John Felix Anthony Cena (born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, philanthropist and actor. He is currently signed to WWE, where he is a free agent who appears for both the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Cena started his professional wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and won the UPW Heavyweight Championship the following year. He signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment, or simply WWE) in 2001, debuting on the WWE main roster in 2002. From a generic character in 2002, he morphed into a rapper for the time period of 2002–2004, which earned him fame within the audience on SmackDown! He later transitioned to his current character, which he describes as a "goody-two shoes Superman". However, Cena was labeled "the most polarizing professional wrestler ever" by industry commentator Jim Ross, as his character has many supporters and detractors. Cena was WWE's franchise player and its public face for much of the 2000s and 2010s. Industry veterans John Layfield, Paul Heyman, and Kurt Angle have called Cena the greatest WWE star of all time.
Throughout his WWE career, Cena has won 25 championships, with 16 reigns as a world champion (13 times as WWE Champion and three times as WWE's World Heavyweight Champion). His 16 world title wins is tied with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair for the most recognized world championship reigns by WWE in history. He is also a five-time United States Champion and a four-time world tag team champion (two World Tag Team and two WWE Tag Team). Furthermore, he is a Money in the Bank ladder match winner (2012), a two-time Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013) and a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, 2012). Cena has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE Champion, behind Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan. He has also headlined WWE's flagship event WrestleMania on five different occasions (WrestleManias 22, 23, XXVII, XXVIII, and 29) over the course of his career, as well as many other pay-per-view events.
Outside of wrestling, Cena released the 2005 rap album You Can't See Me, which debuted at No. 15 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. In 2006, Cena began an acting career in feature films with his first role being in The Marine. He went on star and appear in other films such as 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), Sisters (2015), Daddy's Home (2015), The Wall (2017), Daddy's Home 2 (2017), Ferdinand (2017) and the upcoming Transformers prequel Bumblebee: The Movie (2018). He has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk'd, Psych and Parks and Recreation. Cena was a contestant on Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, where he made it to the final round before being eliminated, placing third in the overall competition. Cena is the host of American Grit on Fox and is involved in numerous philanthropic causes, most notably with the Make-A-Wish Foundation—he has granted the most wishes in Make-A-Wish history.
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