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John Cena announces retirement from professional wrestling after 2025 season

John Cena
John Cena
Posted at 8:29 AM, Jul 08, 2024

(AP) — 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.”