John Cena is the wrestling embodiment of the hip-hop culture. Like Enimen, John Cena uses his rapping ability to insult those he doesn't like. He even personalized the WWE title into a piece of bling-bling featuring a spinning WWE logo. This young superstar has reached the top of his profession and his future only looks brighter.
John Cena was born in Massachusetts in 1977. While wrestling in the Ohio Valley Wrestling development territory of the WWE, he was known as Prototype. He was on the 2001 UPN reality TV show Manhunt which was cancelled due to bad ratings and a controversy about the legitimacy of the program.
The Doctor of Thuganomics:
In June 2002, he made his SmackDown debut by accepting an open challenge from Kurt Angle. The one thing he was missing was a compelling gimmick. That Halloween, he dressed like a Vanilla Ice impersonator and did his first rap. With this new hip-hop persona, he would insult the crowd before the matches by making bad raps about their city and wearing throwback jerseys of the enemies of the local sports team.
With the help of his gimmick and improving wrestling ability, he was in a main event title match by April 2003. That November, the inevitable face turn occurred and his career has skyrocketed since. He was involved in a feud for the U.S. Championship with the 500+ pound Big Show. At WrestleMania XX, he won the title. Even though he wasn't the World Champ, he solidified his spot as the most popular wrestler on SmackDown.
The Champ is Here:
For the next few months, Cena was involved in feuds with Booker T and Carlito for the U.S. title. In the beginning of 2005, he won a tournament to fight JBL for the WWE title at WrestleMania. Prior to this match, he lost his U.S. title due to the interference of JBL. Cena got his revenge by becoming WWE champ at WrestleMania 21. He beat JBL in a rematch the next month in an I Quit Match.
From SmackDown to RAW:
During the annual draft lottery, John Cena moved to RAW. This move put him into an immediate feud with Chris Jericho. Jericho has released rock albums with his band Fozzy and Cena had just released his rap album. In this battle, hip-hop pinned rock. John Cena also started out on bad terms with GM Eric Bischoff, who vowed to do all he can to get the title off Cena and make his life miserable on Raw.
The End of an Era:
Cena began feuding with Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle and also caused the firing of Eric Bischoff by beating Kurt Angle and Chris Masters. At New Year's Revolution he beat both men plus Kane, Carlito & Shawn Michaels in an Elimination Chamber Match. Immediately following the match, Edge used his Money in the Bank Title Shot and easily beat the worn out champ. He regained the belt a few weeks later but later lost the title to Rob Van Dam.
The Marine and an Image Change:
Shortly before the release of his movie, The Marine, John beat Edge in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match to win the WWE Championship for a third time. The movie was a huge hit once it became available on DVD. Around the same time as part of an image makeover, he backed away from the rapping and throwbacks and now wrestles in camouflage shorts. His third title reign lasted over a year and he lost it via forfeit due to an injury.
Neck Surgery and Return:
A few months after returning from his arm injury, he suffered damage to his neck. In his first match back after having neck surgery, John won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time by beating Chris Jericho. In early 2009, his two signature moves, the FU and STFU, were renamed the Attitude Adjustment and the STF, respectively. Since his return, he has won and lost the WWE Championship on several occasions as well as starred in a few more films for WWE Studios.
- 4/3/05 WrestleMania 21 - beat JBL to become WWE champ
1/8/06 New Year's Revolution - lost the title to Edge
- 1/29/06 Royal Rumble - regained the title from Edge
6/11/06 ECW One Night Stand - lost the title to Rob Van Dam
- 9/17/06 Unforgiven - beat Edge in a TLC Match
10/2/07 ECW on Sci Fi - stripped of the title due to injury
- 9/13/09 Breaking Point - beat Randy Orton in an "I Quit" Match
10/4/09 Hell in a Cell - lost to Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell Match
- 10/25/09 Bragging Rights - beat Randy Orton 6-5 in an Anything Goes Iron Man Match
12/13/09 TLC - lost to Sheamus in a Tables Match
- 2/21/10 Elimination Chamber - beat Champion Sheamus, Triple H, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, & Kofi Kingston in an Elimination Chamber Match
2/21/10 Elimination Chamber - lost to Batista
- 3/28/10 WrestleMania XXVI - beat Batista
6/20/10 Fatal 4 Way - Sheamus beat John Cena, Edge, & Randy Orton
- 5/1/11 Extreme Rules - beat Champion The Miz & John Morrison in a Steel Cage Match
7/17/11 Money in the Bank - lost to CM Punk
- 7/25/11 RAW - beat Rey Mysterio
8/14/11 SummerSlam - lost to WWE Champion CM Punk in a bout officiated by Triple H
- 9/18/11 Night of Champions - beat Alberto Del Rio
10/2/11 Hell in a Cell - Alberto Del Rio beat John Cena & CM Punk in a Hell in a Cell Match
- 4/7/13 WrestleMania XXIX - beat The Rock
8/18/13 SummerSlam - lost to Daniel Bryan
World Heavyweight Championship
- 11/23/08 Survivor Series - beat Chris Jericho
2/15/09 No Way Out - Edge beat Cena, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Kane, and Mike Knox in an Elimination Chamber Match
- 4/5/09 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania - beat Champion Edge & Big Show
4/26/09 Backlash - lost to Edge in a Last Man Standing Match
- 10/27/13 Hell in a Cell - beat Alberto Del Rio
- 3/14/04 WrestleMania XX - beat the Big Show to win the title
7/8/04 SmackDown - stripped of the title by GM Kurt Angle
- 10/3/04 No Mercy - beat Booker T 3-2 in a best of five series for the vacant title
10/7/04 SmackDown - lost the title to Carlito
- 11/18/04 SmackDown - regained the title from Carlito
3/3/05 SmackDown - lost the title to Orlando Jordan
World Tag Team Championship
- 1/29/06 RAW - w/Shawn Michaels beat Edge & Randy Orton
4/2/07 RAW - lost the titles in a 10-Team Battle Royal
- 8/4/08 RAW - w/Batista beat Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
8/11/08 RAW - lost the titles to Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
WWE Tag Team Championship
- 10/24/10 Bragging Rights - w/David Otunga beat Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre
10/25/10 RAW - w/David Otunga lost to Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
- 2/21/11 RAW - w/The Miz beat Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
2/21/11 RAW - w/The Miz lost to Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
(Sources: Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac & Onlineworldofwrestling.com)