John Cena played football during his college days but he soon ditched it for his bodybuilding career. But Cena didn't continue the discipline of bodybuilding for too long as he had his eye on the wrestling business.
He had a two-year-long stint with the promotion, where he learned all the basics of pro wrestling.
During his time in the company, Cena donned an interesting new gimmick called 'The Prototype.' It was a semi-robotic character who claimed to be half man and half machine.
In April 2000, Cena captured the UPW World Heavyweight Championship. He remained champion for 27 days before dropping it in May of that year.
The Cenation Leader then proceeded to sign a contract with WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).
The 16-time World Champion achieved enormous success during his time in OVW. He developed as a character and also as an in-ring talent. Cena also had a three-month-long reign as the OVW Heavyweight Champion.
Finally, in June 2002, Cena made his official in-ring debut on WWE Smackdown to answer an open challenge from Kurt Angle.