John Cena Pens Heartfelt Birthday Message to ‘Standard Bearer’ Dwayne Johnson

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Dwayne Johnson and John Cena
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Happy birthday, Dwayne Johnson!

The Rampage star and father of three turned 46 on Wednesday, and got a special, heartfelt shout-out from his former WWE foe and fellow wrestler-turned-actor, John Cena. Despite the pair’s professional rivalry -- and hilarious late-night squabbles -- Cena, who was recently cast as the lead in the Johnson-produced adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Directive, only had kind things to say about his pal’s big day.

“Happy birthday to the standard bearer, the hardest working person in the room, an inspiration to myself and many around the world...and he’s my boss,” Cena, 41, wrote on Twitter. “#HappyBirthday @TheRock.”

On Monday, Johnson excitedly announced on Instagram that Cena would be playing The Janson Directive’s central character, Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL drawn into an international conspiracy.

"I found my star. And the star of Janson Directive is going to be my good buddy, John Cena," Johnson told his fans. "I've known John for years, he's so excited to play the role, I'm excited for him, he's committed."

The pair go back years from their professional wrestling days, and have kept their rivalry alive in playful ways. Earlier this month, they traded barbs during consecutive appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“When you do see him, just send him my love," Johnson told Kimmel, knowing that Cena would be on the next day. "And say, ‘Listen, DJ always wants to remind you that if he ever acts up, I will knock his teeth so far down his throat that he’ll stick a toothbrush up his a** to brush it.’”

The following night, Cena responded with a ring-worthy rant of his own.

“I’m not gonna take that!” he shouted, before joking, “Listen up, Dwayne Johnson, if that is your real name. Everybody around the world knows that your first name is ‘T’ and your last name is ‘Herock.’ You just pronounce it all stupid and that gets me even more pissed off.”

He added, for good measure, “So your threat to me is you want to clean my butt? So the question I have for you, T-Herock, is – do you really want to smell what John Cena’s putting out?”

Despite Cena’s kind birthday wishes, fans have to wonder: will the pair’s on-set energy be more friendship or rivalry?

"As your producer, if you screw up, I'm coming to set,” Johnson ended his Monday announcement, chuckling, “BANG, People's Elbow."

See more on Cena and Johnson in the video below.

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