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Tracing WWE Legends’ careers: John Cena

10 months ago By Sports Desk

The legendary John Cena began his training at the “Ultimate University” operated by Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) in 1999. He wrestled under the ring name The Prototype and held the UPW Heavyweight Championship for nearly a month in April 2000. 

The following year, Cena signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and was assigned to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). During his time in OVW, he wrestled under the names The Prototype and Mr. P, winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship and the OVW Tag Team Championship with Rico Constantino.

WWE Rise to Stardom

Cena made his WWE debut in June 2002, answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle. He quickly gained popularity and became a fan favorite, engaging in feuds with wrestlers like Chris Jericho and participating in a tag team tournament to crown the first WWE Tag Team Champions. Cena also developed a new gimmick as a rapper and began cutting promos in rhyme, adopting the slogan “Word Life” and the “signature symbol” of the 80s WWF logo.

In 2004, Cena won the WWE United States Championship from Big Show at WrestleMania XX. He feuded with SmackDown! General Manager Kurt Angle came into conflict with René Duprée and Torrie Wilson. Cena’s reign ended when he was stripped of the title by Angle. He later regained the championship in a “best of five” series against Booker T but lost it to Carlito Caribbean Cool. Cena then began a feud with Carlito, where he was stabbed (kayfabe) in the kidney. Cena took time off to film his debut feature film, “The Marine.”

WWE Titles

In 2005, Cena participated in the Royal Rumble and made it to the final two participants. He feuded with WWE Champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield (JBL) and won his first world title by defeating JBL at WrestleMania 21. Cena had a spinner WWE Championship belt made, while JBL still claimed to be the champion with the original belt. Cena eventually reclaimed the original belt in an “I Quit” match at Judgment Day.

Cena was drafted to the Raw brand in 2005 and continued his success, feuding with Eric Bischoff and defeating Chris Jericho to retain his title. However, Cena faced backlash from a vocal portion of the audience, who began booing him, despite being portrayed as a face (good guy). He had feuds with Kurt Angle and retained his championship against him at Unforgiven and Survivor Series.

Cena has won 21 championships, including 16 World Championships, making him one of the most decorated wrestlers in WWE history. Cena has had numerous feuds and accomplishments throughout his career, including winning the Royal Rumble in 2013, becoming a multiple-time WWE Champion and World Heavyweight Champion, and feuding with notable wrestlers like The Miz and The Rock. He has also pursued a career in music and film and has made guest appearances on various television shows.

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