The Time Is Now (John Cena song)

"The Time Is Now" is a song by professional wrestler and actor John Cena. It is the current entrance theme used by Cena in WWE. Cena recorded the song in 2004 for his debut studio album, You Can't See Me. The song was released on March 17, 2005, as the lead single from the album on Columbia and WWE Music Group. The song was released as a single on the iTunes Store on June 20, 2011.[1]

"The Time Is Now"
Single by John Cena and Tha Trademarc
from the album You Can't See Me
ReleasedMarch 17, 2005
GenreHip hop
Producer(s)Jake One
John Cena and Tha Trademarc singles chronology
"The Time Is Now"
"Bad Bad Man"
Audio sample

The song is widely known as being part of the Internet meme "Unexpected John Cena".



Cena made his television debut answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle on June 27, 2002.[2] In October, Cena and Billy Kidman took part in a tag team tournament to crown the first WWE Tag Team Champions of the SmackDown! brand, losing in the first round.[3] The next week, Cena turned on and attacked Kidman, blaming him for their loss, becoming a villain.[2] Shortly after the Kidman attack, on a Halloween themed episode of SmackDown, Cena dressed as Vanilla Ice performing a freestyle rap.[2] The next week, Cena received a new character: a rapper who cuts promos while rhyming.[2]

He performed his own theme song, "Basic Thugonomics", and it was featured on the WWE soundtrack album WWE Originals. He also recorded a song, "Untouchables", for the company's next soundtrack album WWE ThemeAddict: The Music, Vol. 6. He collaborated on the song H-U-S-T-L-E remix along with Murs, E-40, and Chingo Bling.[4] Cena's debut album, You Can't See Me, was recorded with his cousin Tha Trademarc.[5]



"The Time Is Now" was composed by Cena along with his cousin, Marc Predka (better known by his stage name Tha Trademarc). Having recorded the album with Cena, Predka was featured on virtually every track of the album. Production was handled by Jake One. The song contains samples of "Ante Up" by M.O.P. which in turn samples "Soul Sister, Brown Sugar" by Sam & Dave, and Pete Schofield and The Canadians' rendition of "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" originally by Vicki Lawrence.[6][7]

On October 14, 2008, M.O.P. filed suit in a New York Federal Court against Sony BMG, Stephanie Music Publishing, Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, WWE and John Cena. The group alleged that Cena and the WWE stole parts of their song "Ante Up" for his theme song, arguing that the song was unlawfully sampled and clearly repeated three times, during the introduction, the second and third chorus. M.O.P. sought the destruction of the song and $150,000 in damages. They dropped the lawsuit two months later.[8][9]

Usage in video games


The song was used in the video games WWE Day of Reckoning 2, SmackDown! vs RAW 2006, SmackDown vs RAW 2007, SmackDown vs RAW 2008, SmackDown vs RAW 2009, SmackDown vs RAW 2010, SmackDown vs RAW 2011, WWE All Stars, WWE '12, WWE '13, WWE 2K14, WWE 2K15, WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17, WWE 2K18, WWE 2K19,[10]WWE 2K20, WWE 2K Battlegrounds, WWE 2K22, WWE 2K23, Fortnite, and WWE 2K24.


  1. ^ "WWE: The Time Is Now (John Cena) - Single by John Cena & Tha Trademarc on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  2. ^ a b c d Hamilton, Ian. Wrestling's Sinking Ship (p.67)
  3. ^ "SmackDown! results – October 10, 2002". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  4. ^ "H-U-S-T-L-E, MP3 Album page". eMusic. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  5. ^ Roche, Jason (23 March 2015). "The Unlikely Origin of WWE Star John Cena's Entrance Music". L.A. Weekly. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  6. ^ Yuke's (2007). WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008. THQ.
  7. ^ "Cena & Shaq's time is now on "Carpool Karaoke" on Sept. 5". WWE. Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  8. ^ "The Royalty Network vs. Sony BMG et al" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  9. ^ AbduSalaam, Ismael (December 19, 2008). "M.O.P.'s Lawsuit Against John Cena Voluntarily Dismissed". All Hip Hop. Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "John Cena age, wife, movies, theme song, net worth and everything you need to know about him". Archived from the original on 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2018-07-19.