In WWE, John Cena gained industry fame after adopting a persona of a trash-talking rapper, and he 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.
During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he explained how authenticity has helped him develop a strong social media presence: “It’s the same thing that garnered me a lot of success in the WWE, which was remaining authentic.
When I changed into a hip hop persona, hip hop was part of my life, a part of my culture. So I just dove in in a way that was authentic to me. I was a Vanilla Ice exaggerated wannabe, essentially what I was in middle school, and I went back to that personality with all the bravado and swagger, and then eventually, over a decade and a half, became the character you see on Raw and SmackDown.
Very much like in WWE when I openly switched and stopped rapping, choosing to be more aware of the young people in the crowd."