John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. (//; born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor, and reality television show host signed to WWE. He is assigned to the SmackDown brand, where he is the current WWE Champion in his record-setting thirteenth reign, and record-tying sixteenth world championship reign, an accomplishment only previously achieved by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair.
Cena started his professional 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 World Wrestling Entertainment, or simply 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 2002–2004, which earned him a huge stardom within the audience on SmackDown!. 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 professional wrestler ever" as his character has many supporters and many detractors. In 2012, IGN described Cena as WWE's franchise player since 2005 and in 2015, WWE credited Cena as being the "face of WWE". John Layfield and veteran industry personality and executive Paul Heyman referred to Cena as "the best wrestler ever". Heyman said about Cena that "no one has been able to keep that schedule, no one has matched his box-office appeal, no one has sold more merchandise, no one has had the longevity, the box-office attraction as the main, top level, box-office attraction than John Cena".
So far in his career, Cena has won 24 championships, with 16 reigns as a world champion (13 times as WWE Champion – with his 12th reign being as WWE World Heavyweight Champion – and three times as WWE's World Heavyweight Champion), five reigns as United States Champion, and four reigns as 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 of 2016, John Cena is WWE's highest-paid wrestler.
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 also the host of American Grit on Fox. Cena 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.