John Felix-Anthony Cena (born April 23, 1977 in West Newbury, Massachusetts), better known to wrestling fans simply as John Cena, is an Italian-American professional wrestler, rap music artist, and actor currently performing for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on the RAW brand. He is the current WWE Champion. Cena brought the once SmackDown!-exclusive belt to RAW on June 6, 2005 when he was drafted to RAW during the 2005 Draft Lottery. Cena has released a music CD along with Tha Trademarc, known as You Can't See Me, and has performed live concerts with Tha Trademarc and Bumpy Knuckles.
His surname, Cena, is of Spanish origin and is Italian for "dinner". The Italian pronunciation is "chay-nuh", but the American pronunciation "see-nuh" is used in his introduction and promotions.
Cena attended Cushing Academy, also the ala matter of Bette Davis.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Cena's first televised WWE match was against Kurt Angle on June 27, 2002. Angle was giving free shots at himself to newcomers, something he still does from time to time, and Cena had been inspired by Vince McMahon's recent, somewhat inscrutable, speech to WWE's rising stars, exhorting them to show "ruthless aggression" and they would have a place among the legends. He almost beat Kurt Angle, kicking out of the Angle Slam and surviving the Ankle Lock submission hold, but ultimately losing to a hard amateur-style pin.
Cena was a typical face, an underdog in each match, which at first did not get much reaction from the fans. After losing with then baby face, Billy Kidman in a tournament match for the new WWE Tag Team Championships, Cena turned heel and blamed Kidman for the loss. Shortly after his heel turn, on a Halloween episode of SmackDown!, he performed a freestyle rap in a Vanilla Ice costume, and his gimmick was changed to that of a white rapper. This gimmick at first got him a lot of heel heat from the fans, but he was later being cheered by them due to the freestyle raps he made on other wrestlers. During his run as a heel, Cena feuded with the Undertaker and Chris Benoit and got some help from the Full Blooded Italians. One of Cena's symbols was a modified classic WWF logo (without the "F") with the slogan "Word Life."
Cena also feuded with Brock Lesnar. During that feud, he derived his signature finishing maneuver, the F-U as a counterpart to Lesnar's similar F-5 move. When Lesnar turned heel, they briefly joined forces. However, due to his growing popularity, Cena eventually turned face, betraying Lesnar and feuding with him again. Cena established his signature "You can't see me" catch phrase and hand gesture during this time as well. In a 2003 Survivor Series match, he was on a team led by Kurt Angle with Benoit, Bradshaw and Hardcore Holly against Lesnar, The Big Show, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan and A-Train. In the end Cena hit the F-U on The Big Show and got the final pin, leaving him and Benoit as the sole survivors. The two superstars ended their feud there, though they would fight each other during Cena's run for the WWE United States Championship.
United States champion
In 2004, Cena's popularity was increasing. He feuded with The Big Show, leading to a WrestleMania XX victory to win the WWE United States Championship, his first WWE title. Eventually he was stripped of the title by then-SmackDown! General Manager Kurt Angle. Cena later won the title back after winning a best-of-5 match series with Booker T. His second title reign was short-lived as he lost the title to the debuting Carlito Caribbean Cool in Cena's first televised match since regaining the title.
As part of an angle, Cena was allegedly attacked in a Boston nightclub by Carlito's bodyguard, Jesus, which kept Cena from wrestling for about a month because of a kidney puncture (in actuality, Cena was filming "The Marine"). He returned to wrestling just in time for Survivor Series. When he returned, he exacted revenge on Carlito in a SmackDown! match and won the U.S. title back but was attacked afterward in the ring by Jesus, who hit Cena in the kidney several times with Cena's own chain.
Cena's United States title reigns were notable for two reasons. His second title reign came after a best-of-5 series of matches, a series of matches similar to the one wrestled by Booker T and Chris Benoit for the World Television Championship in WCW. In addition, Cena wore a modified United States title belt during his third reign as champion. The new belt featured the same colors, but with the face plate fashioned as a spinner.
After a strong showing at the 2005 Royal Rumble, Cena became involved in a feud with John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) after Cena won a No.1 contendership tournament to face JBL in the SmackDown! main event at WrestleMania 21 for the WWE Championship. This feud saw him lose his United States Championship to JBL's Chief of Staff Orlando Jordan, with he and JBL "destroying" the spinner style belt the following week. During this feud Cena established a name for his corps of fans, the "Chain Gang Soldiers."
SmackDown! General Manager Teddy Long told John Cena to wait for WrestleMania to get back at JBL for destroying the Spinner belt but Cena put Long in the F-U for keeping him away. As punishment, Cena was sanctioned; he could not touch JBL until WrestleMania 21 or he would lose his title shot. If he was struck by JBL first, however, then he could retaliate. A campaign of vandalism against JBL's property ensued, including ruining his ten-gallon hat at the contract signing, spraypainting a yellow streak down his back, and slashing the tires of his limousine. At one point, Cena stopped the interference by The Cabinet on a match, hitting the Basham Brothers and Orlando Jordan with a steel chair. He threatened JBL with the chair, but instead of forfeiting his title shot by striking JBL, Cena sat down by his cowering body and did his "You Can't See Me" gesture in his face.
Cena defeated JBL to win the WWE Championship on April 3, 2005 at WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles. JBL stole the real WWE belt back before the next SmackDown! taping. Cena, however, had a custom WWE title made, just as Stone Cold Steve Austin did with his "Smoking Skull" belt. The new belt was similar to his custom U.S. title belt, featuring a Spinner type WWE logo plate.
SmackDown! featured a series of matches to decide who Cena would face in his first title defense at Judgment Day. John Cena successfully defeated JBL, the winner of the tournament, in a bloody "I Quit" Match. JBL, cornered against a glass pane, quit to avoid getting hit by a tractor trailer's exhaust pipe. He got hit anyway, sending him through the glass pane behind him. Cena was finally able to claim the real WWE Championship belt, though he still carried around his Spinner belt.
Cena on RAW
On the June 6, 2005 episode of RAW, John Cena became the first draft pick in the annual WWE Draft Lottery, with Eric Bischoff drafting him from SmackDown! to RAW. Upon entering RAW, Cena immediately entered an angle with Chris Jericho and Christian. The rivalry between Christian and Cena had already been established when Christian attacked Cena on the Jericho's Highlight Reel, while Cena's rivalry with Jericho started when Jericho turned on Cena in a tag team match against Christian and Tyson Tomko.
Cena defeated Christian and Chris Jericho in a Triple Threat match at WWE Vengeance by knocking Jericho out of the ring and pinning Christian. On the June 27 edition of RAW, Cena teamed with Shawn Michaels and a returning Hulk Hogan for the first time to beat Jericho, Christian, and Tyson Tomko.
Cena quickly made enemies with RAW general manager Eric Bischoff, delivering the F-U to Bischoff on the July 11, 2005 edition of RAW. Bischoff vowed to make Cena's stint on RAW difficult and chose Chris Jericho to contend for Cena's title. On July 25, 2005 Cena and Jericho went to do the first ever battle of the bands on RAW. The battle featured Cena's Chain Gang against Jericho's Fozzy. Cena performed but Jericho refused, claiming the audience was biased against him and said that Fozzy won't perform until the upcoming SummerSlam PPV. After a successful title defense against his rival Carlito, Cena successfully defended his title against Chris Jericho at SummerSlam 2005.
On August 22, 2005 Cena beat Jericho in a "You're Fired" match for the WWE Championship despite the General Manager giving Cena a low-blow and a Brass Knuckle to Jericho. After the match, Kurt Angle came into the ring and attacked Cena while Eric Bischoff revealed that Angle was the number one contender for Cena's world title. After several weeks of feuding, both men faced off in the main event of Unforgiven, where Cena lost to Angle by disqualification after hitting Angle with the WWE Title belt, meaning Cena would still be Champion.
At WWE Homecoming on October 3, 2005, John Cena defeated General Manager Eric Bischoff in a no disqualification match despite interference by Kurt Angle. At Taboo Tuesday 2005, Cena successfully defended his WWE Championship in a triple threat match against Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels by pinning Michaels.
On the November 14 edition of RAW, Cena paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero, who had passed away recently. After a main event match with Randy Orton that had Cena delivering the FU to Orton, Cena took off the Eddie Guerrero "I'm your Papi!" T-shirt he had worn during the match in Eddie's honor. He laid it down on the mat and placed his championship belt on top of it, honoring Guerrero, who was a former WWE Champion.
At the 2005 Survivor Series, Cena successfully defended the WWE Championship against Kurt Angle, even with Angle's new ally Daivari serving as the special guest referee. The following night on RAW, Cena won against Kurt Angle and Chris Masters in a triple threat, no disqualification, no Countout submission match set up by General Manager Eric Bischoff by debuting his STF-U manuever on Masters.
On the December 5 episode of RAW, Cena made his opinion of Bischoff known during Bischoff's mock trial and helped Vince McMahon fire Bischoff by delivering the FU to the former RAW general manager, effectively ending the hostilities he had with Bischoff and giving him the last laugh.
John Cena will be defending his title at the next RAW PPV, which is New Years Revolution in an Elimination Chamber match against Kurt Angle, Carlito, Kane, Chris Masters, and Shawn Michaels who all earned their shots in separate qualifying matches on the December 12th, 2005 edition of RAW. On that same edition of RAW, Cena faced Daivari in the very first "You Can't See Me" match in which Cena was forced to wear a blindfold, but regardless he still won with the STF-U. Cena appeared on Tribute to the Troops where he defeated Chris Masters.
On the December 26 2005 edition of RAW, the six participants of the Elimination Chamber had to take part in "Beat the Clock" matches to determine who enters the chamber last. Cena had to wrestle Shelton Benjamin in a match and won with the STF-U but did not get the best time.
Outside of wrestling
Music and movies
Cena has cut a series of rap music tracks. His fifth WWE entrance song, "Basic Thugonomics" 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 long time friend Tha Trademarc, You Can't See Me features his current entrance theme "My Time is Now". Tha Trademarc is currently working on his own album which will feature John Cena.
The first single off the 1st album was "Bad, Bad Man". The music video for the song, a parody of 1980s culture and the television show The A-Team, premiered on an edition of SmackDown. WWE premiered the music video for Cena's second single, "Right Now", on the August 8 edition of RAW.
Cena's ring attire in and out of the ring reflects the old school hip-hop culture that his character represents. He previously wore throwback jerseys (during his time as heel, he would wear jerseys of a rival team of the city he was wrestling in; as a good guy, he would wear jerseys of one of the city's home teams), though he now generally wears "Chain Gang" related merchandise. He has also worn a chain with a lock on it to the ring and the chain was at times utilized as a weapon.
When Cena was part of the SmackDown! brand, his apparel bearing the suggestive spoonerism "Ruck Fules" was censored when he wore it on camera. Supposedly they were not censored by UPN, but by WWE to sell more shirts under the premise that it was "too hot for TV."
During his WWE career, Cena appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on July 23, 2005 in order to promote his CD, WWE, and SummerSlam 2005. He has also been on Fuse's Daily Download. Cena has recently appeared on FOX Sports Net's Best Damn Sports Show Period, G4's Training Camp, and also served as a co-presenter with Hulk Hogan on the 2005 Teen Choice Awards show.
Cena also was the guest on the October 23,2005 episode of "Wally's World" on NBC's Bank of America Countdown to Green where he rode with NBC analyst Wally Dallenbach around Martinsville Speedway, then proceeded to put NBC pit reporter Marty Snider into a submission move. (NBC Universal owns the USA Network, which broadcasts WWE RAW.)
"The Five Moves of Doom"
Cena's "Five Moves of Doom" is a term that some wrestling fans use to refer to a combo of moves Cena uses when he is on a comeback in match that leads to the pin. The phrase was originally coined in the Internet wrestling community as a reference to Bret Hart, who had a well-established sequence of five moves in the same context (in both cases, the term was also at times used in a pejorative fashion by critics who perceived the wrestler in question to have a limited moveset, although in Cena's case this is true). The following are the five Moves and are in the approximate order in which Cena uses them.
- Flying shoulderblock
- Sitout hip toss or multiple clotheslines
- Killswitch / Protoplex / Freestyle (Side release spin-out powerbomb)
- Five Knuckle Shuffle (Fist drop with theatrics)
- F-U (Which can refer to his standing fireman's carry takeover, Death Valley driver, Samoan driver, or fireman's carry powerslam variations)
Other finishing and signature moves
Signature illegal weapons
- Waving one hand in front of his face, saying "You can't see me."
- Pumping up his Reebok Pump sneakers.
- Putting his fists together with pinkies out and saying, "Word Life!"
- He is currently undefeated at Wrestlemania, defeating Big Show and JBL winning the WWE United States Championship and the WWE Championship respectively in consecutive years.
- Though he is often billed as the "next" Stone Cold, Cena's favorite wrestler & role model is Hulk Hogan. Second only is Stone Cold, then third is The Rock.
- John Cena became the first superstar since 1990 to hold the WWE Championship (along Batista who won the World Heavyweight Championship the same night that Cena won the WWE title) from Wrestlemania through Survivor Series. On April 1st of 1990, the Ultimate Warrior pinned Hulk Hogan to win the WWE title at Wrestlemania VI in the SkyDome in Toronto. Ultimate Warrior held the belt until January 19th of 1991 where he dropped the title to Sgt. Slaughter at the Royal Rumble.
- John's father is also in pro wrestling as New England indy announcer/manager Johnny Fabulous.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ohio Valley Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler Award (2003)
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler Award (2004)
- Ultimate Pro Wrestling
- 1-time UPW Champion
- World Wrestling Entertainment
| colspan = 3 align = center | WWE Championship
| width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
John "Bradshaw" Layfield | width = 40% align = center | First | width = 30% align = center | Succeeded by:
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The Big Show | width = 40% align = center | First | width = 30% align = center | Succeeded by:
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Carlito |- | width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
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Orlando Jordan |- |- | colspan = 3 align = center | OVW Heavyweight Championship |- | width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
Leviathan | width = 40% align = center | First | width = 30% align = center | Succeeded by:
Nova |- | colspan = 3 align = center | OVW Southern Tag Team Championship |- | width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
- | width = 40% align = center | First, with Rico Constantino | width = 30% align = center | Succeeded by:
Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin |- Template:End box
- WWE page
- John Cena at the Internet Movie Database
- Wrestling Update's John Cena biography
- Cena Style
- John Cena Fansite
- ObsessedWithWrestling profilede:John Cena