John Cena's 4 Brothers: All About Stephen, Dan, Matthew and Sean

John Cena's brothers have cheered him every step of his career

<p>The Kelly Clarkson Show/NBC</p> John Cena and his brother Dan Cena on

The Kelly Clarkson Show/NBC

John Cena and his brother Dan Cena on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show.'

John Cena’s brothers — Stephen, Dan, Matthew and Sean — were his earliest opponents in wrestling.

The five Cena boys grew up battling for cardboard replica championship belts in a homemade ring.

“Each one had their special moves and their special holds,” recalled their father 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's unique childhood with his siblings helped him rise to the top of WWE as a 16-time world champion. The former wrestler remains close to his brothers and has admitted that any breakdown in communication is short-lived.

“The longest I’ve gone without speaking to a brother would only be because of my irresponsibility with communicating,” he told Tara TV in 2021. “And I would say three to four months. ... Growing up in a family of five in a relatively modest home ... you couldn’t take a vow of silence.”

Related: All About John Cena's Parents, Carol and John Cena Sr.

From their childhood to their long-lasting bonds, here’s everything to know about John Cena’s brothers: Stephen, Dan, Matthew and Sean.

Matt supported John at the beginning of his wrestling career

<p>Manuel Velasquez/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty</p> John Cena poses during a press conference with wrestlers of WWE on May 13, 2011.

Manuel Velasquez/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty

John Cena poses during a press conference with wrestlers of WWE on May 13, 2011.

Matt has been one of his brother’s biggest fans since the beginning. In the early 2000s, tickets were sold out for a WWE event where a then-unknown John was set to wrestle in his first dark match.

Matt was desperate to see his sibling, so when he ran into Dwayne Johnson, then known as "The Rock," at a gym in California, he reached out for a favor.

“I asked him if he could help me out in any way, shape or form," Matt explained in the Once in a Lifetime: The Rock vs. John Cena documentary in 2012. “I said, ‘My brother's got this tryout match for the WWE, it's a big thing for him and I don't know if you could help or not, but I would love to go. I can't find a way to go right now.’ ”

Johnson came through with the tickets, and Matt got the chance to witness a special moment in his brother's career.

John's wedding present to Matt didn't go over well

When Matt married his wife, John wanted to contribute to the festivities but it seems he didn't think it all the way through. The actor recalled the occasion when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2021.

“I thought it would be a nice gesture to open the bar. Drinks are on me, that's my gift to the bride and groom. Nobody would have to pay for anything," he said.

But things quickly went awry. "I found out it was a mistake when my brother Dan and I got into a fistfight in the middle of the dance floor and closed the wedding down," John added.

He continued, "You could tell, right then and there, who were guests, and who were a member of the Cena family, because the guests were like, 'What are you gonna do to stop it?' and the Cena family's like, 'No, no, let 'em figure it out. Let 'em do it.' "

Related: Who Is John Cena's Wife? All About Shay Shariatzadeh

John's older brother Stephen is an award-winning actor

<p>Noel Vasquez/Getty</p> John Cena visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on January 15, 2020.

Noel Vasquez/Getty

John Cena visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on January 15, 2020.

John has starred in several films, but he isn’t the only actor in the family. His older brother, Stephen, is a voice and theater actor who has appeared in Avenue Q, Bloody Island and Return to Clark County. He has also won two Theater Association of New York State awards (TANYS) for his work.

“I started acting in community theater in 2004 and took up voice-over work in 2009, and both have been passions of mine ever since,” Stephen revealed in an interview with Talker of the Town in 2017.

As a child, he was also in a play that his dad directed for the high school drama club. Stephen opened up about the family dynamics surrounding his career on the I Played, Too podcast in January 2024.

“He's [John Sr.] been to almost every show that I've done, and I love him so much and appreciate him so much for supporting me all this time. It's the nicest thing I can possibly think of; it's kind of a neat way to bond with your dad," he said.

The actor also admitted that, as the oldest, his younger brothers had an “adversarial” attitude toward him while they were growing up.

“As we've grown into adulthood, we've absolutely gotten much closer,” he shared. “I'm still kind of a quiet person; I still tend to keep to myself, but if I'm home visiting, we'll go out to dinner. We're very friendly with each other. It's great seeing my family.”

John's younger sibling Dan is a police sergeant

<p>Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty</p> Dan Cena and John Cena on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'.

Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Dan Cena and John Cena on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'.

John almost lost his brother Dan in 2007 when the younger Cena was working as a police officer in Newbury, Massachusetts. After Super Bowl Sunday, Dan's car was hit at high speed by a drunk driver — the vehicle was mangled, but Dan managed to escape with a broken left leg.

He shared his gratitude during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show with John in 2019.

“I was very lucky to get out of there with the shape I’m in now," Dan said. "It could have been a lot worse if not life-ending.”

The special episode was dedicated to celebrating first responders, and John honored his brother, who is now a police sergeant.

“One thing I truly love about Dan is, as much of the job that is difficult to digest, he loves his work, and he never once takes it home with him,” the Ricky Stanicky star said. “He’s a wonderful father, and a wonderful husband, and a wonderful brother. And to be able to manage all that ... is superhuman.”

John's brother Sean was diagnosed with brain cancer

<p>Kris Connor/Getty</p> John Cena attends the 25th Annual Susan G. Komen Global Race For The Cure at the National Mall on May 10, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Kris Connor/Getty

John Cena attends the 25th Annual Susan G. Komen Global Race For The Cure at the National Mall on May 10, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Sean, the youngest of the four brothers, was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in 2011. The tumor was inoperable, but Sean continued to thrive thanks to early detection.

Over the years, John has opened up about his brother’s strength in the face of adversity.

“He's the last of five boys, so he's the most reserved out of all of us,” he told Huffington Post in 2013. “I saw what he went through though, and the treatment he had to rely upon."

John continued, "I saw him going through being a boy to becoming a man. What he went through keeps us so motivated. Around the family, we call him our ‘silent champion.’ ”

His brother’s story pushed John to advocate for the WWE to support organizations working to find a cure for cancer, per Sports Illustrated.

The wrestling champ’s persistence led to the organization’s support during breast cancer awareness month via draping a pink rope around the ring and selling pink versions of their merchandise, with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Sean inspired John's famous "you can't see me" gesture

<p>Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal/Getty </p> John Cena on the' 'Today' show.

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal/Getty

John Cena on the' 'Today' show.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2022, John shared the backstory behind his iconic “you can’t see me” gesture.

According to the former WWE star, he let Sean listen to the album he was working on, which had his now-famous entrance theme, “The Time Is Now.”

"My younger brother Sean was always our litmus test,” John recalled. “He kind of liked the same music and he would never go to the studio with us so we'd come home with our tracks and we'd play it for him and he was ruthless. He would never be satisfied with any song.”

Although John didn’t expect a positive response from Sean, his sibling inspired the hand maneuver when he danced like Tony Yayo in a G-Unit music video. (Yayo later shared that he was, in fact, trying to hide his face in the clip.)

After John slightly modified the hand gesture, Sean dared him to perform it on TV, which he happily did and the rest is history.

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