Inside John Cena's Relationship History

John Cena has spoken candidly about wanting to maintain his love life away from the public eye. In a 2020 chat with Access, he made it clear that setting boundaries and keeping relationships private is important to him. "I think [fans] can also respectfully understand the fact that some things are for me," he said. Even so, that hasn't stopped fans from digging into his personal life. As Cena has transitioned from his career in the WWE (which he found by total fluke) into acting, he's solidified himself as a top-grossing actor and has earned a huge net worth, but he's been unable to shake the curiosity tied to his romantic side. Over the years, he's been linked to a number of rumored and actual girlfriends, several of them well-known wrestlers in their own right.

Among his speculative partners, Cena has been linked to wrestler AJ Lee whom he kissed in the ring in 2012, per Bleacher Report. However, as HollywoodLife later noted, their romance was just part of the script. In 2013, the "Peacemaker" actor was rumored to have had an affair with adult film star Kendra Lust, but she denied their union. He was also said to be dating WWE star Carmella, but as she shared in a 2020 WWE interview, folks were way off. "That is so far from the truth! I barely know John Cena," she proclaimed. There have been plenty of confirmed romances too and we're breaking them all down below. Here's a look inside John Cena's relationship history.

John Cena's brief fling with Lisa Marie Varon

John Cena was linked to fellow WWE wrestler Lisa Marie Varon (known as Victoria in the ring) in the early 2000s and while not much is known about their union, we do know it happened under unusual circumstances. Lisa Marie, who was married to Lee Varon from 1994 until 2015, had an on-again, off-again relationship with her hubby and hooked up with Cena while she was on a break. Lisa Marie told (via Wrestling News Plus), "One of those times that we were separated, I dated John Cena for about a month." Sharing more details, she told the outlet that it happened in 2002 when they were both based in Louisville, Kentucky, and underscored the fact that there was no cheating going on from either side. "I was married but separated. John Cena was single," she stressed. "I was never his 'road girlfriend.'"

Lisa, who also said that their relationship was "common knowledge" at the time, decided to set the record straight about her time with Cena after WWE alum Kenn Doane talked about their union to SE Scoops in 2012. He claimed Cena had an affair with a married woman, and while he didn't name names, it was believed he was talking about Lisa Marie. As Lisa Marie clapped back, Doane was off the mark and trying to stir up drama.

Rumors about Mickie James and John Cena

John Cena and fellow wrestler Mickie James' relationship fueled in an in-ring storyline, and apparently, some behind-the-scenes drama. In 2012, wrestler Kenn Doane told SE Scoops that James cheated on him with Cena. What's more, Doane believes he and James got the axe because of Cena. "He was messing with MJ so I got moved to Smackdown so they could further mess," he tweeted in 2012 (via Wrestling Inc). "When MJ got crazy because he wouldn't date her, she then got fired." Comicbook reported a similar story, claiming that when Cena got married in 2009, James found it hard to work with him, so the WWE transferred her from Raw to SmackDown. She was let go in 2010.

Doane insisted Cena was to blame, tweeting (via Wrestling Inc), "When they were together she got the title, TV roles. When he dumped her she became Piggy James, then fired." He's not the only one to suggest her career was tied to Cena. In 2019, Becky Lynch tweeted that James, her opponent at the time, had used a certain WWE star to further her career. James' response? "Sorry. It took me a minute to stop laughing," she wrote. (Kayfabe? Reality? A mix of both? We may never know.) 

Regarding her WWE relationship history, James told Lilian Garcia in 2017, "That's one of the reasons why so many people in the industry fall in love in the first place, because you see each other every day."

John Cena married his high school sweetheart

John Cena's first marriage came in 2009 when he said "I do" to his high school sweetheart, Liz Huberdeau. According to TMZ, however, Cena and Huberdeau's love story quickly deteriorated as they reportedly began butting heads soon after tying the knot. According to one source who spoke with the outlet in 2012, they argued over everything, including a home remodel, and the wrestler was reportedly unhappy for some time. While neither party commented on the rumors of a frayed relationship, Cena finally decided to pull the plug on his marriage in May 2012. Filing for divorce, he called their union "irretrievably broken," per TMZ. However, despite having a prenup in place, their separation was not clean cut.

Huberdeau's attorney, Raymond Rafool, spoke with TMZ to say she was totally blindsided by the split. "Sadly, divorce is not the way Liz thought her perfect love story would end," Rafool stated, adding that they would do everything in their power to circumvent the prenup and get Huberdeau the biggest payout possible. Part of their strategy appeared to be accusing Cena of infidelity. While they didn't name names, Rafool told TMZ that June, "We're definitely following up on every lead relative to his being unfaithful before AND after the separation." Rumors swirled that Cena had hooked up with adult actor Kendra Lust, but she denied any involvement. Finally, in July 2012, Cena and Huberdeau came to a settlement, per TMZ, which her lawyer called "amicable."

An on-again, off-again romance with Nikki Bella

Pro wrestling superstars John Cena and Nikki Bella had their first date at a steakhouse in 2012, and she told WWE it had been the best first date ever. The second was even better — "We just had an amazing dance in the middle of the restaurant," she reminisced — and in 2013, they moved in together, per Us Weekly. However, their whirlwind romance wasn't as romantic as it sounds. During the first season of "Total Bellas," Bella revealed that Cena made her sign a 75-page contract, which stipulated, per People, that she would immediately move out with all of her things if they ever broke up. The contract also underlined that she'd be a "guest" in his home and that made her question their union. "I love John, but maybe he knows that he doesn't want to be with me forever?" she pondered on the show.

Soon, bigger issues plagued the couple. Cena didn't want to marry and have kids while she did. Eventually, Cena proposed during WrestleMania 33 in 2017, but they called off their engagement in April 2018. That May, they got back together, but by July, it was over for good. In 2020, Bella told "Better Together with Maria Menounos" that after Cena told her he was willing to reverse his vasectomy, she realized she didn't want to force him to do something he might regret. "Overall, we did have such an incredible relationship. It was just two people that wanted two different lives," she concluded.

Nikki Bella and John Cena's relationship today

John Cena and Nikki Bella demonstrate that it is possible to remain friendly with your ex. Speaking with People in 2019, Nikki revealed she was keeping Cena up-to-date on her dates because she didn't want him to learn about them through tabloids. "This breakup wasn't bad, it didn't end bad, we didn't do bad things for each other. He's still close with my family," she said. In January 2019, she began dating "Dancing with the Stars" pro Artem Chigvintsev and in August 2020, they welcomed their first son, Matteo. Twin sister Brie Bella gave birth just one day later, and Nikki told Us Weekly that Cena reached out to congratulate them both. "John and I will be tied forever," she said. "All I've ever wanted was for him to be happy, so it makes me happy when I see that and, like, him kicking butt in the movie world and all that stuff."

Nikki also publicly praised her ex when she and Brie were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021. "To John, thank you for teaching me a lot about this business and truly helping me find my fearless side," she enthused. And when news of Cena and Shay Shariatzadeh's relationship broke in 2019, Nikki said on "The Bellas Podcast" that she was happy for him and jokingly issued a stern warning. "Let me tell you, she breaks his heart? Wow. I will rack attack her in a heartbeat. I'm still protective of that man," she said.

John Cena and Shay Shariatzadeh got married... twice

John Cena was first linked to Shay Shariatzadeh in March 2019 and the couple made their red carpet debut that October at the "Playing with Fire" premiere. As ET reported, the two met in Vancouver when Cena was shooting the film; one source told People that the connection was instantaneous. Just a year after they went public, Cena and Shariatzadeh secretly married in October 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Jump to July 2022, and Cena and Shariatzadeh got married again, this time at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.

Shariatzadeh was born in Iran, grew up in Canada, and graduated from UBC Engineering. She now works as a product manager at Avigilon and, according to a post on the company's website, she seriously loves her job. "I take pride working in the video security industry because our products help keep people and their assets safe, and that's my little contribution to our world," she said.

As far as expanding their family is concerned, Cena has made it clear he still doesn't want to be a dad. As he said on a 2022 episode of "The Drew Barrymore Show," "I think just because you might be good at something, for me, is not a strong enough reason to do that."