John Cena Explains Reason Behind His Retirement From the WWE

John Cena announces his retirement from the ring during "Money in the Bank" at Scotiabank Arena on July 6, 2024, in Toronto, Ontario. Credit - WWE—GettyImages

John Cena, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend, surprised fans on Saturday night when he announced his retirement after over two decades in the ring. He is set to make his final appearance in 2025.

Cena, 47, made his announcement at the WWE “Money in the Bank” event in Canada, and thanked fans for their energy and for allowing him to “play in their house.”

“Tonight, I officially announce my retirement from the WWE,” the 16-time WWE champion told the crowd, who collectively gasped at the news.

Cena made his WWE TV debut in 2002, and since then he has become a staple for the wrestling organization, headlining WrestleMania five times. He also is a well-known actor, landing roles in The Suicide Squad, Fast & Furious 9, Argylle, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Since 2018, he has been performing in WWE part-time to focus on his acting career. Cena is also the “all-time most requested celebrity wish granter” for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with over 650 wishes granted.

Cena explained that in his over two decades in WWE, whether the sport is popular or not, “Canadians always show up,” which is why he announced his retirement there.

“We are going to build so many unforgettable lasts,” Cena said, pointing to each major event of 2025. “The 2025 Royal Rumble will be my last. The 2025 elimination chamber will be my last. And…Wrestlemania 2025 will be the last Wrestlemania I compete in.”

After the speech, the packed crowd erupted into a chant of “Thank you, Cena,” and the wrestler thanked the crowd for the gesture.

In a press conference after the show, Cena clarified his send-off tour, stating he will do a “long-list of dates” from January to December 2025. He said that the WWE is his “home,” and so he plans on still being involved in the sport, utilizing his “wisdom,” even if he will not enter the ring himself post-retirement.

It was during the press conference that he explained the reason behind his retirement, stating he was “physically at [his] end.” He continued by ensuring fans that he was for sure done, with no surprise revivals on the docket. This does not mean he is gone from the WWE family, though, as the wrestler said he looks forward to “being a member of the extended WWE family for quite some time to come.” He said that he’s discussed retirement with the WWE for a long time, and they were the ones who told Cena that 2025 was the right time to do his farewell tour with the recent rise in the sport’s popularity.

"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.

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