John Cena might go down in history as one of the most successful WWE wrestlers of all-time. While Hulk Hogan was the bigger name and Stone Cold Steve Austin was the biggest star, Cena lasted longer on top than either of those men.
Cena debuted in the WWE in 2000 as part of the developmental territory in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Going by the name The Prototype, Cena worked there for two years before he finally moved up to the main roster.
Here is a look at everything you need to know about John Cena, from his age, height, weight and family information to his best matches, championship title reigns, movie roles, car collection, and more.
John Cena age, height, weight and family info
John Cena was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts on April 23, 1977, making him 41-years-old at the time of writing.
His mother, Carol, is of French-Canadian and English descent and his father John is of Italian descent. He also has athletes in his family, his grandfather being former baseball player Tony Lupien, a first baseman for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.
Cena also has three younger brothers (Dan, Matt, and Sean). Cena actually said in an interview that his tag line “you can’t see me” was a goof on one of his little brothers.
“As far is ‘You can’t see me’, my brother Sean, when we freestyle [rap] he kind of messes around, he’ll put on a beat, he’ll do his thing or do whatever, and he and a couple buddies of his were doing this thing right here (covers his face) and I’m like man I gotta put that on TV, so I couldn’t do this (covers face again) cause no one would see my face. So his name is Sean but we call him Boog, I said ‘Boog watch TV I’m going to make fun of you’. So I did the you can’t see me thing, it’s kind of a mortified [version] you know, I just waved my hand in front of my face, and it was a joke to him but it was a thing that was heartfelt and caught on.”
Cena played football as a youth and when he went to Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, he was a Division III All-American center in football. He graduated with a degree in exercise psychology and body movement and started a career as a bodybuilder.
In 2009, after Cena had become a major star in the WWE and started working in movies, he proposed to his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth Huberdeau. They married on July 11, 2009, but divorced on July 18, 2012. They had no children.
Cena then proposed to Nikki Bella, who he started dating in 2012, at WrestleMania 33. However, weeks before their planned wedding, the two broke up and Bella ended their relationship in April 2018.
John Cena stands at 6ft 1in and weighs 249 pounds.
John Cena debut
John Cena was working at a Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California and was living out of his car when he got the chance to finally break into the professional wrestling business. He said that his father tried to talk him out of leaving home, telling him he would never make it. But Cena wouldn’t give up.
Cena was working in bodybuilding when someone asked him if he wanted to give professional wrestling a try. He started training in a school run by Rick Bassman, the same man that helped Sting and The Ultimate Warrior break into the industry.
That helped Cena get into the WWE. He started out in a dark match on SmackDown before getting a shot in their developmental territory — Ohio Valley Wrestling. He took on the role of Prototype — a semi-robotic character.
He was a tag team champion, winning those titles in a tournament with Rico Constantino. In some more great trivia, they lost the titles to the Minnesota Stretching Crew, which was Shelton Benjamin and Brock Lesnar.
Cena was also a success as a singles star in OVW, winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship from Leviathan (who later became known as Batista) before losing it to Nova after an 84-day reign.
Finally, on the June 27, 2002, episode of SmackDown, Cena answered an open challenge by Kurt Angle. He said he was there to deliver “ruthless aggression” and gave Angle everything he could to prove that he was ready for the main roster.
John Cena’s best matches
John Cena wasn’t an instant star. After that big debut, he worked hard and tried to figure out his role in the company. Clearly, he wasn’t doing the semi-robotic gimmick anymore. But, there was nothing special about Cena yet and he soon turned bad.
That all changed after a Halloween episode of SmackDown, where a backstage party saw Cena dressed up like Vanilla Ice. Stephanie McMahon noticed and knowing that Cena also enjoyed rapping, a new character was developed — the Doctor of Thuganomics who would cut freestyle raps, insulting his opponents. The fans loved it and soon Cena turned face again.
He morphed into a legitimate main event contender and finally won his first singles title on the main roster when he beat Big Show for the United States Championship at WrestleMania XX.
Cena then worked his way up to the main event level. He had gotten chances before, such as when he lost to Undertaker at Vengeance in 2003, but it was his feud with JBL that made Cena a star.
Over his career, Cena has competed in some of the biggest and best matches in WWE history.
Here is a look at five of John Cena’s best matches of his career.
John Cena vs. JBL
After a strong chase, John Cena beat JBL at WrestleMania 21 to win the WWE Championship — his first world title. Cena added the spinner to the belt, customizing it to his gimmick, and the WWE launched a rocket to Cena’s back and rode him to the top.
John Cene vs. Edge
John Cena and Edge had one of the greatest feuds of Cena’s career. Cena was the ultimate babyface and Edge was the perfect villain. The two men had a series of incredible matches that included an amazing ladder match at Unforgiven in 2006 that ended when Cena dropped Edge from the top of the ladder through two tables.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
When looking at the greatest WWE wrestlers of the last 20 years, it is easy to pinpoint John Cena as the top babyface of the last two decades and Randy Orton as the top heel of the same timeframe.
Both men debuted in 2002, both came from Ohio Valley, and the two men combined to win 29 world titles. When it comes to their matches, their best one had to be from Breaking Point in 2009.
John Cena vs. CM Punk
In 2011, CM Punk challenged John Cena for the WWE world title at Money in the Bank in Chicago. While Punk was the villain, it was his hometown and Cena got the most boos from the crowd he has ever received in his career.
Punk won in what was one of the best matches in WWE history. While that match is not online, their rematch at SummerSlam is and you can view that here:
John Cena vs. The Rock
A match that no one ever thought they would see happened not just once, but twice — both at WrestleMania events. At WrestleMania 28, The Rock beat John Cena to win the WWE world title almost a decade after he originally left the WWE for Hollywood.
At WrestleMania 29, Cena got his win back. While the matches are not online, here is a look at one of their legendary verbal smackdowns leading to the match.
John Cena championships
John Cena has won more titles over the last two decades than anyone else in the WWE. Cena’s 16 world titles tie him with Nature Boy Ric Flair for the most in professional wrestling history — and Cena did it all in the WWE.
Here is a look at every title that John Cena has won in his career:
- UPW Championship
- OVW Championship
- OVW Southern Tag Championship (w/Rico Constantine)
- World Championship (3 times)
- WWE Championship (13 times)
- World Tag Championship (with Miz)
- World Tag Championship (with David Otunga)
- United States Championship (5 times)
And here are the major events that John Cena has won:
- Money in the Bank (2012)
- 2008 Royal Rumble
- 2013 Royal Rumble
John Cena music, theme song and video
John Cena has always let people know that he loves rap and, as he said, he got his “you can’t see me” tag line from freestyle rapping with his little brother.
As a result, John Cena actually performed his fifth entrance theme song “Basic Thuganomics.” To add to it, Cena also released a rap album titled You Can’t See Me with his cousin Tha Trademarc. That included his most well-known entrance theme song, titled “The Time is Now,” and a single titled “Bad, Bad Man.”
Amazingly, You Can’t See Me debuted at 15th on the Billboard 200 charts and sold over 40,000 copies in its first week. It actually reached platinum status, selling well over 1.3 million copies.
Here is the John Cena entrance video with “The Time is Now”:
John Cena and Make a Wish Foundation
While John Cena has a huge wrestling career that he can look back on with pride, there is something bigger than Cena has done in his life. The WWE has always worked hand-in-hand with the Make a Wish Foundation and Cena took it above and beyond all expectations.
John Cena has granted more wishes than any person in the history of the Make a Wish Foundation — with nobody else even close. Cena surpassed 500 wishes granted to children with life-threatening diseases and is still visiting children to this day.
Add in Cena’s work to help promote the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, his work with the Be a Star anti-bullying campaign, and recent promotion of the Love Has No Labels campaign for equal rights, and it would be hard for anyone to reach Cena’s level when it comes to philanthropy.
John Cena movies
WWE fans have noticed that John Cena is not around as much as they are used to. This is not only because he is over 40, but also because is working on making a career in Hollywood to move into the next phase of his life.
Cena’s start in movies wasn’t anything great. He was in action movies The Marine and 12 Rounds, both of which were produced by the WWE and were buried by the critics. However, something changed in 2015.
That was the year that Cena appeared in a small role in Trainwreck, a comedy starring Amy Schumer. That seemed to earn Cena some credit with casting producers as he then picked up another small role in another comedy — Daddy’s Home.
After getting a starring role in the smaller war movie The Wall, Cena started to land bigger parts.
In 2017, he voiced the title character in the animated movie Ferdinand, followed by the critically lauded comedy Blockers and then played a key role in the Transformers movie Bumblebee.
Cena also picked up some TV roles, hosting the reality TV series American Grit, hosting the 2016 ESPY Awards, and recently landing the role as the host of the returning game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.
John Cena cars
While John Cena is best known for his career in the WWE and Hollywood, he has one major hobby that he has spent a lot of money on — as an avid car collector.
Cena’s biggest love is for muscle cars. In 2015, Cena actually drove a 1971 AMC Hornet SC/260 for daily use.
As of that time, here are the cars that Cena owned in his collection:
- 1966 Dodge Hemi Charger
- 1969 AMC AMX
- 1969 COPO Chevrolet Camaro
- 1969 Dodge Daytona
- 1970 AMC Rebel Machine
- 1970 Buick GSX
- 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator
- 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350
- 1970 Plymouth Superbird
- 1970 Pontiac GT Judge
- 1971 Plymouth Road Runner
- 2006 Dodge Viper
- 2006 Ford GT
- 2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8
- 2007 Ford Mustang Saleen Parnelli Jones Limited Edition
- 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and InCENArator.
John Cena’s net worth
As of 2019, John Cena’s net worth is reported as an impressive $55 million.
Cena’s net worth is higher than almost any WWE star in history, thanks to his acting career and his smart investments.
In 2013, Cena reportedly had an average annual salary of $1.743 million from the WWE with another $5 million coming in endorsements. His earnings reportedly went up in 2016 to $9 million and then $8 million in 2017.
Cena is one of the highest paid WWE superstars, making an estimated $8.5 million a year now, with $500,000 for main event appearances and five per cent for merchandise sales. Add in his movie income and Cena’s net worth means that those days of sleeping in his car to achieve his dream were worth it in the end.