John Cena is a triple threat: he's a wrestler, actor, and host, but he might soon become a quadruple threat as boyfriend of the year. After his very public 2018 breakup with Total Bellas star Nikki Bella, and an even more public plea for her to take him back, John is stepping out with the new lady in his life: Shay Shariatzadeh.
After his first public appearance with Shay, fans couldn't help but compare her to Nikki Bella, as the two bear a resemblance to one another. In the months since, the couple has made further joint appearances.
The actor has since spoken about his new relationship, and keeping it separate from his past ones. Who is John Cena dating? We've got the details on everything John has said publicly about her, who she is, and how the former wrestler is handling his ex's engagement and baby news.
Who is John Cena dating?
After John pleaded for Nikki to take him back on Today in 2018, even going as far as to say he'd have kids with her (he's been outspoken for years about not wanting to have children), it seemed like John would never find happiness with someone else while Nikki was still out there. But, in March of 2019, John was spotted out with a mystery woman, and it was soon confirmed that he was dating Shay.
The brunette beauty may look similar to Nikki, but the similarities end there. Shay is a Canadian engineer who has not been involved in a public life until she started dating John.
John once again appeared on the fourth hour of Today in November of 2019 to promote his movie, Playing with Fire, with host Hoda Kotb and guest host Andy Cohen. When Andy asked John about how his relationship with Shay differed from the one he shared with Shay, John said that there was no way to compare the two.
"Every experience in life is a chance for us to know who we are and who we're not, and just because I went down one avenue in life doesn't mean I'm going to repeat going down that avenue. I think if there is a learning experience for me and a takeaway for me, it's okay to be who you are and it's okay to establish boundaries," he said.
"You always ask me about personal stuff and I always say, 'Thank you Andy for asking, but I'll keep those details to myself' so just because a precedent was set, doesn't mean you need to follow that precedent as long as you take ownership of who you are and I think that's an important message for anybody watching out there," he finished.
Andy then pointed out the obvious that Shay and Nikki looked alike, to which John responded, "Andy, thank you so much for asking that question, but I'll keep that as your question and keep those details to myself."
In January of 2020, John and Shay attended the premiere of Doolittle. After engaging in PDA on the red carpet, John explained why he wanted to attend the film with his love, and he hinted at how serious their relationship really is.
"It’s a family movie and it’s a wonderful occasion to celebrate with family," he said.
This joint appearance came just over a week after John's ex, Nikki, announced that she was engaged to her former DWTS partner, Artem Chigvintsev.
How did John Cena feel about Nikki's engagement news?
When Nikki announced on Instagram in January of 2020 that she had secretly been engaged to Artem since November of 2019, many wondered how John would take the news. After all, he had begged her for marriage and kids less than two years earlier. But, according to an inside source, John couldn't be more excited that his ex is finally getting everything she wanted.
"John is very happy for Nikki and her engagement. He is very happy that she has found someone that treats her so amazingly well," the source told Hollywood Life exclusively. "Nikki was an extremely important part of John’s life, so it does remind him of what they had and he is also reminded of his proposal to her at Wrestlemania a few years ago. But, he also has thought that they have both grown from their relationship and they both have moved on."
Another source told the outlet that the former couple is cordial.
"John and Nikki are on great terms, he wants nothing but the best for her. And it’s not a big shock or anything, John knows how happy she is with Artem and how much she wants to settle down, so he was expecting this sooner or later," the source said. "He will always cherish his memories with Nikki but he’s moved on too. John’s very happy with his girlfriend Shay so that makes it easier to accept Nikki moving on."
On Jan. 29, Nikki and her twin sister, Brie Bella, announced that they were both pregnant exclusively to People. Nikki hinted at her past relationship with John in the interview, with regards to how he had always insisted that he would never have kids.
"So when I thought [motherhood] was going to be taken, for me, it was really difficult. I was just like, gosh, I can’t imagine life without being a mom and experiencing the miracle of life and raising a child. I’m just so family-oriented that I couldn’t imagine not having that family life."
John has not yet reacted to his ex's baby news.