WWE stars like John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and others are some of the greatest showmen in America. These folks are more than just entertainers and athletes. Most of them have plenty of other interests and activities, but they are mostly related to show business. Naturally, some have pursued their acting careers, while others invested in sports clubs or leagues.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that some of the wrestlers have shown an interest in poker. Some of the most iconic moments from the 25th anniversary of WWE’s Raw in 2018 included the footage from backstage, where the prominent wrestling stars relaxed with a game of poker.
However, some wrestlers have taken their poker game to a completely different level and played it with great success. Let’s talk about them a little.
To say that John Cena is just another big name of WWE wrestling would be an understatement. He is a star on big and small screens, showing up in numerous TV and movie projects, including F9: Fast Saga, Blockers, Ferdinand, Vacation Friends, 12 Rounds, The Suicide Squad, and many more.
Nowadays, Cena doesn’t wrestle as often, but he still makes an appearance in WWE events from time to time. He took multiple titles during his career, including the WWE Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE United States Championship. Besides his acting career, he was immortalized as part of the internet culture, when his wrestling catchphrase “You can’t see me” became a meme.
Cena’s interest in poker came up after watching World Series of Poker on TV, leading him to play many matches online and in person. He played both traditional poker and Texas Hold’em, comparing the latter’s rise with the rapid expansion of wrestling in the 1980s. Cena is modest, saying that he is an open book at the poker table. Nevertheless, he played 908 online tournaments in 2012 and 652 in 2013, often finishing on the winning side.
Michael Mizanin – The Miz
Michael Mizanin, known under his ring name – The Miz, is another WWE wrestler with a great career and WWE Intercontinental Champion titles. Furthermore, he has embarked on a successful acting career, with movies like The Campaign, The Marine series, and even appeared in few episodes of the TV show Supernatural.
He is one of the WWE athletes who grew up with poker, as his dad was also a poker player. Mizanin played in a celebrity charity poker tournament with other celebrity poker players, like Brian Baumgartner, most famous for his role of Kevin from the US version of the sitcom The Office. Baumgartner ended up winning the charity tournament, and The Miz speaks fondly of his experience.
Nuufolau Joel Seanoa – Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe is another well-known name in WWE. Besides wrestling, he also is proficient in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His high stakes poker game with Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles while on the TNA tour in the UK ended with a prank. All three wrestlers played for considerable sums of money as they sold a lot of their merch the same night.
As the wrestlers were playing poker, a man suddenly struck Joe from behind, and AJ encouraged Samoa Joe to give chase. After catching the man, it turned out that it was a prank gone wrong, and the incident ended with the hotel staff calling the police.