In WWE, John Cena gained industry fame after adopting a persona of a trash-talking rapper, and won his first singles title, the United States Championship, in 2004. The next year, Cena would win the WWE Championship for the first time.
Following that, Cena's character transitioned into a "Superman-like" heroic figure, and subsequently led the company as its franchise player and public face for the next decade. Cena has headlined several major WWE pay-per-view events, closing the company's flagship annual event, WrestleMania, five times.
He has also won several championships in his career, being a five-time United States Champion, a four-time world tag team champion, and a WWE record sixteen-time world champion. He is also a two-time Royal Rumble match winner, and a Money in the Bank ladder match winner.
Although he is considered to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time by his peers, Cena was regularly met with mixed critical and fan reception during his career, thus making him one of the most polarizing professional wrestlers ever.
Speaking on Sunday Today, Cena explained why he’s scaled back his WWE work: “If I didn’t have these opportunities, I still would be taking, actively taking more time off. Because my body just can’t handle the schedule anymore.
It’s a lot of performances a year. And I love it so much, I don’t ever want to take time off. You can essentially take as much time off as you want. But when I turned 40, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Hey man, I know you really like this.
But instead of 250 performances a year, from here on out, just do it 100 times a year and do it well.’ And then it became, ‘Just do it 50 times a year and do it well.’ And now it’s like, ‘Hey, you really have to prepare to get ready to perform, and then really recover after a performance.
So it’s not that I — what’s that country song? ‘I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.' ”