John Cena and Girlfriend Shay Shariatzadeh Make Their Red Carpet Debut at N.Y.C. Premiere

The couple were first linked in March when they were spotted holding hands in Vancouver

John Cena and Shay Shariatzadeh have taken another step in their blossoming relationship.

On Saturday night, the couple made their first red carpet appearance together at the premiere of Cena’s new film, Playing with Fire, at the AMC Lincoln Square Theatre in New York City.

Cena, 42, wore a navy blue suit with a white button-down and red tie for the outing, while Shariatzadeh opted for a silver and black sequins ombré dress. She finished off her dazzling look with black heels and a black clutch purse.

The former wrestler told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet that he met Shariatzadeh, a project manager for Avigilon — a Motorola Solutions tech company — on set of his upcoming movie.

“It’s a wonderful day for a movie premiere and I got a beautiful date,” he told ET. “What’s truly special about this one is that, no matter what projects I’m involved in the future, this one will always have a special meaning because I got to film a special project and meet someone special.”

Cena also told Extra, “It’s a wonderful night to be at the movies. I’m here with somebody special.”

The pair were first linked in March when they were seen holding hands in Vancouver. The following month, photos, obtained by TMZ, showed Cena giving Shariatzadeh a kiss as he dropped her off for a flight outside of the San Diego airport.

Shariatzadeh is the first woman that Cena has been linked to since his public split from Nikki Bella last summer.

John Cena and Shay Shariatzadeh
John Lamparski/FilmMagic

During the April 10 episode of her podcast with twin sister Brie, The Bellas Podcast, Bella confessed that even though she wants the best for her ex, when she first saw a headline about the photos, her “stomach went into knots.”

She also admitted she felt bad about how their breakup was portrayed on her reality show Total Bellas.

“When [I] film the reality shows, you guys only get to see so much. So one thing that I thought was kind of unfair for John was you saw a very small amount on our reality show about our breakup and of course it was pro-me, because it was coming through my eyes,” she explained. “It made me sad for John. I felt bad for John. I felt bad because I felt like I embarrassed him, I felt like I disappointed him, and I have to live with a lot of that stuff.”

“Because of how sad I made him and how much I felt like I hurt him, when I saw the big smile on his face with the paparazzi photos [with Shariatzadeh], I think that’s why I didn’t want to s— my pants,” she continued. “I felt happy for him. I am very happy for him.”

Teen Choice Awards 2016 - Red Carpet
Kevin Mazur/Fox/Getty

Ultimately, Bella said that she wants both of them to be content.

“As long as John is happy, I’m happy,” she said. “But let me tell you, she breaks his heart? I will rack-attack her in a heartbeat. Still protective of that man.”

Bella has also moved on. PEOPLE confirmed in January that she and her former Dancing with the Stars partner Artem Chigvintsev, 36, were casually dating. In July, the pair made their red carpet debut at the 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards.

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