Maybe it’ll happen in five years, maybe it’ll be closer to 10 or 15, but the fact of the matter is John Cena is no spring chicken these days. Maybe it's for the best that he's got some upcoming time off, because eventually, we'll have to get accustomed to a world without Cena on TV every week.
At 38, he’s not really old or even middle-aged in the big scheme of things. However, he began his career a decade and a half ago and 15 years is quite a long time to get repeatedly picked up and dropped on your neck every night.
But after the thunderous “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks!” call-and-response chants to which we’ve grown so fond finally cease, and the former Doctor Of Thuganomics moves on to the next phase of his life, what is John Cena to do?
Granted, unless he really screwed up like Ric Flair did and owes kah-zillions of dollars all over the place, Cena doesn’t have to do anything after he's done wrestling. But the Cenation Leader never scanned as the sort of dude who’s happy to sit on his laurels and reminisce about the good old days. There’s no hustle in watching TV and collecting royalty checks, after all. Respect and loyalty, sure, but no hustle.
So what are Cena’s options? He could follow Edge and The Rock down the acting route, where he’s already had a degree of success in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, and uh, The Flintstones: Stone Age of Smackdown, we guess. He could wrestle twice a year until he needs to go to the hospital after all of his matches, like The Undertaker and Sting. He could probably make a lot of money doing shoot interviews indefinitely. He could become CEO of an international cable TV service and become even filthy stinking richer far, far, away from the spotlight, like Shane McMahon.
But we cooked up some alternate possibilities for John Cena’s post-WWE doings, as the several-time former world champion is certainly eager to listen to life advice from internet writers. Here, we present them in no particular order.
14 Candidate for President of the United States
The only worthwhile information available about Cena’s political views we know of is this picture of him with repeat presidential failure and 1960s sitcom dad Mitt Romney. So we’re guessing he’s republican? Or at least republican-ish?
He supported Linda McMahon's senate campaign, but that doesn’t count because he would’ve been forced to job to Heath Slater if he didn’t.
Nonetheless - we can determine from the varying successes of Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson’s presidential bids that Cena’s lack of experience in, or knowledge about public service, would in no way disqualify him from running for president of the United States on a republican ticket. Better yet - his mastery of catchphrases and yelling would be major assets.
13 Return to Music
Is John Cena a terrific rapper - as far as we can glean from his album, You Can’t See Me? Nah, not really. Is he a better rapper than “Macho Man” Randy Savage was or Kevin Federline, Iggy Azalea, and innumerable other celebrities who mistakenly assumed rapping was easy? Kind of! And there’s no reason why he couldn’t improve if he set his mind to it. Maybe he could join forces with Jeff Hardy and become PeroxWhYGen?’s answer to the rapper dude from Linkin Park. Then they could go on tour with Fozzy and wrestling fans the world over will pour hot glue in their ears - the only way to cease the aural agony, and ensure that it never resumes. John Cena’s a pretty mediocre rapper, but at least he doesn’t suck as hard as Fozzy or Linkin Park.
12 Male Escort
Buff Bagwell seems like he’s done alright for himself keeping socially unsatisfied women company. Since he was pretty bad at being a pretend fighter, we can guess that doing the gigolo thing is much easier than professional wrestling. It’s hard to say how Cena’s mostly squeaky clean image might clash with the stigma often associated with this kind of work, but perhaps if WWE knew their former golden boy was out somewhere doing naked stuff for money with another consenting adult, they’d have to finally let Chyna in the Hall of Fame and quit giving Sunny flak for whatever she's doing on Skype.
Now that we’ve got Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Colt Cabana, Jim Ross, Taz, Steve Corino, Jim Cornette, Vince Russo, and probably dozens of others I don’t know about doing online talk shows, does the world need yet another wrestling-oriented podcast? Not in the least. Technically, the world doesn’t need any wrestling podcasts, so what’s one more going to hurt? Cena could blend his capacities for faux-earnestness with shouting gibberish into a hyper-redundant, but possibly listenable, hour-long interview style. This goes double if, instead of famous people, he only interviewed IWC smarks who have booed him for years. Them and maybe that guy from the Spirit Squad who thinks Cena ruined his life. That would be something different.
10 Real Estate Investor
There appears to be an arcane link between the worlds of real estate investment and professional wrestling. Sting has apparently made his fair share of successful real estate investments. So has The Undertaker. Is “investing” in real estate the same thing as buying houses? Does that mean Sting and The Undertaker are basically landlords? We’re not sure how any of that works. We don't know anything about real estate. If we did, this would be a real estate site, not a sports site. But we figure if Sting and The Undertaker are good real estate investors, whatever that means, John Cena can probably do it too. Although, Cena would go about his real estate investing in a more colorful and not-so-goth manner than The Undertaker and Sting likely do.
10. Failed Internet List Writer
We know small children everywhere dream of one day scribing top 15 lists for paragons of internet knowledge, such as TheSportster. Almost all of those dreams will come to naught because let’s face it, small children everywhere are mostly worthless. Hardly anyone can match the suave, smarts, and good looks of those of us gifted enough to write top 15 lists. We’re just genetically superior. Sorry, dweebs. Somewhere, John Cena has to console himself with his success in the wrestling business, knowing deep down, that he doesn’t have what it takes to write top 15 lists for the internet. But we want to see him try, just to watch him fail, and after his spirit is broken and soul crushed, to hear him admit that he just couldn’t cut it in our world….
9 His Dad Could Probably Get Him a Job
Maybe someday Cena will decide the national spotlight isn’t for him anymore or something completely inconceivable may lead to him getting fired and blacklisted by WWE. If so, he’s probably always got a job waiting for him at the Millennium Wrestling Federation, a northeast indie his dad owns. MWF might not have the funding to match whatever WWE pays the Cenation Kingpin, but wouldn’t it be endearing if Cena and Cena Sr. ran MWF as a humble but honest family organization, in which the younger Cena held the world title for life? Given that Carlito picked up the strap in 2013, hasn’t lost it, and certainly doesn’t spend too much time in New England, extensive title reigns are pretty much MWF’s par for the course.
8 Mixed Martial Artist
CM Punk has come under some criticism for his decision to pursue a post-wrestling career in UFC. But let’s ask ourselves a question - how much would we be willing to pay to watch a shoot fight between Punk and John Cena? Wouldn’t it be intriguing to find out which of the former rivals is superior when it comes to non-scripted fighting? Or if either of them are remotely good at real fisticuffs at all? For that matter, how much would just about anyone who’s ever chanted “Cena Sucks!” with gusto pay to watch him get annihilated against a seasoned non-pretend fighter? The answer is a lot. Tons of money.
7 Mysterious, Benevolent Hobo
Remember at the end of Pulp Fiction when Sam Jackson said he planned to wander the Earth and right wrongs like Caine in Kung Fu? Wouldn’t John Cena be sort of good at that?
When some small town kid loses his way and tries to rob a convenience store with a toy gun for booze money, John Cena would make an ideal guy to serendipitously wander in to buy a jug of milk, non-violently defuse the situation, and send the wayward youth back on the path of the straight and narrow? If citizens in a nearby town suspect a municipal politician of accepting a bribe to approve an evil corporation’s plan to demolish an orphanage to make room for a crystal meth factory, who else could expose the corruption? Does Suzy new boyfriend seem suspicious and is he encouraging her to experiment with pot? Cena to the rescue!
6 Motivational Speaker
Originally we were going to put something snarky here, like “If Diamond Dallas Page can be a motivational speaker, anybody can, buh buh blah.” Then we did a little research. Turns out DDP is actually a really good motivational speaker! Did you know that he didn’t learn how to read at an adult level until he was in his early 30s? Which is also around the time he started in the wrestling business? Here, we live in a culture that conditions people - especially individuals with athletic or showbiz aspirations - to think their time has run out by the time they're 25. And here's Page, who didn’t hit his exceptional career highs until his 40s. But just because DDP is great at inspirational talkee time, that doesn't mean John Cena couldn't do an average, pretty okay job at motivational speaking.
5 IT Manager
As anyone who works in a big honkin’ office building knows, IT managers are smug douchebags who think their technological wizardry compensates for their failures in every other aspect of their lives. Just kidding! IT people are great and everybody loves them. If Cena can survive encounters with Randy Orton and The Undertaker, he could probably handle advising a coworker to turn his or her computer off and back on again. Worse case scenario, he could just insult them until they give up and go away, just like Bob from IT! Bob is a wonderful man and I am definitely not conspiring to get him fired, and I'm not just saying that because I know he's reading this.
4 Stand-Up Comedian
In the distant past of Cena’s tenure in WWE, he told a lot of jokes and worked them into his sluggishly-delivered faux-freestyles. Whether or not he was ever funny, we don’t remember. Just because Cena the wrestler/comedian wasn't distinctive enough to pan out, doesn’t mean Cena the comedian/comedian isn’t a viable commodity! Cena could apply the physicality he’s mastered in the ring to his act - much in the same way Dane Cook became a wildly successful stand-up by waving his arms around, running on stage, reciting anecdotes recounting his cruelty to others and telling no actual jokes at any point.
3 Personal Trainer
Here’s a logical one. John Cena is a huge dude. Many other dudes aspire to be huge. Presumably, John Cena can show these other, not so huge dudes how to become a huge dude such as himself. Some of those dudes who hoping to become huge may have money they'd be willing to part with.
The Cenation's Grand Poohbah claims his hugeness is not a result of steroid use, but even he admits that absolutely nobody believes that . Still, he must know a thing or two about cultivating hugeness without chemical enhancement. After all, steroids are like any other drug. For example, it’s possible to communicate with the ghosts of extraterrestrial unicorns without LSD, but LSD makes it way easier.
2 Real Life Marine
Cena has been an adamant cheerleader for America’s armed forces for years, yet has no military experience of his own. Surely, if he had more spare time, he’d be willing to pitch in and throw down with American forces. In the tradition of Elvis - not coincidentally, another celebrity who borrowed from other cultures- Cena the real life soldier could bring loads of credibility to WWE’s military outreach efforts, just so long as his superiors never allow him to come into any direct contact with the enemy. Dude could get himself killed. He's a national treasure. We can’t have that.
1 Serial Killer/Criminal Mastermind
After so many years of playing a quintessential white bread babyface on TV, without a heel run to sully his heroic veneer, who would ever believe the untarnished John Cena was responsible for a string of mysterious, unsolved brutal murders? Or the mastermind of an international drug smuggling cartel?
And after minding his Ps and Qs and suppressing his rage in order to remain a good role model for the wee ones for so long, by now, Cena is overloaded with antisocial impulses that he constantly yearns to unleash. That’s yet another good reason for WWE to finally bite the bullet and turn Cena heel. If he’s not allowed to act like a bastard on TV soon, God help us all when his wrestling career is over and doesn’t have to pretend to be nice anymore.