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John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. is an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor, and reality television show host signed to WWE on the SmackDown brand.
Cena started his pro wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and won the UPW Heavyweight Championship the following year. Cena signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to WWE) in 2001, debuting on the WWE main roster in 2002. From a generic character in 2002, Cena morphed into an arrogant and edgy rapper for the time period of 2002-2003. Cena later transitioned to his current character, which he describes as a “goody-two-shoes Superman”. However, Cena has been labeled as the “most polarizing pro wrestler ever” as his character has many supporters and many detractors. In 2015, WWE credited Cena as being the “face of WWE” from 2004, while in 2012, IGN described Cena as WWE’s franchise player since 2005.
So far, Cena has won 24 championships, with 15 reigns as a world champion (12 times as WWE Champion/WWE World Heavyweight Champion and three times as World Heavyweight Champion), five reigns asUnited States Champion, and four reigns as world tag team champion (two World Tag Team and two WWE Tag Team). Furthermore, he is a 2012 Money in the Bank ladder match winner, 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 World Heavyweight 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.
Outside of wrestling, Cena has released the rap album You Can’t See Me, which debuted at No. 15 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and starred in the feature films The Marine (2006), 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), and Sisters (2015). Cena has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk’d, Psych, and Parks and Recreation. He was also 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.