John Cena Discloses Initial WWE Signing Pay

Discover John Cena's humble beginnings in his wrestling career.

by Noman Rasool
John Cena Discloses Initial WWE Signing Pay

Iconic WWE superstar John Cena recently opened up about his early days in the wrestling industry, revealing the modest amount he was paid upon signing his first contract. Despite boasting a stellar career spanning two decades and 16 WWE World Championships, Cena's humble beginnings were a far cry from his current stardom.

Widely hailed as one of the most incredible wrestling talents ever, Cena has captivated audiences worldwide, earning his place in the industry's Hall of Fame. He tied the record with Ric Flair for the most recognized World Titles.

Notably, all of Cena's championships were achieved within WWE, surpassing Flair's accomplishments across different promotions like NWA, WCW, and WWE.

Cena's Early Journey in WWE

However, Cena didn't immediately ascend to stardom.

When he signed with WWE in October 2000, he was a fresh-faced 23-year-old balancing bodybuilding with the steep learning curve of the wrestling world. After an intensive two-year training period at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), rubbing shoulders with notable names such as Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Batista, and Shelton Benjamin, Cena made his memorable Smackdown debut against Kurt Angle in June 2002.

During a recent episode of "Hart To Heart," hosted by renowned actor/comedian Kevin Hart on Peacock, Cena divulged the financial details of his first WWE contract. To the surprise of many, his annual remuneration was a paltry $12,000.

"I quit my job the day I was signed. My rent was $1,000 a month. Virtually all my earnings were being swallowed by rent," Cena recalled. Despite this, his father was overjoyed upon hearing the news, expressing immense pride in his son's achievements.

On the other hand, his mother told caution, hoping he'd be okay given the meager earnings. Cena's trajectory since those early days has been nothing short of spectacular. Having made tens of millions of dollars throughout his WWE career, Cena is making significant strides in Hollywood while sporadically making WWE appearances.

In a recent surprise appearance at Money in the Bank in London, Cena teased the prospect of WrestleMania heading to England for the first time. This spectacle was promptly followed by a scuffle with Grayson Waller, which Cena effortlessly settled with his trademark Attitude Adjustment, much to the crowd's delight.

John Cena