Who Is John Cena?
John Cena is a professional wrestler, actor and television personality. Calling himself "The Prototype," he captured the UPW title in 2000. In 2001, he signed a contract to work at Ohio Valley Wrestling. Cena claimed the OVW heavyweight title in February 2002, then made his WWE debut that June. Two years later, he took the United States Championship. The wrestler has since expanded his brand through the release of a hip-hop album and appearances on TV and film.
John Felix Anthony Cena was born on April 23, 1977, in West Newbury, Massachusetts, the second of John Sr. and Carol Cena's five boys.
At an early age, Cena showed a passion for sports and working out. By the time he was 15, he was a regular gym rat and after graduating high school, Cena headed off to Springfield College in Massachusetts to study exercise physiology and prove his worth on the football field. At Springfield, Cena turned himself into a Division III All-American offensive lineman and team captain.
In 2000, the new college graduate left Massachusetts despite his father's wishes, seeking a new life in California as a bodybuilder. It wasn't an easy transition for the 6-foot 1-inch aspiring star. He had just $500 in his pocket to make it across the country and get settled. To make ends meet, he folded towels and cleaned toilets at a Gold's Gym in Venice Beach. Since he couldn't afford an apartment, he shacked up in his 1991 Lincoln Continental.
WWE Debut and Champion
Cena captured the OVW heavyweight title in February 2002, then made his WWE debut that June when he signed up with the Smackdown roster. Just two years later, Cena took home the United States Championship, defeating The Big Show in March 2004 in Wrestlemania XX.
In the years since, Cena has notched many wins and titles. In 2007, he became the first wrestler to ever come up victorious against Edward "Umaga" Fatu.
Along the way, Cena, whose good looks and sculpted body inspired the nickname "The Marky Mark of Wrestling," greatly increased his celebrity. Like Hogan, Cena proved that his showmanship in the ring translated to success in other venues.
Cena married his girlfriend, Elizabeth Huberdeau, in July 2009. In May 2012, Cena filed for divorce, allegedly shocking Huberdeau. Their messy separation played out in the media, but they eventually settled in July of that year.
In 2012, Cena began dating fellow WWE superstar Nikki Bella. On April 2, 2017, he proposed to Bella after they defeated The Miz and Maryse in a tag team match at Wrestlemania 33. Cena and Bella ended their engagement in April 2018, and briefly reconciled before it was reported that they had again gone their separate ways.
The following year, the wrestler turned actor began dating engineer Shay Shariatzadeh. The pair was married in October 2020.