“I Slept in My Car for a While” – John Cena Was Homeless Before Achieving WWE Stardom

Published 07/01/2021, 8:15 AM EDT
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – APRIL 1: John Cena looks on before his match against Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson during WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium on April 1, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

John Cena was amongst the biggest pro-wrestlers in the world before he shifted to Hollywood. Even in mainstream media, the 16-time World Champion has his hands full with multiple big projects.


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Yet, even Cena has had his fair share of struggles. The struggles started when he first moved to Los Angeles from his hometown in Massachusetts in 1999.


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Like many youngsters, Cena was also hoping to make it to the silver screen. However, his father John Cena Sr disapproved of his dream and said he “would be home with his tail between my legs in two weeks.”

The ‘Leader of the Cenation‘ revealed many such details in an exclusive interview with The Sun. John Cena said he started weightlifting after being “bullied at school for his dress sense.”

Despite running out of his resources, Cena did not return to his home. He started working at a gym in LA, which did not pay him well. For a while, Cena lived in his car because he could not afford rent.

“I slept in my car for a while, which happened to be a very roomy 1991 Lincoln Town Car. I had my clothes in the trunk, and I slept in the back seat,” he said. “I’d wake up, use the locker rooms and the shower and repeat the process all over again.”

To make ends meet, Cena took up pro wrestling. He signed up with a wrestling school in 1999 and would eventually find his way to WWE by 2001.

Watch this Story: OMG Moments from the WWE Ruthless Aggression Era.

John Cena has an enviable pro-wrestling career

After signing up with WWE in 2001, Cena made his main roster debut on SmackDown next year. He came to answer Kurt Angle’s open challenge. Later on, Cena would also incorporate ‘open challenge’ during his title reigns.

However, his ‘Ruthless Aggression’ gimmick was not going anywhere, and he almost lost his career. However, a rap session on a WWE bus journey saved his career and paved the way for “The Doctor of Thuganomics.”

From “The Doctor of Thuganomics” to “Mr. Hustle Loyalty and Respect”, Cena became the public face for WWE in the 2010s, acquiring a massive worldwide fanbase.

He is a 16-time world champion, two-time Royal Rumble match winner, a one-time Money in the Bank winner, and has headlined WrestleMania five times.


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ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 31: John Cena wins his match against The Miz at the WWE Monday Night Raw Supershow Halloween event at the Philips Arena on October 31, 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)

Outside of WWE, Cena is a part of several major Hollywood projects including F9, Suicide Squad. On TV, he is a host of Wipe Out and would star as Peacemaker in an eponymous television series.

To conclude, John Cena is a prime example of what hard work, perseverance, and patience lead to. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Angana Roy

1195 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.



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