John Cena is one of the most recognizable superstars who successfully made a career outside the WWE universe. But what do you know about this megastar?
If you weren’t following WWE drama keenly, then you probably don’t know that John Cena was almost fired just a year after he arrived on WWE’s main roster. Despite the problems early in his career, he became one of wrestling history’s most recognizable stars but didn’t stop there. Most people today only know John Cena from his blockbuster movies and TV shows. But an entire generation grew up watching this 16-time World champion in the WWE wrestling ring.
So no matter where you first saw their charismatic star, here are seven things you didn’t know about John Cena:
1. John Cena Played Football in College
If you take a closer look at John Cena’s moves in the ring, you’ll notice a slight difference between how he does his shoulder tackle compared to other professional wrestlers in WWE. This is because John Cena spent a lot of time playing center on the DIII football team in college. He was also an All-American. So it’s not shocking that he was practicing some of his big hits before creating his little combination of moves (five moves of death) in the ring. But he didn’t spend all his time playing football. He earned a degree in exercise physiology, so we don’t have to speculate how he stays in shape all these years after retiring from wrestling.
2. He Has Fulfilled the Most Wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
John Cena loves giving back to the community and even holds the Guinness World Record for granting the most number of kids’ wishes for the Make-A-Wish foundation.The foundation’s purpose is to grant the wishes of critically ill children between the ages of three and 18. This is only one of his many charity projects. John Cena has granted over 650 wishes since 2002 and is one of the most requested celebrities in the foundation.
3. John Cena Started Bodybuilding as a Teenager
John Cena didn’t wake up one day and want to start wrestling. He first started bodybuilding when he was only a teenager. Why? Because of bullying at school. In some of his older photos, he was very skinny. Cena explained during an appearance on The Tonight Show that his classmates made fun of his dressing choices and taste in music. And that got him beat up too. Instead of learning to fight them, John Cena started weightlifting to get bigger. So by the time he was 15, John Cena was one of the biggest kids in school. At least he got named the ‘best body’ in his senior yearbook, so we assume things went well.
4. John Cena Created a Hit Rap Album
If you don’t know this, let me bust your bubble. Not everything on WWE is real. For a long time, a lot of the fights and drama were staged by manager Vince McMahon, and so were most WWE characters. In 2005 John Cena decided to debut his new character, the ‘Doctor of Thuganomics’. To this day everyone remembers his catchy entrance song ‘You Can’t See Me Now’ where he actually raps. Following the success of that hit song, John Cena released a rap album in 2005 titled You Can’t See Me. When John wasn’t in the WWE ring, he would spend his time in the studio doing what he loves – rapping.
5. John Cena Once Lived in His Car
It’s hard to believe that this star worth millions once lived in his car. After Cena finished college, he moved to California to pursue a career in bodybuilding. But he was determined to succeed and even took a job in a gym on Venice Beach, making only six dollars an hour. This didn’t give him much money for necessities, let alone rent, so to save on some expenses, the former pro wrestler lived out the back of his car. Despite going through all this, he was still happy because he was doing what he loved.
6. He Is Now a Sought-after Actor in Hollywood
After retiring from WWE, John Cena decided to venture into acting, doing more work in the film industry. It’s no surprise, because John Cena spent as much time wrestling as he did rapping in the ring. He already had the stage presence and charisma to take Hollywood by storm.
John Cena has starred in films like Legendary (2010), Fred: The Movie (2010), Daddy’s Home 2 (2017), and Bumblebee in 2018, among other movies (if you’re curious to know more, here are the five best John Cena Movies). He is currently starring in the Amazon prime’s Peacemaker series. John plays a messed-up superhero trying to do good under the command of Amanda Waller from the Suicide Squad. The series was a big success and was renewed for a second season. Amanda Waller is set to return for season two of Peacemaker.
7. John Cena Has Written Several Children’s Books
One thing about this WWE superstar is that he loves children. Aside from making their wishes come true, he also writes children’s books. Through tons of his messages and work with kids, John Cena’s main goal has always been for kids to be proud of being their authentic selves. He created a monster truck character known as Elbow Grease. Despite the character Elbow Grease not being the fastest or the best monster truck, he always does his best and focuses on the journey ahead. The book Elbow grease’s primary purpose is to pass positivity and help the younger generation have the right mindset for success.
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