ST. PETERSBURG - JULY 27: Actor John Cena takes in the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on July 27 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Rise above wombs.
How fitting that this man's birthday would fall on a Monday for a three hour episode of Raw centered solely around something he's involved with. But indeed, on this date in WWE history, the one and only John Cena was born John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. on April 23, 1977, in West Newbury, Massachusetts, to parents Carol and John Cena Sr.
Cena was a bodybuilder (big surprise, huh?) who went to wrestling school and was molded into something passable before going to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) to learn his craft. In 2002 he was called up to the main roster and debuted during the "Ruthless Aggression" push by Vince McMahon and he's since become the biggest star in the industry today.
I'll let Wikipedia run down his list of accomplishments:
In WWE, Cena has won 19 championships in total, including 12 world titles (having won the WWE Championship a record 10 times and the World Heavyweight Championship twice). In addition, Cena has also won the WWE United States Championship three times, and is a four-time Tag Team Champion, having held the World Tag Team Championship twice (once each with Shawn Michaels and Batista), and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice (once each with David Otunga and The Miz). Cena also won the 2008 Royal Rumble match, and is a two-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009 and 2010). He also has the fourth highest number of combined days as WWE Champion behind Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino.
He's kind of a big deal, y'all.
Of course, because of his great success and rise to the top of the WWE mountain, he's faced a great deal of fan backlash throughout the years. In his earlier days, he adopted a Vanilla Ice white rapper gimmick who was edgy and spit hot fire on the mic. He got over that way, too, but eventually grew out of it into someone else entirely, someone far less edgy and far more kid friendly. Now, he's almost exclusively sold to children.
Older fans also despise him because of how he's treated by the bookers within WWE. In short, he's basically been untouchable throughout the past six years or so. Or at least it's felt that way. And there's no end in sight. But that's okay because he helps keep the business going during a down period where it feels like a mostly stale product that may never climb out of the hole it's in. Some would argue Cena is partially responsible for that hole and they may be right. But he's the big dog in the yard and ain't no one kicking him out of it.
Random John Cena highlight video after the jump.