The history of John Cena's T-shirts

"Word Life"

Give Vanilla Ice credit. Had John Cena not spit a line to Stephanie McMahon while dressed up like the MC behind “Ice Ice Baby” on a 2002 Halloween edition of SmackDown, then the 10-time WWE Champion’s important jump from promising, young competitor to braggadocios breakout Superstar may never have happened. (WATCH) Instead, Cena’s inspired bit of dress up put substance on his already marketable good looks and Superman frame and gave WWE fans something about him to remember.

In the years that followed, Cena went full tilt with his hip-hop alter ego, adding backward slung hats and throwback jerseys to his outfits while rhyming insults at his rivals like an underground MC. (WATCH) Late in 2003, Cena debuted his first T-shirt — a white and blue ringer tee depicting a pair of cartoon hands sporting “Word Life” knuckle rings like the man himself. A few months later, he rocked a new emblem, taking the sports-entertainment empire’s classic block logo and lopping off the last two letters. The symbol was Cena’s answer to rap’s adoration for old-school culture, but more than that, it was him saying, “Here’s history, watch me change it.”

Order John Cena's "Word Life" shirt