John Cena began his wrestling career in November 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), where he once held the UPW Heavyweight Championship; he then signed a development contract with the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF), debuting on the main roster in June 2002.
In total he won the WWE Championship thirteen times (all-time record) and the World Heavyweight Championship three times, which makes him a sixteen-time world champion (shared record with Ric Flair); he also held the United States Championhip five times, the World Tag Team Championship twice, and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice.
He won the 2008 and 2013 editions of the Royal Rumble match, the 2006, 2010 and 2011 editions of the Elimination Chamber match and the 2012 edition of the Money in the Bank. His WrestleMania score is fifteen participations: 10 wins and 5 losses (2004 - 2020).
In an interview with Newsweek, John Cena discussed WWE’s new RAW Underground concept.
John Cena on Raw Underground
“[RAW Underground] is an opportunity. I think any paradigm shift, any big announcement, anything in that world that is ever-changing, constantly-pivoting, there is always a search for growth.
It’s an opportunity, that’s exactly what it is. So, I think it needs a little bit of time to find itself. And in all things if it lacks creative definition from the top, I really hope performers embrace the unknown and they define it" - John Cena explained.
On how Steve Austin is an example of making something out of an opportunity, he added: “A great example of that is Steve Austin. Steve Austin wasn’t told to be Steve Austin, but he was given a chance to speak and Stone Cold Steve Austin came out of that, and then the power of the WWE sent this dude’s personality out to everybody.
That’s where we get one if not the greatest WWE superstars of all time in Stone Cold Steve Austin. So I see a lot of opportunities like that. You have this newer thing not a lot of people know what all of it is and that is the absolute best for anyone that is going to be in front of the camera because they can define it and they can take advantage of the opportunity”.
Considered to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time by his peers, and noted for his strong work ethic, Cena has nevertheless met with varied critical and fan reception during his career. He has been praised for his character work and promotion skills but criticized for his supposed over-representation and victories over rising stars, which are deemed "burials" He is thus regarded as one of the most polarizing professional wrestlers of all time.