John Cena is one of the biggest and best superstars to ever step foot inside a WWE ring.
Cena arrived on WWE’s main roster in 2002 and initially struggled to make it, narrowly escaping being fired in 2003.
John recovered from that and went from strength to strength, earning the trust of Vince McMahon before becoming one of the biggest stars in wrestling history.
Cena is one of the most recognizable names in wrestling but there are still things that even WWE fans need to know about the 16-time world champion, so here are 10 things you didn’t know about him…
He started weightlifting for a specific reason
John Cena has the best physique in WWE history but he started lifting weights to deal with bullies at school. Chosen as the naughty kid in the neighborhood who didn’t like rap and hip hop, he packed on muscles at the age of 15 and never looked back.
Cena was a college football player
Cena attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was an NCAA Division 3 All-American center on his football team. His jersey number, 54, is featured on most of his WWE merchandise.
His first wrestling gimmick was “The Prototype”.
Using his large frame, Cena adopted a half-man half-robot character known as “The Prototype” in the early days of his wrestling career. The gimmick landed him a WWE developmental contract and he won the OVW Heavyweight Title before moving to the main roster.
A Halloween-themed episode of SmackDown led to him becoming the “Doctor of Thuganomics”.
Cena debuted on SmackDown as a cookie-cutter babyface without a role. Dressed as Vanilla Ice for a Halloween-themed episode of SmackDown, she performed a freestyle rap. This led to him adopting a rap gimmick that saved and then launched his WWE career.
He had a hit rap album in 2005
Cena’s rapping skills were featured in two of his theme songs, “Basic Thuganomics” and “The Time Is Now”. His second and most famous theme song appeared on his 2005 album “You Can’t See Me”, which peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200 charts.
He wrestled with a torn pectoral muscle
2007 Mr. During his match with Kennedy, Cena performed one of his signature moves and immediately tore his right pectoral tendon and was in excruciating pain. Despite this, he finished the match and won it, a testament to his renowned toughness.
He once lost a match against Kevin Federline
In late 2006, Kevin Federline, better known as K-Fed or Britney Spears’ ex-husband, made a guest appearance on Raw, leading to a brief feud with Cena. The two eventually squared off in the ring, with K-Fed stunningly defeating the WWE Champion with Umaga’s help.
He appeared on the cover of a cereal box
When John Cena and The Rock feuded in 2011–13, The Great One mocked Cena’s colorful business, branding him a fruity pebble. Sensing a brilliant market opportunity, Fruity Pebbles put senna on the cover of their cereal boxes, much to Champion’s delight.
He speaks Mandarin
Being the smart businessman and ultimate WWE ambassador that he is, Cena started learning Mandarin years ago, rightly citing the Chinese market as a huge opportunity for growth. Can’t you see me in Mandarin?
He is a “fan” of the Tottenham Hotspur football team.
Cena appeared on Mark Lawrenson’s BBC Premier League predictions a few years ago and said his favorite football team was Spurs. The reason for this is to visit their ground and get the CENA 54 jersey.