cena indy wrestling
John Cena, with valet Starla Sexcastle, celebrates winning the Idaho Wrestling Federation (IWF) Hardcore Championship from Dirty Drake Dillon.

Barely a week into his hiatus from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), a bored John Cena has begun performing on the independent, or “indy,” wrestling circuit.

Last night, Cena lost via submission to “Handicapped Hero” Gregory Iron at a show by Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) in a church basement in Cleveland.

The multi-time former WWE Champion then collected his $40 payment and drove 17 hours to North Platte, NB, where he worked under a mask (as “Crusher Smashmouth”) in a show-opening battle royal for Nebraska All-Pro Wrestling.

Although independent wrestling is far less lucrative and flashy than the big WWE events to which Cena is accustomed, he seems to be finding his niche quickly. He sells his own action figures for $20 apiece at his merch table during intermissions, and gives fans a 20 percent discount on t-shirts if they let him crash at their house after shows.

Cena is booked to face Al Snow at Tallahassee Championship Wrestling next weekend, and is reportedly desperate to land a spot in Combat Zone Wrestling’s next Ultraviolent Tournament of Death.

Sources close to Cena insist he has an insatiable desire to perform — whether in front of 75,000 fans at WrestleMania or in front of 43 toothless bumpkins in a Delaware parking lot — but others speculate he is merely working the indies as a way to get out of appearing on Total Divas.