next soundtrack album WWE ThemeAddict: The Music, Vol. 6. He collaborated on a remix for the song "H-U-S-T-L-E" along with Murs, E-40, and Chingo Bling.

Cena's debut album, You Can't See Me, was recorded with his cousin Tha Trademarc. It features, among other songs, his entrance theme, "The Time is Now", and the single "Bad, Bad Man", for which a music video was made that parodied 1980s culture, including the television show The A-Team. A video was also made for the second single, "Right Now", that premiered on the August 8, 2005 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. Cena and Tha Trademarc were later featured on a track by The Perceptionists called "Champion Scratch". Cena appeared on T-Boz's album, Still Cool.

In October 2014, Cena was featured on two songs with rapper Wiz Khalifa for his two singles "All Day" and "Breaks" for the soundtrack to the WWE 2K15 video game.


Studio albums

  • You Can't See Me (2005)

Other ventures


Cena signing merchandise for a young fan

Before his professional wrestling career, Cena appeared in an advertisement for Gold's Gym. As a wrestler, he has endorsed the energy drink YJ Stinger, appearing in commercials beginning in October 2003, and Subway, for whom he filmed advertisements with their spokesperson Jared Fogle in November 2006 that began airing the following January. For a time in 2007, he also endorsed two "signature collections" of energy drinks and energy bars sold by American Body Builders. In 2008, Cena filmed a commercial as part of Gillette's "Young Guns" NASCAR campaign.

In 2009, Cena expanded his relationship with Gillette by introducing a new online campaign called "Be A Superstar" featuring himself alongside fellow WWE wrestlers Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes. The campaign features motivational videos. After Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson called Cena "Fruity Pebbles" during their feud (in reference to Cena's colorful merchandise) Cena appeared on the box of Fruity Pebbles cereal in 2013.

He was the pace car driver for the 58th annual Daytona 500. On October 13, 2016, Cena made his debut as the voice of Ernie the Elephant in a new commercial campaign launched by Wonderful Pistachios. He was named to Adweek's "Creative 100" and received praise for his performance. In 2020, Cena and Honda announced a partnership, with Cena becoming the new voice of Honda.


Cena posing with children

Cena has granted over 650 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses through the Make-A-Wish Foundation—the most in Make-A-Wish history, with his first wish dating back to 2002. The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that not only had Cena granted this many wishes by mid-2022, but that second place was fewer than 200. In 2009, Cena received the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award.

From late 2011 until WrestleMania XXVIII, Cena wore a black "Rise Above Hate" T-shirt promoting WWE's "Be a Star" anti-bullying campaign. In September and October 2012, Cena wore pink and black with the phrase "Rise Above Cancer" in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In November 2016, Cena appeared in a public service announcement, "We Are America", sponsored by the Ad Council as part of its "Love Has No Labels" campaign.

Cena made a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter in June 2020 as part of the #MatchAMillion initiative made popular by k-pop band BTS.

Personal life

John Cena and Nikki Bella at SXSW Red Carpet premiere of BLOCKERS (26876910238)
Cena with then-fiancée Nikki Bella in March 2018

Cena resides in Land o' Lakes, Florida.

He has said numerous times that he does not want to have children because he does not want to be an absentee parent while he is focused on his career.

While promoting his 2009 film 12 Rounds, Cena announced his engagement to Elizabeth Huberdeau. They were married on July 11, 2009. On May 1, 2012, Cena filed for divorce, which was finalized on July 18. Later that year, he began dating fellow wrestler Nikki Bella. They became engaged when Cena proposed to her at WrestleMania 33 on April 2, 2017, but ended their relationship in April 2018; they had been scheduled to marry on May 5.

Cena is a fan of anime and has named Fist of the North Star as his favorite anime film. He is also a fan of Star Wars and the first two Smokey and the Bandit movies. Cena also plays video games, citing the Command & Conquer series as his favorite. Cena supports numerous sports teams from his hometown area, such as the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Red Sox, and the New England Patriots, as well as English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur FC. He has over 20 muscle cars, some of which he describes are one-of-a-kind.

Cena started learning Mandarin Chinese in 2016 to help the WWE expand its reach, and he spoke in Mandarin at a press conference in China. He also revealed in April 2018 that he learned to play the piano.

In December 2017, the Ford Motor Company filed a lawsuit against Cena for selling his 2017 Ford GT, therefore violating his purchase agreement. According to Ford, he signed a contract to keep the car for at least two years but breached the agreement by selling it to make a net profit shortly after receiving it.

In July 2018, Cena briefly moved to China, where he settled in Yinchuan. He went on to create a YouTube show on WWE's channel, highlighting his trips to local stores and markets. He explained that he would be living there for five months while working on a film, Project X-Traction, with Jackie Chan. The shoot concluded in November 2018.

On October 12, 2020, Cena married girlfriend Shay Shariatzadeh, whom he had been dating since early 2019, in a private ceremony in Tampa, Florida. The two met during the production of Cena's 2019 film Playing with Fire, which was filmed in Vancouver, where Shariatzadeh works.


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 CinemaCon Action Star of the Year N/A Won
2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Athlete N/A Nominated
2018 People's Choice Awards The Comedy Movie Star of 2018 Blockers Nominated
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice Action Movie Actor Bumblebee Nominated
2020 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Host Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Nominated
2022 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Actor in a Superhero Movie The Suicide Squad Nominated
2022 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor F9: The Fast Saga Nominated
2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Comedic Performance Peacemaker Nominated

Championships and accomplishments

Cena With Spinner Belt
Cena has held the WWE Championship record 13 times.
John Cena as WHC
Three reigns as World Heavyweight Champion bring Cena's total to 16 world championships.
United States Champion John Cena 2015 2
As a Five-time United States Champion, Cena has the most reigns under the WWE banner.

Professional wrestling

  • The Baltimore Sun
    • Best Feud of the Decade (2010) vs. Edge
    • Match of the Year (2007) vs. Shawn Michaels on April 23 at Raw
    • Wrestler of the Year (2007, 2010)
    • Feud of the Year (2010) vs. The Nexus
  • Ohio Valley Wrestling
    • OVW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Rico Constantino
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Feud of the Year (2006) vs. Edge
    • Feud of the Year (2011) vs. CM Punk
    • Match of the Year (2007) vs. Shawn Michaels on Raw
    • Match of the Year (2011) vs. CM Punk at Money in the Bank
    • Match of the Year (2013) vs. Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam
    • Match of the Year (2014) vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match at Payback
    • Match of the Year (2016) vs. AJ Styles at SummerSlam
    • Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2003)
    • Most Popular Wrestler of the Decade (2000–2009)
    • Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012)
    • Wrestler of the Year (2006, 2007)
    • Ranked No. 1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2006, 2007 and 2013
  • Rolling Stone
    • Best Promos (2015) tied with Kevin Owens
    • Best Storyline (2015) vs. Kevin Owens
    • WWE Match of the Year (2015) vs. Kevin Owens at Money in the Bank
  • Sports Illustrated
    • Muhammad Ali Legacy Award (2018)
  • Ultimate Pro Wrestling
    • UPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
    • WWE Championship (13 times)
    • World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
    • WWE United States Championship (5 times)
    • WWE Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with The Miz (1) and David Otunga (1)
    • World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Batista (1) and Shawn Michaels (1)
    • Money in the Bank (2012 – WWE Championship contract)
    • Royal Rumble (2008, 2013)
    • WWE Championship No. 1 Contender's Tournament (2003, 2005)
    • Slammy Award (10 times)
      • Game Changer of the Year (2011) – with The Rock
      • Hero in All of Us (2015)
      • Holy $#!+ Move of the Year (2010) – Sending Batista through the stage with an Attitude Adjustment
      • Insult of the Year (2012) – To Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero: "You're the exact opposite. One enjoys eating a lot of nuts and the other is still trying to find his"
      • Kiss of the Year (2012) – with AJ Lee
      • Match of the Year (2013, 2014) – vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29, Team Cena vs. Team Authority at Survivor Series
      • Superstar of the Year (2009, 2010, 2012)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Best Box Office Draw (2007)
    • Best Gimmick (2003)
    • Best on Interviews (2007)
    • Feud of the Year (2011) vs. CM Punk
    • Match of the Year (2011) vs. CM Punk at Money in the Bank on July 17
    • Most Charismatic (2006–2010)
    • Most Charismatic of the Decade (2000–2009)
    • Wrestler of the Year (2007, 2010)
    • Worst Feud of the Year (2012) vs. Kane
    • Worst Worked Match of the Year (2012) vs. John Laurinaitis at Over the Limit
    • Worst Worked Match of the Year (2014) vs. Bray Wyatt at Extreme Rules
    • Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2012)

Other awards and honors

  • NCAA Division III All-American
  • Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee (Class of 2015)
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation Chris Greicius Celebrity Award
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation Special Recognition Award (for being the first to grant 300 wishes)
  • 2014 Sports Social TV Entertainer of the Year
  • 2014 Rumble Royalty Hall of Game Award
  • 2014 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Grand Marshal
  • 2016 USO Legacy of Achievement Award
  • 2018 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award
  • 2024 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award

See also

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