Carol and John Sr. are in awe over what John Cena has accomplished
John Cena's parents, Carol and John Cena Sr., have always been supportive of his dreams.
The second of the couple’s five boys has made a name for himself in the wrestling ring, racking up 16 world championships in the WWE. He parlayed that success into a lucrative acting career, with roles in The Suicide Squad, Fast X, Barbie and Argylle.
Away from the wrestling ring and bright lights of Hollywood, the Massachusetts native is close to his family. In fact, he inherited his passion for wrestling from John Sr.
“I have always had a fascination for the world of professional wrestling,” he wrote on his website. “When cable TV first came out, I remember being one of the first to get it so that my sons and I could watch pro wrestling.”
Years later, the proud parents are still in awe of their son’s rise to fame.
“It’s very unique,” Carol explained while reflecting on watching John’s wrestling career blossom during an appearance on The View in 2017. “This is why parents don’t know what their children are going to be because we all need to grow as children and as parents as well.”
From raising a family to supporting their son, here's everything to know about John Cena's parents, Carol and John Sr.
John Sr. and Carol have five children
In addition to John, the couple have four other boys — Steve, John, Dan, Matthew and Sean. Their careers range from law enforcement to tech to auto service, but one thing all the Cena men have in common is a love for wrestling.
As youngsters, the boys would walk down the steps to the basement, which served as their makeshift ring, and John would craft replica championship belts out of cardboard.
"Each one had their special moves and their special holds," recalled John Sr. in a 2007 interview with The Daily News of Newburyport. "I can remember coming home from work hearing people hit the bulkhead and I would even hear them hit the floor."
He added, "If you can believe it, sometimes they would even be body slamming each other on the cement floor."
John Sr. has a wrestling background
The family patriarch was employed as a tax assessor for Methuen, a small city in Massachusetts. But on weekends, he would transform into local wrestling manager "Johnny Fabulous," which laid the groundwork for his sons to follow suit at home.
"A lot of kids have memories of playing catch with their dad — well, my 'catch' with my old man was watching wrestling," John told The Daily News of Newburyport. “The only time we could roughhouse and get away with it was when we were wrestling."
Carol has appeared in a commercial with John
When John signed on to be a spokesperson for Hefty garbage bags in 2016, he got an assist from his mom.
The deal included multiple commercials to promote Hefty’s “Ultra Strong” garbage bags. In one of the spots from the multimedia campaign, Carol appears in the grocery aisle to discourage a shopper from buying "wimpy" trash bags. John tries to talk sense into the buyer, but his mom uses a more physical approach to get the point across.
Carol showed her wrestling chops by putting the unwitting customer into the "Accolade," a finishing move popularized by another wrestler, Rusev. She tops it off with her son’s signature, "You can’t see me" gesture.
"I couldn't have asked for a better co-star than my mom,” John said in a press release to announce the campaign. “She has an amazing sense of humor and is the epitome of a strong woman having raised five boys. Her comedic chops really shine through, and I'm excited for the world to see just how funny she is."
John Sr. is very supportive of his son
Heading into the WWE annual Unforgiven event in 2006, the main feud was between John and Edge in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Championship belt. The event was held in Toronto, so the crowd heavily favored native son Edge. Still, John had at least one person in his corner as he used his signature move to secure the title.
“I love that match. And the only one I could celebrate with after was my dad because he’s the only person in the whole building that was cheering for me,” he recalled in an episode of the docu-series WWE Untold.
“I just wanted to hug my dad,” the WWE Superstar added. “From that moment, I can’t hear a thing. I can hear my father’s breath. That’s a way for me to tell my dad I love him and to mean it.”
“He didn’t know I was gonna be there,” an emotional John Sr. shared about the memorable match.
“That’s something you can never take away," he continued. “He’s my son. I love you, John. I’ll always love you. I love you, kid."
Carol loves spending quality time with John
John’s life as a wrestler and actor is fast-paced, but he always makes time for his mom. During an appearance on The View in 2017, John shared how he and Carol enjoyed their brief stay in the Big Apple.
“I had a match last night in Lexington, Kentucky, and I’ll have a match tonight in Columbus, Georgia, so I’m in and out," he said. "But she got a wonderful afternoon in the city, I took her to breakfast this morning; we had coffee and had a little catch-up time, so it was really nice.”
John was also spotted enjoying a stroll around Hyde Park in London with his mother and wife, Shay Shariatzadeh, in June 2023.
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