WWE: A Look Back at How John Cena Became Face of Company

Pavitar SidhuCorrespondent IMay 20, 2012

Here is a look at John Cena's career leading all the way up to him winning his first WWE title and thus becoming the face of the company when he was drafted to Raw afterwards. Also, for those of you that are unaware, John Cena recently filed for divorce from his wife.

The Beginning

John Cena was born on April 23, 1977.

Ultimate Pro Wrestling

Ultimate Pro Wrestling is where John Cena began his wrestling career in southern California. In the year 2000, Cena enrolled himself into the Ultimate University. Cena has a background in bodybuilding, so using his impressive physique as a gimmick, he called himself Prototype.

Cena worked his way up the ladder and eventually won the company's heavyweight championship. Shortly thereafter, the WWE came calling and signed him to a contract.

Ohio Valley Wrestling

Upon signing with the WWE, John Cena was placed into the WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

There, Cena continued his impressive rise through the ranks by capturing the tag team championships and heavyweight championships.

WWE Debut

After impressing management with his work in Ohio Valley Wrestling, John Cena was called up to the WWE.

He made his first televised WWE appearance by answering Kurt Angle's open challenge. The writers wanted to give Cena an instant push, so they allowed Cena to survive both the Angle Slam and the Angle Lock. Cena lost the match, but did come out looking quite strong with the crowd.

Cena then started teaming up with Billy Kidman as they attempted to become the first WWE tag team champions. However, Kidman and Cena lost in the first round of the tournament to Chris Benoit and Angle. Benoit and Angle were doing a gimmick at the time where they were tag team partners who did not get along.

Cena and Kidman split up immediately after the loss and began a small feud with one another. The breakup and the feud led to Cena turning heel.


In an attempt to gain John Cena some more heel heat, the writers decided to pair him up with an enforcer.

His first sidekick was B-2 (pronounced B Squared). B-2 had wrestled in the WWE earlier as Bull Buchanan. Along with the name change came a gimmick change for B-2. His gimmick was changed to more of a hip-hop character to properly complement Cena.

The writers then replaced B-2 with Red Dogg. Red Dogg was the wrestler formerly known as Rodney Mack.

United States Championship

At the beginning of 2004, John Cena began a feud with then United States Heavyweight Champion, the Big Show. Their feud escalated into a title match at WrestleMania XX.

With the big event happening in New York City, Cena smartly wore a Patrick Ewing jersey to the ring in an attempt to draw even more cheers. After an impressive FU to the Big Show, Cena captured the United States Heavyweight Championship.

Best of Five With Booker

The writers turned to the history books in an attempt to boost John Cena to higher levels. They tried to recapture the magic of the Best of Seven series that Booker T and Chris Benoit had in WCW. Cena and Booker were booked to wrestle in a Best of Five series for the United States Heavyweight Championship.

The fifth and final match was held at No Mercy. Cena defeated Booker in a solid match.

Not Cool

The writers needed a way to give John Cena time off from wrestling to film "The Marine," so they booked John Cena to drop the United States Heavyweight Championship to the debuting Carlito Caribbean Cool.

Afterwards, they scripted a storyline where Carlito's bodyguard Jesus attacked Cena at a night club; sidelining Cena for several weeks with stab wounds.

After completion of the movie, Cena returned to Smackdown to continue his feud with Carlito. Cena recaptured the United States Heavyweight Championship from Carlito. It was after this tile victory that Cena unveiled the infamous spinner belt.

WWE Championship

After proving to be a successful United States Heavyweight Champion, the writers felt it was time for John Cena to make the step up to the main event level and the WWE championship.

The start of the push began at the Royal Rumble. Cena was the last man eliminated. Batista, who at the time was the fastest rising star on the roster, was the winner of the Royal Rumble.

Since Batista was challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship, Smackdown needed a WrestleMania challenger, so a tournament was set up. Cena won the tournament by defeating Kurt Angle in the finals. Cena was now the top challenger for John Bradshaw Layfield's WWE Championship.

A feud with JBL's Cabinet ensued. The writers wanted to really push the storyline so they had Cabinet member Orlando Jordan win the United States Heavyweight Championship from Cena.

At WrestleMania 21, Cena defeated JBL with an FU to finally win the WWE Heavyweight Championship. With the title win came a brand new customized spinner title belt.

Getting Raw

John Cena was viewed as the top star in the company by this time, so the writers decided to move him over to the company's flagship show, Raw. In order to do so, the writers used the WWE Draft Lottery to have WWE Heavyweight Champion Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Batista switch places.

Please check out The Wrestling Cafe for the latest pro wrestling news and rumors with detailed columns as well.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!