John Cena Announces His Retirement from Professional Wrestling

John Cena Announces His Retirement from Professional Wrestling

John Cena announced Saturday night that he will retire from professional wrestling next year after two decades in the ring. The wrestler-turned-actor delivered a heartfelt speech to a stadium of World Wrestling Entertainment fans in Toronto, who booed in disappointment as Cena said the 2025 season would be his last. He promised a farewell tour with dozens of dates and an epic final fight, and he assured fans he would remain involved with the wrestling franchise that launched his career.

“Thank you so much for letting me play in the house that you built for so many years,” Cena told the crowd.

In a news conference after the event, Cena told reporters that he feels physically “at my end,” but that doesn’t mean he needs to distance himself from the sport he loves.

Cena is a 16-time WWE champion who burst onto the scene in the early 2000s as the fan-favorite “Doctor of Thuganomics,” a rapper character decked in gold chains and a backwards hat who challenged his wrestling opponents to rap battles. He went on to portray other popular characters, both in the ring and on the big screen. Cena played starring roles in the films “Blockers” and “The Suicide Squad.” He has made multiple appearances in the “Fast & Furious” franchise and appeared most recently in the comedy thriller “Argylle” and the box office hit “Barbie.”

You won’t be seeing John Cena in the ring for much longer. The pro wrestling icon announced his impending retirement from WWE Saturday, making a surprise appearance at the promotion’s “Money in the Bank” event in Toronto. “The 2025 Royal Rumble will be my last. The 2025 elimination chamber will be my last. And I’m here tonight to announce that in Las Vegas, Wrestlemania 2025 will be the last Wrestlemania I compete in,” Cena said to the live audience in a video the WWE posted to social media. “I want to say thank you.”

“Thank you Cena!” The crowd chanted in response. The Massachusetts native also expressed his excitement over Netflix’s multi-billion dollar deal acquiring the rights to WWE Raw in January. “Raw makes history next year when it moves to Netflix. I’ve never been a part of Raw on Netflix. That is history, that is a first, and I will be there,” Cena said.

Cena shed more light on his retirement in a post-show press conference, assuring that he would remain a part of the WWE even though his career as a performer was coming to an end — and promising “a long list of dates” between January and September. “People say they’re walking away, and two years later they come back. I want to set the record straight right now, I’m done. This is it,” Cena said in the press conference. “If you ever wanted to be a part of this one last time, we’re going to do it as big as we can and we’re fighting everybody and we hope you come enjoy the fun.”

When asked about his feelings regarding Vince McMahon, the former WWE CEO and founder who stepped down in January amid allegations of sexual assault, Cena declined to give his opinion, saying instead the WWE was “in good hands” with parent company TKO Group Holdings. In an interview with Howard Stern in February, Cena said that he was a big advocate of accountability, but would remain a support system for McMahon for now.

“I’ve openly said, I love the guy, I have a great relationship with the guy, and that’s that,” Cena said to Stern. The 47-year-old won 16 world championships over his nearly 20 years in the WWE, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Kurt Angle, Triple H and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. Outside of the ring, Cena released a studio rap album in 2005 and has appeared in several movies and television shows. As his acting career began to flourish with starring roles in projects such as “Bumblebee,” “F9: The Fast Saga,” and “The Suicide Squad,” his appearances in the ring diminished.

“There were many before me, there will be many after. I guess what I have left to do is say my thank yous before that chapter closes,” Cena said.

Source: CBS News

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