John Cena has shared how much money he was paid when he first signed a WWE contract.
During his incredible WWE career that started over 20 years ago, John Cena has been called “the greatest of all time” by some people in the business and many fans likely feel that way.
After all, Cena has done it all in his WWE career with 16 WWE World Championships, which ties him with Ric Flair with the most recognized World Titles, but in Cena’s case, they were all in WWE while Flair’s were in NWA, WCW and two with WWE. That means Cena is the most decorated World Champion if you just count WWE shows.
While Cena is no longer a full-time performer, he debuted on Smackdown in June 2002 and in less than three years he won the WWE Championship for the first time. For well over a decade, Cena was WWE’s top guy, which means he had one of the longest runs on top of the biggest promotion ever.
It’s easy to look back at Cena’s success and label him one of the greatest successes in WWE history, but it’s important to know his humble beginnings too.
John Cena wasn’t a “chosen one” that was handpicked to be a main eventer. Cena signed with WWE in October 2000 when he was a 23-year-old just learning about the business while also doing bodybuilding. It took nearly two years of training at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Batista and Shelton Benjamin before Cena was ready for his debut on Smackdown against Kurt Angle in June 2002.
In an interview with well-known actor/comedian Kevin Hart on Hart To Heart which airs on Peacock, John Cena revealed how much money he made when he first signed with WWE, which is likely the deal he signed in 2000. As Cena explained, his parents reacted to it in different ways.
“My first contract with WWE was $12,000 a year. I quit my job the day I was signed. I think my rent was $1,000 a month. So all my money is now rent.”
“When I told my mom, she’s like, ‘I hope you’re okay.’ My dad, I could have told him any other position and he would have been like, ‘Yeah, whatever,’ but I told him I got a job with WWE. ‘Oh, my son. This is unreal. It’s going to great. I can’t believe it.’ Still, to this day, he’s extremely proud.”
Since then, Cena has obviously made tens of millions of dollars and is doing very well for himself in Hollywood while occasionally appearing in WWE.
At Money in the Bank last Saturday in London, England, John Cena made a surprise appearance to pitch the idea of WrestleMania going to England for the first time ever. Cena’s promo was interrupted by Grayson Waller, who cena dropped with an Attitude Adjustment soon after, much to the delight of the crowd.