John Cena is the most polarizing superstar in all of WWE. Whether you like him or hate him, there’s no denying that he is one of the well-known names in the industry and a very charitable athlete.
Read on and find out more about Cena’s success story and how he racked up his earnings.
John Cena’s Net Worth – $35 million
How did John Cena make his money & wealth?
John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts on April 23, 1977. He is the second out of five boys and they all have a mutual love for wrestling. Not only did they watch matches on TV, they also wrestled one another using old mattresses.
Cena grew up with a very active lifestyle of sports. During his early teens Cena fell in love with hip-hop music. He practiced rap while aligning his looks based on the genre with outfits and accessories. However this change in appearance made him the target of bullies who were also physically larger than him. This drove Cena on a quest to bulk up starting with a weight set at home before moving to a local gym. He finished high school in Cushing Academy 240 pounds stronger.
Springfield College was Cena’s choice for his tertiary education. He was a star in the football team and his exercise physiology degree required him to attend wrestling classes. Despite his busy schedule Cena still found time to watch WWE Raw with his buddies and he always expressed his dreams of entering the squared circle. Cena finished college with a great physique and a dream of pursuing a bodybuilding career.
Cena participated in different bodybuilding shows while maintaining his fitness through diet and exercise. He learned about the famous Gold’s Gym in Venice, California and decided to move there even with little cash and without a place to stay. Cena pumped iron while working odd jobs like being a limousine driver and cleaning the gym’s toilets, and when he was low on cash Cena lived and slept in his car. With a bulked up body Cena participated in the 1999 NPC Ironman Natural contest where he won second place, and you can watch this on YouTube.
As Venice’s Gold’s Gym was the “Mecca” of bodybuilding many wrestlers have come there to lift weights. Cena got the chance to converse with a few of them and he was given the suggestion of trying out wrestling. He enrolled in the training school “Ultimate University” which was ran by Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). Cena wrestled in UPW under the gimmick (in-ring persona) of a cyborg named “The Prototype” and even managed to bag the Heavyweight Championship belt.
His efforts did not go unnoticed. Legendary WWE commentator Jim Ross personally visited California to watch Cena in action. Ross was also working as a talent scout and he managed to sign Cena a WWE contract. The young wrestler was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) where Cena trained both his wrestling and microphone skills. He also met future superstars like Randy Orton and Batista. Cena was a hard worker with a lot of charisma and humor to boot, and his manager Kenny Bolin praised his physique, talent, and even work ethics.
Cena made his WWE debut in 2002 on SmackDown where he took on the Olympic medalist Kurt Angle’s challenge. He had rivalries with superstars like Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero. Cena also adopted the gimmick “Doctor of Thuganomics” where he utilized his rap expertise to taunt his foes and entertain fans and fellow wrestlers backstage. As the years passed by Cena won many different titles, became a heel (a villainous character), and had epic matches and rivalries.
As WWE leaned towards more family-friendly content Cena changed his gimmick into what people call “Super Cena”. He remained a babyface (a good character) for a long time and a majority of his matches ended up with him predictably victorious (thus spawning the meme Cena Wins LOL). Some of the audiences began to boo him because of his almost-unstoppable persona and the alternating “Let’s go Cena!” and “Cena sucks!” chants became a norm whenever the superstar makes an appearance. Many longed to see Cena have a new gimmick to refresh his stale character but so far that possibility is very far from taking fruition, especially a heel turn considering the thousands upon thousands of kids Cena inspires.
Cena is still actively wrestling on WWE. He is currently on hiatus due to a shoulder injury but is slated for a return on May 30.
Outside of wrestling Cena has a multitude of ventures that ensure a good flow of income. During his Doctor of Thuganomics days Cena released a rap album titled You Can’t See Me which managed to reach number 15 on the US Billboard 200.
The WWE Shop sells John Cena merchandise that range from very colorful shirts to accessories. Cena himself wears these shirts on his appearances and throws it to the audience prior to a match. 6.25% of the sales from the merchandise goes to Cena. He has also endorsed a couple of brands like Gillette, Capri Sun, YJ Stinger energy drink, Fruity Pebbles, and Subway to name a few.
Cena made his film debut in 2006 with WWE Studios’ The Marine which made $18 million but was critically panned. He would later star in a few more films like 12 Round and The Reunion. Outside of WWE Studios Cena appeared in films like Fred: The Movie and its two sequels, Trainwreck, and Daddy’s Home. He also appeared in television shows like Psych, Parks and Recreation, and he is currently the host of reality series American Grit.
Talent agency ICM Partners lists Cena as among the names for public speaking opportunities. A 45 minute speech from Cena with 15 minute Q&A portion fetches a $100 thousand price tag.
John Cena’s Personal Life & FAQ’s
Is John Cena married?
Cena was previously married to Elizabeth Huberdeau in 2009 but they were divorced in 2012. He is currently in a relationship with WWE Diva Nikki Bella.
John Cena’s Salary & Annual Earnings in 2015
Cena earned $6.7 million last year which was a lot higher than his $3.8 million in 2014. As for his salary it is reported that he receives an annual $2.75 million from WWE.
John Cena’s House
Cena lives in a mansion situated at Tampa, Florida which comes with a boat dock, indoor pool, cigar room, and a large guest house.
John Cena’s charity, donations and philanthropy
Cena is a well-known supporter of the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation. In the wishes that he granted Cena gives seriously-ill kids merchandise, ringside tickets to WWE shows, and even parties. Aside from that he also donated millions of frequent flyer miles to the organization to help with some of the wishes. His mantra “Never Give Up” appears on many of his merchandise and is also his way of inspiring the children.
Kids Wish Network is another non-profit that fulfills wishes of kids with serious medical conditions and Cena devotes his time in making these said wishes come true.
In 2012 WWE partnered with the breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Cena was the superstar responsible for making the partnership happen as he was driven by his youngest brother’s experience with an inoperable brain tumor. He served as the Grand Marshal during the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure last 2014, and is currently the spokesperson for the organization. Some of Cena’s merchandise are tinted pink in support for Komen.
John Cena’s Accomplishments
Cena has granted 500 wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a first in the organization’s history. His efforts have earned him two awards namely the Chris Greicus Celebrity Award and the Special Recognition Award.
He is the recipient of the 2016 Legacy of Achievement Award from the United Service Organizations, a non-profit that supports American troops. WWE has an annual Tribute to the Troops event in Afghanistan and Iraq where the superstars hold free shows and interact with the troops. However since 2010 the event was held domestically.
In the squared circle Cena is the only superstar with a total of 12 championship title reigns. The accomplishment is followed by Triple H with 9 reigns.