taping in a dark match against Mikey Richardson, which he lost.He received another tryout on January 9, 2001 at a Smack Down!In the early stages of the feud, Cena lost the United States Championship to Cabinet member Orlando Jordan, The feud with Angle also saw Cena add a secondary, submission based, finishing maneuver – the STFU (a stepover toehold sleeper, though named for a stepover toehold facelock) – when he was put into a triple threat submissions only match on the November 28 episode of Raw.
During his time there, Cena wrestled under the ring name The Prototype and held the OVW Heavyweight Championship for three months and the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (with Rico Constantino) for two months.
Throughout 2001, Cena would receive four tryouts for the WWF main roster, as he wrestled multiple enhancement talent wrestlers on both WWF house shows and in dark matches before WWF television events.
After graduating from Cushing Academy, he attended Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Cena started training to become a professional wrestler in 1999 at Ultimate Pro Wrestling's (UPW) California-based Ultimate University operated by Rick Bassman.
Once he was placed into an in-ring role, Cena began using a semi-robotic character known as The Prototype.
On October 10, 2000, while billed as The Prototype, Cena made his unofficial debut for the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) on a Smack Down!Through the early months of 2002, Cena constantly found himself competing on house shows for the WWF, where he wrestled against the likes of Shelton Benjamin and Tommy Dreamer.After his main roster call up in June 2002, Cena would continue to appear on OVW programming until the September 25 taping of OVW, where he lost to Kenny Brolin in a Loser Leaves OVW match., when Cena and A-Train defeated Undertaker and Orlando Jordan in a tag team match.Cena then pursued the United States Championship, but lost to then champion Eddie Guerrero in a Latino Street Fight for the title.Despite feuding, Cena and Benoit would later join forces as a makeshift tag team and on the November 27 episode of Smack Down!