Cena has won 21 championships in total, including 16 world championships (a record 13 reigns as WWE Champion and the World Heavyweight Championship three times), a company record. He has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE Champion, behind Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino. He is also the first man to fail to capture a world championship upon cashing in a Money in the Bank contract.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 Training
- 1.2 World Wrestling Entertainment (2002-present)
- 1.3 Feud with Nexus (2010-2011)
- 1.4 Royal Rumble Winner and WWE Champion (2013)
- 1.5 Return (2016-present)
- 2 Outside of Wrestling
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
Professional wrestling career
Cena at his first started training to become a wrestler in 1999 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 Heavyweight Championship for just shy of a month in April 2000. In 2001, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) signed him away from UPW, placing him under a developmental contract and assigning him to their "farm territory" Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he continued his training. During his time there, Cena wrestled as both The Prototype and Mr. P, and he held the Heavyweight Championship for three months and the Tag Team Championship (with Rico Constantino) for two.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2002-present)
Cena's first televised WWE match was in answer to 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 by kicking out of his Angle Slam and enduring the ankle lock submission hold. He ultimately lost, however, to a basic roll-up pin. Following the near-win, Cena became a face and was put into a program with Chris Jericho, defeating him in an upset at Vengeance. In October, Cena and Billy Kidman joined forces to take part in a tag team tournament to crown the first WWE Tag Team Champions of the SmackDown! brand, but lost in the first round to Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. The next week, Cena turned heel and attacked Kidman, blaming him for their loss.
Shortly after the Kidman attack, on a Halloween themed episode of SmackDown!, Cena dressed as Vanilla Ice and performed a freestyle rap. The next week, Cena received a new gimmick: a rapper who cut promos in rhyme. As the gimmick grew, he adopted a variant of the 80s 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 Rodney Mack under the moniker "Red Dogg", until he was drafted 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 program, Cena unveiled a new finishing maneuver: the FU, a Fireman's carry powerslam, so named to mock Lesnar's F-5, with Rikishi being the first victim. He got a match against Lesnar at April's Backlash by winning a number one contenders tournament, but was defeated when Lesnar performed an F-5 on him. At the end of the year, he turned face again when he joined Kurt Angle's Survivor Series team after rejecting an offer from Paul Heyman to join Lesnar's team.
In early 2004, Cena participated in the Royal Rumble match at the annual January pay-per-view event, making it to the final six participants before being eliminated by Big Show. The Royal Rumble elimination led to a feud between Big Show and Cena, during which Cena won the WWE United States Championship from the Big Show at WrestleMania XX in March. During his reign, he came into contention with SmackDown! General Manager Kurt Angle over issues arising with René Duprée and Torrie Wilson. The reign ended just shy of four months when, on July 8, he was "stripped" of the belt by Angle after he (kayfabe, accidentally) knocked him over, thus "attacking an official". He won the title back by defeating Booker T in a "best of five" series that culminated at October's 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, during 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, during which Cena was actually filming his feature film debut The Marine. Immediately on his return in November, he won the US title back from Carlito and debuted a "custom made" spinner-style title belt.
Cena took part in the Royal Rumble in January 2005, this time making it to the final two. He 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", with Batista eventually winning. The next month, Cena defeated Kurt Angle to earn a spot in the SmackDown! brand's WrestleMania 21 main event, beginning a feud with WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and his Cabinet in the process. In the opening stages of the feud, Cena lost his US belt to Cabinet member Orlando Jordan, who proceeded to "blow up" the spinner version with JBL and return a more traditional style belt. When Cena and JBL met at WrestleMania, the title switched hands, giving Cena his first world title in the company. As part of the storyline, he 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's SmackDown! tenure came to a close on the June 6, 2005 episode of WWE Raw, when he became the first wrestler selected by Raw brand General Manager Eric Bischoff in the annual draft lottery. Cena immediately entered a program against Bischoff when he refused to participate in his "war" against the upcoming Extreme Championship Wrestling reunion show. With Bischoff vowing to make Cena's stint on Raw difficult, he "hand picked" Jericho to take Cena's title from him. During their feud, even though Cena was portrayed as the face and Jericho as the heel, a vocal section of live crowds nonetheless chose to boo 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 beat Jericho in a "You're Fired" match on the August 22 Raw, sending him off the show. 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 boos on television and began calling Cena a "controversial champion", claiming some people disliked 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—for which titles do not change hands in WWE—at Unforgiven in September and pinning him at Survivor Series in November. The feud with Angle also saw Cena add a secondary, submission based, finishing maneuver to his repertoire – 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.
Cena lost the WWE Championship at the first WWE pay-per-view of 2006, New Year's Revolution, but not in the Elimination Chamber match that he had been advertised to participate in beforehand. Instead, immediately after winning the Elimination Chamber, he was thrust into a match against Edge, who cashed in his Money in the Bank contract — a "guaranteed title match at the WWE Champion of the owners choosing" — and after two quick spears pinned Cena for the title. Cena's championship reign ended at 280 days, matching the length of previous champion JBL. Just three weeks later, Cena won the title back at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. After winning the Championship back, Cena was put in to a program with Triple H, during which the crowd again seemed to boo the intended face (Cena) and cheer the intended heel (Triple H). The negative reaction only intensified when he faced Rob Van Dam (also cashing in a Money in the Bank contract, which he won at WrestleMania 22) at One Night Stand in June. Taking place in front of a crowd of mostly "old school" Extreme Championship Wrestling fans at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Cena was met with raucous jeering and chants of "Fuck you, Cena", "You can't wrestle", and "Same old shit". When he began peppering different moves into the match the fans responded with a chant of "You still suck". Cena lost the WWE Championship for the second time in 2006 at One Night Stand, being pinned by Van Dam after interference from Edge.
In July, after Edge won the title from Van Dam in a Triple Threat match that also involved Cena, it reignited the feud between him and Cena from earlier in the year. After Edge went about retaining the title by dubious means—getting himself disqualified (for which Championships do not change hands) and using brass knuckles—he introduced his own version of Cena's "custom" belt, this one with his logo placed on the spinner. Cena eventually won the Championship back in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at September's Unforgiven pay-per-view, in a match that had an added stipulation that had Cena lost he would leave the Raw brand and go to SmackDown!. He returned his version of the spinner belt on the next night's Raw.
On the heels of the Edge program, Cena was placed in an inter-brand angle to determine the so-called "Champion of Champions" — or which was the most dominant champion in WWE's three brands. Cena, King Booker (SmackDown!'s then World Heavyweight Champion), and Big Show (ECW's then World Champion) engaged in a mini-feud leading to a Triple Threat match at Cyber Sunday in November, with the viewers voting on which of the three championships would be placed on the line. At the same time, Cena became involved in a storyline with non-wrestler Kevin Federline when he began appearing on Raw with Johnny Nitro and Melina. After getting into a worked physical altercation with Federline on Raw, Federline appeared at Cyber Sunday to hit Cena with the World Heavyweight Title belt during the main event Triple Threat match, helping King Booker retain his title. 2006 ended with Cena beginning a feud with the undefeated Umaga over the WWE Championship, while 2007 began with the end of his storyline with Kevin Federline. On the first Raw of the new year, Cena was pinned by Federline (with an assist from Umaga), although later in the night he was able to get his hands on Federline to FU him.
During their feud, Cena ended Umaga's "undefeated" streak at New Year's Revolution before Umaga caused a worked injury to Cena's spleen, putting a scheduled Last Man Standing rematch at Royal Rumble in kayfabe jeopardy. The match did, however, take place and Cena retained his title.
One night after the Royal Rumble, an impromptu team of Cena and Shawn Michaels defeated Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton) for the World Tag Team Championship, making Cena a double champion. On the April 2 episode of Raw, after losing a WWE Championship match to Cena at WrestleMania 23, Michaels "turned" on Cena, costing them the team the Championship in the second of two 10 team battles royals by throwing Cena over the top rope and eliminating the team. The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) eventually won the match and the title. For the rest of the month, Cena feuded with Michaels, Orton, and Edge until the Great Khali declared his intentions to challenge for Cena's title by attacking and "laying out" all three of the top contenders before assaulting Cena himself and stealing the physical belt. For the next two months, Cena feuded with Khali over the Championship, eventually becoming the first person in WWE to defeat him by submission at May's Judgment Day and then by pinfall at June's One Night Stand. Later that summer, prior to SummerSlam, Randy Orton was named the number one contender to the WWE championship, starting a feud between the two. Leading up to the pay-per-view, Orton delivered a number of sneak-attacks, hitting Cena with three RKOs, but in the actual match, Cena retained the title, winning by pinfall. A rematch between the two occurred at Unforgiven, with Orton winning by disqualification after Cena ignored the referee's instructions and continued to beat on him in the corner.
During a match with Mr. Kennedy on the October 1, 2007 episode of Raw, Cena suffered a legitimate torn pectoral muscle while executing a hip toss. Though he finished the match and took part in the scripted attack by Randy Orton after the match, surgery the following day found that his pectoralis major muscle was torn completely from the bone, estimated at the time to require seven months to a year of rehabilitation. As a result, he was stripped of the title in an announcement by Vince McMahon on the next night's episode of ECW, ending what was the longest WWE Championship reign in over 19 years. His surgery was performed by orthopedic surgeon James Andrews at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Two weeks later, in a video update on WWE.com, Dr. Andrews and Cena's physical trainer both said that he was several weeks ahead of where he was expected to be in his rehabilitation at that time. Despite his injury, Cena attended the annual WWE Tribute to the Troops show filmed at Camp Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq on December 7, and aired on December 24.
Cena made an unannounced return to action on January 27 as the final participant of the Royal Rumble match. He won the match, and the traditional WrestleMania title shot, by last eliminating Triple H. Instead of waiting until WrestleMania, the title shot was cashed in against WWE Champion Randy Orton at February's No Way Out, in a match Cena won by disqualification, resulting in him not getting the championship. The night after his No Way Out win, Cena was placed back in to WrestleMania XXIV's WWE Championship match, making it a triple threat match also involving Triple H, during which he was pinned by Orton. At Backlash, Cena failed to regain the title in a Fatal Four Way elimination match, in which he was pinned by Orton. Triple H won the title during that match. During that match, Cena eliminated John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL), thus renewing their feud from 2005. Cena defeated JBL at Judgment Day and then at One Night Stand in a First Blood match. JBL, however, defeated him in a New York City Parking Lot Brawl at The Great American Bash. On the August 4 edition of Raw, Cena became a World Tag Team Champion for a second time when he teamed up with Batista to defeat Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase for the World Tag Team titles, but they failed to retain the titles the following week against the former champions. Cena was defeated by Batista at SummerSlam. Cena was named one of four contenders for CM Punk's World Heavyweight Championship in the Championship scramble match at Unforgiven but was replaced by Rey Mysterio after it was announced Cena had suffered a herniated disk in his neck which will require surgery and he will be out of action indefinitely. Cena underwent successive surgery to repair the herniated disk in his neck with Doctor Joseph Maroon on August 25.
Cena made his in-ring return at November's Survivor Series event where he defeated Chris Jericho to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.
At Royal Rumble Cena retained his title against JBL. At the following PPV, No Way Out, Cena lost his title in the elimination chamber match to Edge. Cena was later granted a rematch but won by DQ. After threatening GM Vickie Guerrero, Cena was inserted into the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXV between champion Edge and Big Show, making it a Triple Threat match for WrestleMania. Cena later revealed that Vickie Guerrero had been cheating on Edge with Big Show. Cena lost the championship back to Edge in a Last Man Standing Match at Backlash after interference from Big Show, who chokeslammed Cena through a big spotlight. This angle resulted in Cena beginning a feud with Big Show. Cena defeated Big Show at Judgment Day and at Extreme Rules in a Submission match by applying the STF. Cena lost a Triple Threat match to Orton at Night of champions. Cena is going to face Randy Orton at Summerslam 2009. Cena lost by pinfall. At the first ever WWE Breaking Point, Cena won his fourth WWE Championship by defeating Randy Orton in an I Quit match. At Hell in a Cell, Cena dropped the title to Orton in a Hell in a Cell match. Three weeks later, at Bragging Rights, Cena defeated Orton in a 60-minute match. A stipulation was placed that if Cena lost, he would have had to leave the Raw brand. He defended and retained his title at Survivor Series against Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a Triple Threat Match.
John Cena went into a feud with the new Superstar of RAW Sheamus when he was announced as the new #1 contender for the WWE Championship. They were scheduled to face at the new event TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a table match. Their feud elevated when Guest host Jesse Ventura called for a contract signing for the Table match, only to have Sheamus put Cena through a table. At TLC, Cena lost his title to Sheamus after falling through a table of the top rope.
At Royal Rumble, John Cena entered at No.19, but was the last person eliminated by Edge. Then he won an Elimination Chamber Qualifier Match, and was put in to the Elimination Chamber at Elimination Chamber. he then beat Sheamus,Ted Dibiase,Triple H,Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston, and Captured his Sixth WWE Championship. An exhausted Cena basked in his accomplishment as the WWE Universe reigned their approval upon him. Glory was his.That glory, however, proved fleeting indeed. Mr. McMahon and his de facto enforcer as of late, Batista, made their way to the ring. The Chairman informed the newly crowned champion that he must defend his title against The Animal – immediately. Cena appeared incredulous, but knowing Mr. McMahon, perhaps he should have expected just such a despicable twist. Despite a valiant effort, Cena seemed too battered, too spent to mount a worthy defense, and he was forced to relinquish the championship to a victorious Batista. But he regained the title at Wrestlemania XXVI. He defended the title against The Animal, retaining it at Extreme Rules in a Last Man Standing match, and at Over the Limit in an I Quit match.
Feud with Nexus (2010-2011)
On the June 7, 2010 edition of RAW, which was a Viewer's Choice episode, Cena was suddenly thrust into a new storyline when during his main event match against CM Punk, he was attacked by all eight former contestants of WWE NXT Season 1, with Wade Barret as their leader. Punk, his follower Luke Gallows, and other personnel around the ring were attacked as well, but Cena took the worst of the attack and was carried out on a stretcher. This group would later refer to themselves as The Nexus
At June's Fatal 4 Way event, Cena lost the WWE title to Sheamus in a fatal four-way match that also involved Edge and Randy Orton due to interference by Nexus. The following month, in a WWE title rematch against Sheamus in a steel cage match at the Money In The Bank pay-per-view, the group interfered, thus costing Cena the chance of regaining the championship. Being fed up with their interference and attacks on other WWE superstars, Cena formed an alliance with Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, R-Truth, The Great Khali and Bret Hart to face the group at SummerSlam 2010. At the event, Cena's team defeated Nexus with the returning Daniel Byran, a former member of Nexus, who replaced Khali after getting injured.
Nexus's actions, however, did not stop after SummerSlam. Hoping to end Nexus for good, Cena challenged Wade Barett to a match at Hell In A Cell only to lose due interference by two fans later identified as Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty . Due to the stipulations in place, Cena was forced to join Nexus.Cena had originally planned to destroy Nexus from within as a member of the group, but the Raw general manager ordered him to follow orders from Barrett, or else he would be fired. At Bragging Rights, Cena and Nexus member David Otunga defeated "Dashing" Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Later, Cena was forced to help Barrett win or lose his job. However, Cena twisted his words around and attacked Barrett giving Barrett the win via disqualification but not Orton's title. The following day, Cena and Otunga lost the Tag Team Championship to fellow Nexus members Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, when Barrett ordered Otunga to lay down and lose the title. At Survivor Series, Cena officiated a match for the WWE Championship between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton. As a part of a pre-match stipulation, if Barrett did not win the championship, Cena would be fired from the WWE. Orton defeated Barrett to retain the title, thus ending Cena's career (kayfabe) in the WWE The following day on Raw, Cena gave a farewell speech, before costing Wade Barrett the WWE Championship by interfering in his rematch with Randy Orton. A week later, Cena invaded Raw first as a spectator but then attacked members of Nexus, explaining that he would still take down Nexus one by one, despite not having a job in WWE anymore. Eventually Barrett offered Cena his job back if Cena would agree to face Barrett in a chairs match at TLC. Cena went on to face Barrett and win the match at TLC.The feuding end when John doesn't interference Nexus again when CM Punk becoming new leader of The New Nexus.
Feud with The Miz and The Rock (2011-2012)
At the 2011 Royal Rumble, John Cena made it to the final five before being eliminated by The Miz, who was not officially a participant in the match. On the January 31 edition of Raw, John Cena was placed in a battle royal with six other superstars to determine who would face The Miz for his WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Cena would lose the battle royal, and as a result of the anonymous general manager's stipulation, he was placed in the Elimination Chamber match that would determine the number one contender to the WWE Championship. At Elimination Chamber, The Miz retained his title against Jerry "The King" Lawler, and Cena won the Elimination Chamber match by last eliminating CM Punk, thus earning a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXVII. On the February 21 edition of Raw, Cena rapped on The Rock, the guest host of WrestleMania, in response to some comments against him the week before. The Rock had mocked Cena's colorful shirts by calling him a "big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles" and his "You Can't See Me" gimmick by referring to it as him playing peek-a-boo. Later that night, by order of the Raw general manager, Cena was placed into a WWE Tag Team Championship match against newly crowned champions Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, with his partner being The Miz. The duo successfully defeated the two members of The Corre, becoming the new Tag Team Champions. They were immediately challenged to a rematch during which The Miz betrayed Cena, resulting in The Corre winning back the Tag Team Championship. On the February 28 edition of Raw, The Rock mocked Cena's rap and continued insulting him, including calling him a "Yabba Dabba bitch", referring to the Fruity Pebbles remark made two weeks before. Cena and The Rock finally met face-to-face on the March 28 edition of Raw, which ended with Cena hitting The Rock with the Attitude Adjustment. On April 3 at WrestleMania XXVII, The Rock cost Cena his match for the WWE Championship against The Miz. The next night on Raw, Cena called out The Rock leading to The Rock challenging Cena to a match at WrestleMania XXVIII which Cena accepted making it the first time ever that the WrestleMania Main Event had been set a year in advance. The next week, Cena participated in a 5-man gauntlet match to determine the #1 contender to face The Miz at Extreme Rules. Cena was the last to come out against R-Truth. The Miz then interfered in the match, resulting in a disqualification; however, it was then announced that they would both face the latter in a triple threat Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules. However, the following week, John Morrison defeated R-Truth to take his place in the match per the pre match stipulation. On the 2011 WWE Draft, Cena was drafted back to SmackDown in the overall first pick, only to end up drafted back to Raw with the final draft pick of the night.Later on Extreme Rules Cena has become WWE Champion back from The Miz and John Morrison inside a steel cage.
Various Feuds and WWE Champion (2011-2012)
At Extreme Rules, John Cena defeated John Morrison and The Miz in a Triple threat Cage Match to become the WWE Champion once again. He defended the WWE Championship against The Miz at Over The Limit in an I Quit match and would later defeat R-Truth at Capitol Punishment.
Cena was then scheduled to face number one contender CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank. However, Punk would, on the June 27 edition of Monday Night RAW, deliver a scathing on-air speech concerning the way in which WWE is run and its owner Vince McMahon. This resulted in Punk's suspension from televised WWE events. McMahon would later reinstate CM Punk on the condition that John Cena, who heavily petitioned for Punk's reinstatement, would be fired on site if defeated for the championship. In his hometown of Chicago, in front of nearly 15000 fans, most of whom cheered Punk and heavily booed Cena before and through the match, CM Punk would go on to win the match and flee the arena with the WWE Championship. The following night on Raw, after an emotional speech by Cena, before McMahon could fire him, Triple H announced he was named as new COO and head of day-to-day operations in WWE and reinstated Cena. On the July 25th edition of RAW, Cena defeated newly crowned WWE Champion Rey Mysterio to regain the title. Soon after, CM Punk returned to the WWE with his title in hand causing both Cena and Punk to be recognized as WWE Champions at the same time. Triple H announced that both champions would face off against one another at Summerslam to determine the "undisputed" WWE Champion with Triple H as the referee. During the match, Triple H didn't see Cena's leg on the bottom rope during the pin, causing Cena to lose the match.
On the August 22nd edition of Raw, Cena defeated Punk to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship held by Alberto Del Rio. After the match, Del Rio savagely attacked Cena. On the August 29th edition of Raw, Cena would call out Del Rio, but Del Rio would not appear. On the August 30th edition of Smackdown, Cena would call out Del Rio again. This time, Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio's personal ring announcer, appeared claiming that Del Rio was unable to attend before being attacked by Cena. At Night of Champions, Cena defeated Del Rio to win the WWE Championship for the tenth time. After losing the title to Del Rio, Cena would be put into a feud with Awesome Truth(The Miz & R-Truth) which after 4 weeks of trading wins and losses, Cena and The Rock, defeated The Awesome Truth at Survivor Sereis. After Survivor Series, Rowdy Roddy Piper requested Cena "Give the fans what they deserve"(this implies a Heel turn for Cena or for Cena to beg for the entire audiecnces approval.)
After helping Zack Ryder get a US title shot, Cena would be attacked by the returning Kane, most likely causing a feud between the two. After a few weeks of attacks from Kane(during which Cena saved Ryder from Kane), kane attacked Cena and Ryder at the same time injurying Cena and Ryder to an extent. After Ryder lost the US Title and not being cleared to compete, Cena "drifted torward the hate"(in fan terms and on WWE InterAction "drifted torward the Dark Side"), attacking Jack Swagger. It was announced Cena vs Kane at the Royal Rumble. At WrestleMania, Cena lost to The Rock when he attempted a "People's Elbow".
The following night, he congratulated the Rock, despite the fans chanting "Cena heel turn", Brock Lesnar returned, and tricked Cena into shaking hands saying "Yo good match" and hit Cena with an F5. The next week on Raw, Cena would enter the arena and slap Lesnar in the face, causing Lesnar to attack Cena, giving him a bloody mouth. Later on, Cena and Lesnar would sign a contract that said they would face each other at Extreme Rules. During Extreme Rules, Lesnar dominated majority of the match and injured Cena's left arm but lost when Cena gave him an Attitude Adjustment. A few weeks later, Cena would be called out by John Laurinaitis to tell him who he will face at Over The Limit. Laurinaitis attacked him from behind, telling Cena that he was his opponent at Over The Limit. Lord Tensai and Sakamoto would then help Laurinaitis injure Cena. The next week on Raw, Cena would be interviewed via satellite by Michael Cole about his match against Laurinaitis at Over The Limit. The following week on Raw, Cena would humiliate and insult Laurinaitis. Later on, Eve handed a note from the WWE Board of Directors to Laurinaitis. Cena grabbed the letter, it said that the match will be 1 on 1, there will be no special guest referee and any WWE employee that interferes with the match will be fired. It also said that if Laurinaitis loses the match against Cena, then he will be fired.
Various Feuds (2012)
At Over The Limit, Cena would dominate and embarrass Laurinaitis majority of the match, causing Laurinaitis to retreat backstage. The fired Big Show would come out and toss Laurinaitis back into the ring. Cena would then attempt an Attitude Adjustment on Laurinaitis, but was stopped when Big Show would knock out Cena with a punch. Laurinaitis would then take advantage of the situation, and would defeat John Cena. After the events of Over The Limit, John Cena began a feud with Show, resulting in Cena defeating Big Show at No Way Out in a steel cage match, which would determine the kayfabe firing of John Laurinaitis. On June 18 on Raw, John Cena battles John Laurinaitis and David Otunga in the handicap match during the main event after Big Show left them to do this on their own. Laurinaitis gives Cena the upper hand but he manages to kick out from the pinfall, surprising him. When Otunga leaves Laurinaitis and no longer working for him allowing Cena to beat him down in humiliation by slapping on his back followed by a spin-out powerbomb and a five knuckle shuffle. He finally took him down with an Attitude Adjustment and was requested by both Theodore Long and the WWE Universe to hit him with two Attitude Adjustments and tapping him out from his STF to win the match. During the off-air on Raw, Cena was alongside Zack Ryder and Triple H were having fun by further humiliate Laurinaitis by landing a powerful slap on his stomach and mostly on the back and being taken down by Ryder and then Triple H by hitting him with a Pedigree as a retaliation for disrespecting him, giving Kevin Nash a contract without his knowledge before he became the interim Raw's GM and to make a feud between them because of his interference in the previous year.
On July 2, John Cena announced that he would participate in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match to stop Big Show. Cena won the match. On the next day, Cena announced he was going to cash in on CM Punk on RAW 1000. The next week, Raw GM AJ Lee Announced Cena Vs. Big Show In A #1 Contendership match.CM Punk interfered and told Cena And Big Show They're both losers but the GM instead Made Cena Vs. Big Show Vs. Punk At Summerslam for the WWE Championship .Over the course of the following two weeks, each time Cena went for an AA on the Big Show, it was shown that his knees were about to give out, making Punk "save" him. On the 1002 edition of Raw, Cena fought Daniel Bryan for the first time ever and defeated Bryan, afterwards Punk would stare down with Cena before Big Show attacked, Cena would hold him off and attempt an AA, but again, his knees nearly gave out, making Punk save him again, and just as Punk was about to walk out, Big Show laid both Punk and Cena out. Cena would fail to capture the title at SummerSlam after Punk pinned Big Show after Cena delivered an AA to Show, and at Night of Champions as the match ended in a draw, in which Cena was injured, and couldn't compete at Hell in a Cell, and gave the title shot to Ryback. Cena would get cleared to compete after Hell in a Cell and announced he would compete for the title at Survivor Series. At Survivor Series, Cena failed to rewin the title after an attack by the debuting Shield. After Survivor Series Cena started a feud with Dolph Ziggler after Ziggler insulted AJ Lee. However, at the event, Punk would pin Cena to retain the Championship. Despite this, Cena would continue to feud with Ziggler and on December 16 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs faced Ziggler in a ladder match for his Wold Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank briefcase, but loss after AJ turned on Cena. The following night on Raw, Cena teamed with Vickie Guerrero to face Ziggler and AJ Lee in a mixed tag team match, however, the match ended in a disqualification after Cena was attacked by the debuting Big E. Langston. Cena then defeated Ziggler on the January 7, 2013 episode of Raw in a singles match, and again in a steel cage the following week.
Royal Rumble Winner and WWE Champion (2013)
On January 27, Cena entered the Royal Rumble match at #19 and won after last eliminating Ryback, becoming the fourth wrestler (after Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin) to win multiple Rumble matches. The following night on Raw, Cena announced that he would pursue the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXIV, after which, he would be assaulted by The Shield. The following week on Raw, Cena would gain vengeance on the Shield when he, along with Ryback and Sheamus, attacked the stable. This culminated in a six-man tag team match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, where the Shield emerged victorious. On the February 25 Raw, Cena defeated CM Punk to reaffirm his status as number one contender for the Rock's WWE Championship. Cena then returned to his rivalry with The Rock, with Cena blaming his personal and professional troubles on his loss to the Rock the previous year, going so far as admitting his own vanity had cost him the match. On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, Cena defeated Rock in their rematch to win his eleventh WWE Championship. The following night on Raw, Cena began a rivalry with Ryback, after he saved Cena from a post-match assault from Mark Henry only to attack Cena himself. During his feud with Ryback, Cena suffered a legitimate achilles tendon injury, while also battling the Shield and facing them in losing efforts. On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Cena retained the WWE Championship against Ryback in a Last Man Standing Match after Ryback rammed Cena and himself into the electric backdrop at the top of the ramp, resulting in a no contest. On June 16 at WWE Payback, Cena defeated Ryback in a 3 Stages of Hell match to retain the WWE Championship, with Cena losing the Lumberjack match and winning the Tables match and the Ambulance match. The following night on Raw, Cena was attacked by the returning Mark Henry, who feigned his "retirement", with World's Strongest Slam, sparking a rivalry between the two. On July 15 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Cena defeated Henry via submission to retain the WWE Championship. The next night on Raw, new Raw general manager Brad Maddox announced that he would allow Cena to choose his own opponent for SummerSlam. Later in the night, after taking an informal poll of the live audience, he chose Daniel Bryan. On August 18 at the pay-per-view, Cena lost the WWE Championship to Bryan, with Triple H as the special guest referee, ending his reign at 133 days. The following night on Raw, Cena announced that he would undergo surgery for a triceps tear and would be out for four to six months.
World Heavyweight Champion and various feuds (2013-2014)
On the October 7 episode of Raw, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced that Cena would be returning at Hell in a Cell, to face Alberto Del Rio for his World Heavyweight Championship. Cena went on to defeat Del Rio at the pay-per-view on October 27, to win his third World Heavyweight title. The following night on Raw, Cena defeated Damien Sandow in his first title defense after Sandow attacked Cena before the match and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Cena successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Del Rio at Survivor Series. On the November 25 edition of Raw, John Cena suggested that there only be "one champion" in WWE, so Triple H stated there would be a unification match between him and Randy Orton at TLC. Cena went on to lose the match to Orton, losing the World Heavyweight Championship in the process. Cena would then lose again to Orton at the Royal Rumble.
Cena would enter a feud with the Wyatt Family, in which started at Elimination Chamber when Bray Wyatt caused Cena's elimination. Bray Wyatt told Cena that he would destroy Cena's legacy, but was unable to do so when Cena defeated Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX. The feud continued after WrestleMania based on the story that Wyatt was capturing Cena's fanbase, which was exemplified by Wyatt leading a children's choir to the ring on the April 28 episode of Raw, with the children later putting on sheep masks. At Extreme Rules, Wyatt defeated Cena in a Steel Cage Match, after repeated interference from the rest of the Wyatt Family and a demonic child. Cena's feud with Wyatt continued with a Last Man Standing match being set up for Payback. At the pay-per-view, Cena buried Wyatt under multiple equipment cases to win the match.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion and feud with the Authority (2014-2015)
The next night on Raw, Cena faced Kane after interrupting Stephanie McMahon, who was criticizing Daniel Bryan's decision not to vacate the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Payback pay-per-view. McMahon revealed an ultimatum for the champion; be fit for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view or the title will be held for the first time in Money in the Bank ladder match. Cena went on to call McMahon a spoiled, jealous, ego maniac. Stephanie, in return, set Cena up against Kane. Cena won via disqualification, and was subject to being thrown into the steel steps. Cena retaliated, and threw the steps at Kane. The following week, after remaining Shield members Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns addressed Seth Rollins, they were attacked by The Wyatt Family. Cena came to their aid and was added in The Shield's six man tag team match against the Wyatts, which resulted in The Shield and Cena winning.
On the June 16 edition of Raw, Cena was forbidden by The Authority to participate in a battle royal for a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but he would instead earn a spot another way: facing Kane in the originally proposed Stretcher Match Daniel Bryan was supposed to fight, which Cena won and earned his spot for the main event at Money in the Bank. At the pay-per-view, he captured his 15th world championship by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event.
The following month at SummerSlam on August 17, Cena would suffer one of the most one sided defeats ever in a title match at the hands of Brock Lesnar and lose the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On Tuesday August 19 it was announced that Cena would exercise his rematch clause against Lesnar at the September PPV Night of Champions. At the event, Cena won the match by disqualification after Seth Rollins interfered and attempted to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract, only to be thwarted by Cena. Cena then began began competing with Dean Ambrose for a match against Rollins at Hell in a Cell, culminating in a No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole match against Ambrose with the winner facing Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match and the loser facing Orton also in a Hell in a Cell match for a future WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Brock Lesnar. On the October 13 episode of Raw, Cena was defeated by Ambrose, and as per stipulation, would face Orton at Hell in a Cell. At the event, Cena defeated Orton, thereby earning himself a rematch against Lesnar.
The following night on Raw, the Authority held a mock celebration for Cena's victory and attempted to persuade him to join them. Cena refused, so Triple H announced a 10-man elimination match at Survivor Series where a team captained by Cena would face a team captained by Rollins. Cena soon set up a team consisting of Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan, and Ryback to take on Team Authority, consisting of Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Luke Harper, and Rusev. On the November 3 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon added a stipulation that if Team Cena was victorious, the Authority would be removed from power. On the November 21 episode of Smackdown, Triple H also added that if Team Cena lost, all of its members (except Cena) would be fired. At Survivor Series, Team Cena member Big Show turned on his teammates and aligned with the Authority by knocking out Cena with a KO Punch, allowing Rollins to eliminate Cena. Big Show then eliminated himself by walking out on the match. However, Team Cena eventually defeated Team Authority when Ziggler pinned Rollins after assistance from the debuting Sting, thereby removing the Authority from power. On the December 1 edition of Raw, the Anonymous General Manager announced that Cena would face Rollins in a Tables match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, where if he was defeated, he would lose his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. At the event, despite interference from J&J Security and Big Show, Cena defeated Rollins after assistance from the returning Roman Reigns. On the December 29 edition of Raw, Seth Rollins and the remnants of the Authority attacked guest hosts Edge and Christian. Rollins proceeded to hold Edge hostage and threatened to break his neck (he retired due to neck injuries) unless Cena reinstated the Authority since he was the only one who could. To save Edge, Cena was forced to bring back the Authority, but Rollins tried to break Edge's neck anyway, but was stopped by Cena, who was soon after beaten. Afterward, the Authority celebrated their return on the entrance ramp.
On the following Raw dubbed "Cena Appreciation Night", as a result of Rollins's actions, Triple H added him into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Cena and Lesnar at Royal Rumble, making it a triple threat match. That same night, the Authority proceeded to fire Ziggler, Rowan, and Ryback for being a part of Team Cena. For the next few weeks, Cena attempted to restore their jobs. On the January 20 edition of Raw, Cena faced Rollins, Kane, and Big Show in a handicap match to win back Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback's jobs back. Despite overwhelming odds, Cena managed to win with rollup to Rollins after Sting, making his Raw debut, distracted the Authority. As per stipulation, Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback were rehired. At Royal Rumble, Cena failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after Lesnar pinned Rollins.
United States Champion and Feud with Kevin Owens (2015)
In a backstage interview, Cena was interrupted by Rusev and the two shoved each other, beginning a feud between the two. On January 26, it was announced on WWE.com that Rusev would defend his WWE United States Championship against Cena at Fastlane. At the event, Rusev defeated Cena by submission, his first submission loss since No Way Out 2004, after he passed out to the Accolade following interference by Lana. On the March 2 edition of Raw, Cena was planning on competing in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, but Stephanie McMahon decreed that he would not compete at WrestleMania unless Rusev agreed to give Cena a rematch for the United States Championship, which Rusev refused. On the following Raw after having defeated Curtis Axel, Rusev insulted the United States, prompting Cena to attack him and lock in the STF, refusing to let go until Lana granted him a rematch for the U.S. title at WrestleMania. At the event, Cena defeated Rusev by pinfall, winning his fourth U.S. Championship and giving Rusev his first clean loss.
After WrestleMania, Cena began offering open challenges for his US Championship on a weekly basis to anyone who wished to face him, first defeaing Dean Ambrose on the Raw after WrestleMania. Rusev soon demanded a rematch, declaring he can beat Cena in a Russian Chain match at Extreme Rules. Despite constant attacks by the Super Athlete in the following weeks as well as constantly defending his title in open challenges, Cena managed to defeat Rusev at the event and retain the US Title. Later that same night, it was announced that Cena would face Rusev once again for the US Championship in an I Quit match at Payback. At the event, Cena once again retained after Lana claimed that Rusev said "i quit" in Bulgarian.
On the May 18 edition of Raw, Cena once again issued a US Championship open challenge, only to be confronted by NXT Champion Kevin Owens, who flattened Cena with a pop-up powerbomb. Cena would be beaten by Owens at Elimination Chamber, then would beat him at Money in the Bank, and later for the United States Title at Battleground. Cena began feuding with Rollins, putting both the WWE and United States Championships at Summerslam. Cena lost due to interference from Jon Stewart, but Cena would give him an AA the next night. Cena challenged Rollins for the United States title at Night of Champions, which he won. Cena would issue an open challenge at Hell in a Cell, and that would be answered by a returning Alberto Del Rio, who beat Cena clean to win the US Title. Cena would have his rematch on the December 28 episode of Raw, which he wins via disqualification. Cena would take the time to heal his shoulder injury.
Cena would make a brief appearance at Wrestlemania 32, helping The Rock against The Wyatt Family. Cena would make a full return on May 30, and be welcomed by AJ Styles, and loud chanting begins between the fans of Cena and Styles. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson would come out presumably to fight AJ and Cena, AJ turned on Cena and The Club beat down Cena. A dream match was held at Money in the Bank, between Mr. WWE and Mr. TNA. Styles defeated Cena at the PPV, with help from The Club. The Club would continue to beat up John Cena, until Enzo and Cass would come to help. A six-man tag match was held for Battleground between Cena, Enzo and Cass against Styles, Gallows and Anderson. On the WWE Draft episode of Smackdown, Cena was the 7th overall pick for Smackdown.
Outside of Wrestling
In addition to his time in the ring, Cena is a rap music artist. He performed his fifth WWE entrance song, “Basic Thugonomics,” which was featured on the WWE soundtrack album WWE Originals. His track “Untouchables” was featured on Theme Addict, another WWE soundtrack album. His debut album, which he recorded alongside his cousin Tha Trademarc, You Can't See Me features his current entrance theme “The Time is Now”. The first single from the You Can't See Me album was “Bad, Bad Man”, a music video of which featured a parody of 1980s culture and the television show The A-Team. A second video was later made for the second single, “Right Now”, and premiered on the August 8 edition of RAW.
John Cena has worked with several personalities in the Hip-Hop industry, such as Bumpy Knuckles, 7L & Esoteric, MURS (including a music video), E-40 and Chingo Bling. He and Method Man were also featured in SmackDown! magazine and MTV.com. Cena and Tha Trademarc are also featured on a track by The Perceptionists named “Champion Scratch.” Cena was also the only professional wrestler to ever perform on BBC Two's long running Top of the Pops.
WWE Films, a division of World Wrestling Entertainment which produces and finances motion pictures, produced Cena's first movie - The Marine, which was distributed theatrically by 20th Century Fox America beginning on October 13, 2006. Cena had also appeared in 12 Rounds. In 2010 he appeared in his 3rd film "LEGENDA Around the time Cena’s film, The Marine, was released he began wearing attire more military related, including camouflage shorts, dog tags, a Marine soldier cap and a T-Shirt with the words “Chain Gang Assault Battalion”, reflecting his new Marine soldier gimmick.
In later years, he has more appearance in various films. He is also best known for voicing the main protagonist Ferdinand the titular character of the movie by 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, Mitchell from the sex comedy movie, Blockers and Jack Burns from the prequel of Transformers, Bumblebee.
Prior to his WWE debut, Cena made a guest appearance on the Internet stream show Go Sick in 2001 as Bruebaker, an angry, cursing wrestler.
During his WWE career, Cena has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live numerous times.
- He first appeared on the July 23, 2005 episode in order to promote his CD, the 2005 SummerSlam pay-per-view, and WWE in general.
- He appeared again on March 14, 2006 to promote Saturday Night's Main Event and WrestleMania 22.
He has also appeared on popular morning radio shows
- He appeared on the Opie and Anthony show on their CBS Radio Show and later their XM Satellite Radio show on October 10, 2006 contributing to their “walkover”.
- He appeared on the Howard Stern show on Sirius Satellite Radio on October 11, 2006.
Other appearances have included Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Fuse's Celebrity Playlist, Fox Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period, MADtv, G4's Training Camp (with Shelton Benjamin) and an August 2006 appearance on MTV's Punk’d, where he was the victim of a practical joke. He's also served as a co-presenter, with Hulk Hogan, at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, and as a guest judge on Nashville Star.
- Cena will be one of several celebrities featured in ABC reality series, Fast Cars and Superstars: Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, which is scheduled to start in June.
Beginning in October 2002, Cena was featured rapping in commercials for the energy drink YJ Stinger.
In November 2006, Cena filmed a number of advertisements with Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle for Subway restaurants, which began airing in January 2007.
|2000||Ready to Rumble||Gym Trainer||Uncredited extra|
|2006||The Marine||John Triton||-|
|2009||12 Rounds||Danny Fisher||-|
|2010||Fred: The Movie||Fred's Imaginary Dad||-|
|2011||The Reunion||Sam Cleary||-|
|2011||Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred||Fred's Imaginary Dad||-|
|2012||Fred 3: Camp Fred||Fred's Imaginary Dad||-|
|2014||Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery||Himself||Voice|
|2015||The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!||John Cenastone||Voice|
|2017||The Wall||American soldier|
|2007||Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race||-||-|
|2009||Saturday Night Live||Himself||Tracy Morgan/Kelly Clarkson (season 34: episode 18)|
|2010||Psych||Ewan O'Hara||"You Can't Handle This Episode" (season 4: episode 10)|
|2010||True Jackson, VP||Himself||"Pajama Party" (season 2: episode 12)|
|2010||Hannah Montana||Himself||"Love That Lets Go" (season 4: episode 9)|
|2010||Generator Rex||Hunter Cain||Voice role|
"The Hunter" (season 1: episode 13)
|2012||Fred: The Show||Fred's Imaginary Dad||Recurring role|
|2015||Parks and Recreation||Himself|
- Finishing moves
- F-U/Attitude Adjustment (Fireman's carry transitioned into either a standing takeover or a Powerslam)
- STFU/STF (Stepover Toehold Sleeper) - 2005–present; WWE
- Protobomb/Killswitch (Spin Out Powerbomb) (WWE/OVW); used as a signature move in WWE
- Shǎndiàn Quántóu/Lightning Fist (Back fist, with theatrics) - 2018–present
- Signature moves
- Diving leg drop bulldog
- Diving Cross Body
- Half Nelson dropped into a Neckbreaker - 2013
- Five Knuckle Shuffle (Fist drop, with theatrics)
- Lou Thesz press, followed by multiple punches
- Running leaping shoulder block
- Throwback (Running neck snap to a bent-over opponent)
- Dropkick, sometimes from the top rope.
- Running One-handed Bulldog
- Sitout Hip Toss
- Monkey Flip
- Emerald Flowsion
- Signature Weapon
- Steel Chain & Lock (2002-2005)
- Notable feuds
- "The Doctor of Thuganomics"
- "The Champ" (as Champion)
- "Big Match John"
- Tag teams and stables
- Bolin Services
- The Sword
- Theme music
- "Slam Smack (Intro Cut)" by Ross Hardy (WWE) (2002)
- "Insert Bass Here" by DJ Case (FirstCom Production Music) (November 14, 2002 – February 13, 2003)
- "Basic Thuganomics" by John Cena & Trademarc (WWE) (2002-2004)
- "We Are One" by 12 Stones (October 3, 2010 – November 21, 2010; used while a part of The Nexus)
- "The Time Is Now" by John Cena & Trademarc (WWE) (2005-Present)
Championships and accomplishments
- UPW Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- WWE Championship/WWE World Heavyweight Championship (13 times)
- World Heavyweight Champion (3 times)
- WWE Tag Team Champion (2 times) - with David Otunga (1) and The Miz (1)
- World Tag Team Champion (2 times) - with Batista (1) and Shawn Michaels (1)
- WWE United States Champion (5 times)
- Money In The Bank (2012 - WWE Championship Contract)
- Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013)
- Slammy Awards - Superstar of the Year (2009, 2010, 2012)
- 2010 Slammy Awards - Holy %&^*%&* Move of the Year Sends Batista through the stage with an Attitude Adjustment.
- Slammy Award - Game Changer of the Year (2011) - With The Rock
- Slammy Award - Insult of the Year (2012) - To Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero
- Slammy Award - Kiss of the Year (2012) - with AJ Lee
- The Hero in All of Us Award (2015)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Feud of the Year (2006) vs. Edge
- PWI Match of the Year (2007) vs. Shawn Michaels on Raw on April 23
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2003)
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (2004, 2005, 2007)
- PWI Wrestler of the Year (2006, 2007)
- PWI ranked #1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2006 and 2007
- Superstar of the Year 2009
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
|CM Punk • David Otunga • Husky Harris • Mason Ryan • Michael McGillicutty • Skip Sheffield • Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • Heath Slater • John Cena • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Wade Barrett|