John Cena is an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor, and reality television show host. He is signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand and is the current WWE Champion in his record-setting 13th reign (and record-tying 16th world championship reign, an accomplishment only previously achieved by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair).
Let’s find out some interesting facts about him!
1. Cena was born on April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts, the son of Carol and John Cena, Sr.
2. He is the second oldest of five brothers: Dan, Matt, Steve, and Sean.
3. His maternal grandfather was baseball player Tony Lupien.
4. His father is of Italian descent, while his mother has English and French Canadian ancestry.
5. Cena originally attended Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, before transferring to Cushing Academy, a private prep boarding school.
6. After graduating from Cushing Academy, Cena attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
7. In college, Cena was a NCAA Division III All-American center on the college football team, wearing the number 54, which is still used on some of his WWE merchandise.
8. He graduated from Springfield in 1998 with a degree in exercise physiology, after which he pursued a career in bodybuilding and worked as a driver for a limousine company.
9. Cena started his professional wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and won the UPW Heavyweight Championship the following year.
10. Cena signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment, or simply WWE) in 2001, debuting on the WWE main roster in 2002.
11. From a generic character in 2002, Cena morphed into an arrogant and edgy rapper for the time period of 2002–2004, which earned him a huge stardom within the audience on SmackDown!.
12. Cena later transitioned to his current character, which he describes as a “goody-two shoes Superman”.
13. However, Cena has been labeled as the “most polarizing professional wrestler ever” as his character has many supporters and many detractors.
14. In 2012, IGN described Cena as WWE’s franchise player since 2005 and in 2015, WWE credited Cena as being the “face of WWE”.
15. John Layfield and veteran industry personality and executive Paul Heyman referred to Cena as “the best wrestler ever”. Heyman said about Cena that “no one has been able to keep that schedule, no one has matched his box-office appeal, no one has sold more merchandise, no one has had the longevity, the box-office attraction as the main, top level, box-office attraction than John Cena”.
16. So far in his career, Cena has won 24 championships, with 16 reigns as a world champion (13 times as WWE Champion – with his 12th reign being as WWE World Heavyweight Champion – and three times as WWE’s World Heavyweight Champion), five reigns as United States Champion, and four reigns as world tag team champion (two World Tag Team and two WWE Tag Team).
17. He is a Money in the Bank ladder match winner (2012), a two-time Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013), and a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, 2012).
18. Cena has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE Champion, behind Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan. He has also headlined WWE’s flagship event, WrestleMania, on five different occasions (WrestleManias 22, 23, XXVII, XXVIII, and 29) over the course of his career.
19. As of 2016, John Cena is WWE’s highest-paid wrestler.
20. Outside of wrestling, Cena has released the rap album You Can’t See Me, which debuted at No. 15 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and starred in the feature films The Marine (2006), 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), and Sisters (2015).
21. Cena has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk’d, Psych, and Parks and Recreation.
22. He 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.
23. Cena is also the host of American Grit on Fox.
24. Cena is involved in numerous philanthropic causes; most notably with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has granted the most wishes in Make-A-Wish history.
25. Cena resides in Tampa, Florida.
26. Cena is a fan of Japanese anime and has mentioned that his favorite anime movie is Fist of the North Star. He has also said he is a fan of the video game series Command & Conquer and noted that it was his favorite game.
27. Cena is also a fan of the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur FC.
28. He collects muscle cars and has over 20, some of which are one-of-a-kind.
29. While promoting his 2009 film, 12 Rounds, Cena announced his engagement to Elizabeth Huberdeau.
30. They were married on July 11, 2009. On May 1, 2012, Cena filed for divorce, which was finalized on July 18.
31. The divorce was mentioned on-screen during Cena’s feud with The Rock as part of their rematch at WrestleMania 29.
32. Since November 2012, Cena has been dating fellow WWE Superstar Nikki Bella.
33. As of 2016, he had started learning Mandarin Chinese to help WWE expand its reach, and spoke the language relatively smoothly at a WWE/PPTV press conference in Shanghai.