John Cena is the current face of WWE. He is one of the most recognizable professional wrestlers in the world and he is also currently engaged to fellow WWE star Nikki Bella.
Cena debuted in WWE back in 2002 and for the past 15 years, he has managed to rise through the ranks in the company to become a record-equalling 16-time World Champion, as well as the man who has defined WWE itself for more than a decade.
Of course, the past 15 years haven’t exactly been easy for Cena. Living life in the spotlight has opened him up to scandals, affairs, and ridicule, all of which once made him one of the most hated wrestlers in WWE, but somehow the former Champion has managed to turn this back into his favour.
Since Cena and Nikki Bella first announced that they were together back in 2012, they have become WWE’s biggest power couple and are the faces of both Total Divas and Total Bellas. Cena’s love life is completely back on track and it seems that he is now looking to branch out to projects outside of wrestling since he recently walked away from WWE for another few months to film his scenes in the new Transformers movie.
It’s good to be John Cena at the moment, but before he met Nikki and the duo began planning their life together, things were a little different. Here are 15 facts you might not know about Cena and his life before the beautiful Bella twin turned his head.
15. John Cena Has Been Fighting The Odds Since Birth
Jonathan Felix Anthony Cena was born in 1977. Even though there are many reports about Cena’s life when he was much younger, many fail to mention the fact that The Leader of the CeNation was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times. This was obviously a scary situation, and it occurred in a time when technology wasn’t as advanced as it currently is.
It was a miracle that he was able to survive such an entry into the world, but he fought through it and unlike many other children who suffer the same kind of arrival, Cena didn’t go on to suffer any vocal or speech problems growing up. It seems that Cena managed to get through a scary situation completely unscathed and lived to tell the tale. It just goes to show that Cena’s “never give ip” message is something that he has obviously been living by his entire life.
14. John Cena’s Original Debut Didn’t Exactly Go As Planned
Many of the WWE Universe remember John Cena’s impactful WWE debut where he walked down to the ring and slapped the taste out of Kurt Angle‘s mouth, but this wasn’t actually Cena’s debut.
The former WWE Champion actually debuted on SmackDown in a dark match a few weeks earlier, and following the match, he asked current NXT General Manager William Regal what he thought. Regal commented that if he bought himself a pair of trunks and some wrestling boots then he would look like a real wrestler. It seems that Cena misinterpreted this and ended up buying 86 pairs of trunks and 128 pairs of boots. This is the reason why Cena wore so many different pairs of coloured trunks in his early career before he decided to switch it up with denim shorts. Yet, he still has the audacity to complain that Nikki has too many pairs of shoes.
13. Triple H And Vince McMahon Wanted To Release Him Early On
John Cena is someone who has managed to fight through many obstacles, and he proved that you can achieve anything you want if you believe in yourself. Even though there are many members of the WWE Universe who believe that Cena gets everything he wants in WWE right now, it wasn’t always that way.
Nothing is ever certain in WWE. No one in the company knew the kind of star that Cena would become 10 years ago, which is why Cena revealed that just months after his WWE debut in 2002, both WWE COO Triple H and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon both wanted to fire him. Thankfully, Cena managed to convince them not to. He has since told this story many times as an example of how sometimes even the biggest guys in the company have no idea what kind of potential they have under their noses.
12. Cena Was Once In A Relationship With Victoria
When John Cena joined WWE back in 2002, it was revealed by former WWE Women’s Champion Victoria that she was in a relationship with Cena for a number of months. This was only revealed after Kenny Dykstra tried to throw Victoria under the bus and could have caused problems in her marriage by saying that she was cheating back in 2007.
Victoria was married for more than 20 years before her divorce in 2015, and she revealed that despite this, she was dating Cena back in 2002. Victoria said that they were both in Louisville at the time and when she was separated from her husband, but still considered to be married. Victoria claimed that she later got back together with her husband Lee Varon and she didn’t have any further physical contact with the former World Champion for the rest of her career with WWE, a company she left in 2009.
11. Cena’s Interview With Howard Stern
It’s rare nowadays that a WWE star or celebrity would appear on a radio show and share some of the more intimate details of their life, but back in 2004, this is exactly what John Cena did.
The former World Champion appeared on the Howard Stern show and was asked some deeply personal questions about his s*x life. Cena revealed that he was a big fan of ring rats, who are the women who attend wrestling events with the intention of sleeping with the wrestlers on the show. He then went on to claim that he once took home six women at the same time, but was unable to satisfy all of them, because he’s only human. Cena also shared the story that he once took home a 280-pound fan as well, mostly because he was dared to by many of the wrestlers in the locker room, but he told himself that he was going to enjoy it and he did.
10. John Cena Was Once Linked To Maria Kanellis
There have been a number of stories about John Cena and his links to the women who once made up WWE’s women’s division, and it seems that many of these stories are true. Cena and Maria were put together on WWE TV back in early 2006 when John needed a tag team partner to face Lita and Edge.
Maria was nervous about the match because she wasn’t much of a wrestler and Cena then kissed her backstage to make her feel better. It is thought that this was part of a storyline at the time, because Maria and Cena were actually together. Maria was in a relationship with fellow WWE star CM Punk at that time, so it is unknown if Maria and Cena were together at that point or if they later decided to “hook up” after Maria and Punk went their separate ways a few months later.
9. John Cena’s Linked To Many Former WWE Divas
Cena has quite a reputation in WWE. Over the past decade he has been linked with a number of the women in WWE, as already mentioned above. One of the main women that Cena was linked with for a while was former Divas Champion Kelly Kelly.
It seems that Kelly Kelly And Cena were actually connected whilst he was still married, and in order to avoid another scandal surrounding their World Champion, WWE gave Kelly some time away from WWE to wait for everything to blow over. Obviously, this didn’t help and Cena’s marriage had already hit a point where it was unsalvageable. Kelly Kelly had a reputation of her own backstage, after being linked with the likes of Randy Orton, Andrew Martin, and even CM Punk during her short stint with WWE, but she is widely regarded to be one of the most attractive women’s wrestlers of all time, so you can’t really blame Cena.
8. Cena’s Affair With Mickie James
As seen above, John Cena has been linked to a number of WWE Divas throughout his career, but by far the most famous scandal that the former WWE Champion was involved in was the affair with former Women’s Champion Mickie James.
Mickie was engaged to Spirit Squad member Kenny Dykstra back in 2007 when it was reported that Mickie and Cena were then part of an affair backstage. Dykstra found out and because he kicked up a fuss about it, Cena went to WWE executives and had them fire Dykstra. Kenny still blames Cena for the fact that his wrestling career came to an abrupt end. Mickie wanted a relationship, but Cena didn’t so he also arranged for her to be moved over to the SmackDown brand so that he didn’t have to put up with her. She was quietly released from WWE not long afterwards, after a brutal “Piggy James” storyline.
7. John Cena Married Back In 2009
Despite all of the women who were in and out of Cena’s life in his early WWE career, the Doctor of Thuganomics decided to marry back in 2009 when he made it official with his high school sweetheart Elizabeth Huberdeau.
The couple seemed happy in the photos that they took declaring their engagement and marriage and Cena himself seemed quite settled with his beautiful wife, even though it was a shock for many people close to Cena that he had found a woman outside of the wrestling business. Elizabeth and Cena lived together and were seemingly happy for a number of years whilst Cena spent most of his time on the road with WWE, and Elizabeth remained at home and dealt with all the couple’s usual real-life problems. If there was ever a honeymoon period for this marriage, it didn’t last very long, as you are about to find out.
6. Did John Cena Have An Affair With Kendra Lust?
Kendra Lust is quite a well-known adult movie star and a woman that no married woman would allow to spend time alone with her husband. Kendra is stunning and most men’s dream woman, so it makes sense that when images were leaked online of Kendra Lust in revealing lingerie holding up a WWE Championship, Elizabeth obviously thought her husband was having an affair with the star.
It was reported that Cena and Kendra did know each other and had once met at a gym, but Cena denied all the allegations, and Kendra also stated that the duo had never taken their relationship to that level, especially since she was also married at the time. But she did state that if the occasion ever arose where he wasn’t married then she definitely wouldn’t be against hooking up with him. It seems John definitely left quite the impression during their one meeting!
5. Cena Wasn’t Exactly Faithful To His Wife
On top of the allegation that Cena and Kendra Lust were more than just friends, there was the added rumour that Kelly Kelly and the former Champion were also having an affair. As already stated above, Kelly didn’t have the greatest reputation backstage, so any star linked to her wasn’t going to come out smelling of roses. Kelly took some time away from WWE so that the rumours about the duo would die down, in the hope that this would then prevent unwanted public attention.
Cena was accused of cheating with a number of female wrestlers whilst he was married, including Victoria, Kelly Kelly, and AJ Lee, but shockingly, it seems that the affairs were not the reason why Cena and Elizabeth’s marriage ended in divorce. Perhaps the biggest shock for the WWE Universe was the fact that it was actually Cena who decided to end the relationship and not Elizabeth.
4. John Cena Divorced Elizabeth Back In 2012
After just three years of marriage, John Cena decided to divorce Elizabeth in 2012. His wife claimed that the divorce came as a huge shock for her and that Cena filed it based on the fact that she had made a number of improvements in the house that had cost a lot of money and was basically draining Cena’s bank account. It was out of nowhere and Elizabeth thought that the couple were still happy at the time.
Elizabeth responded by claiming that Cena had been cheating on her throughout their marriage and even began naming some of the women’s wrestlers whilst preparing for a messy divorce. WWE wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible with the 1000th episode of Raw coming up, and they helped Cena to silence his former wife and then get a quick divorce. No wonder Cena was so reluctant to marry again after that.
3. Cena’s Storyline With Eve Torres
Cena started 2012 quite brightly in WWE and became entangled in a storyline with Eve Torres, Kane, and Zack Ryder. As part of this storyline, Cena saved Eve from Kane and the duo then kissed backstage.
This lead to something even lengthier between the duo, as the WWE Universe speculated about what this meant for Cena, who was going through a divorce in real-life at the time and was obviously looking to move on in his personal life. The storyline with Eve didn’t last very long since she was released from WWE later that year and Cena was then pushed into a number of other angles, including one with AJ Lee. Torres had a longtime boyfriend at the time of the storyline, and the couple later married in 2014. Considering that Torres’ boyfriend is a Brazilian Martial Arts practitioner, even John Cena wouldn’t be foolish enough to try and come between them.
2. John Cena Once Hooked Up With AJ Lee?
AJ Lee is a former WWE Divas Champion and once held the record as the longest reigning Champion. Whilst AJ Lee was performing for WWE, she was part of a number of main event level storylines with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Kane, CM Punk, and John Cena.
AJ Lee and Cena were love interests on WWE TV for a number of months back in 2012, and there were rumours surrounding the couple that stated that this could have been more than just acting on-screen. This was before CM Punk and AJ Lee decided to begin dating and later married, but whilst there is no actual proof that AJ and Cena were more than friends backstage, the duo could have just been good at covering their tracks. Either way, they played a convincing couple, and this was said to be around the time when Cena was first linked to Nikki Bella.
1. Cena Was In A Car Accident In 2012
2012 wasn’t exactly a great year for John Cena and it seemed to all be topped off when he was involved in a car accident in March. This was the last thing Cena needed, given the fact that he was preparing for the biggest match of his career against The Rock at WrestleMania 28, which was scheduled just two weeks after the collision occurred.
It was reported that Cena was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer whilst out in Philadelphia, on the way to Monday Night Raw later that night. Whilst police and ambulance services were called and later attended the scene, Cena was uninjured in the accident and didn’t require any medical treatment. When he arrived at the Wells Fargo Centre for the live episode of Raw later that day, he was cleared to compete and was able to put the entire affair behind him and focus on his upcoming WrestleMania appearance.
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