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John Cena Is Retiring

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | July 8, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | Celebrity | July 8, 2024 |


Plenty of wrestlers have managed to break out of their in-ring world and make an impact on popular culture writ large. One of the biggest examples is Hulk Hogan. Hogan was a mega-star, both in and out of the ring. Still, his profile fell over the years and faced its death knell when he was caught on video using the N-word in a private moment because he is a raging bigot. Dave Bautista went from wearing a priest collar while slamming folks on the mat, to being named as (arguably) the best wrestler turned actor ever. Then there’s John Cena.

John Cena was the face of the WWE for well over a decade. He took that job seriously. The jean-short-clad athlete has granted 650 Make-A-Wish Foundation wishes. He’s been slimed on Nickelodeon enough times that his skin may have a green tint. Talk shows have become a second home for him, often wearing his signature branded t-shirt and denim half-pants when he visits. While touting himself as an affable representative for pro wrestling, he was also putting together an impressive acting career.

The filmography of John Cena started the way it does for most wrestlers. He starred in several low-budget action films and made guest appearances on kids shows. Then, in 2015, he appeared in Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home, and Sisters. Suddenly, Cena was seen as a viable comedy star. This increased with his starring role in the 2018 comedy Blockers. As he began to appear in more movies, Cena began spending more time away from wrestling. Now, he’s giving it up entirely.

The WWE PLE (Premium Live Event) Money In The Bank was put on this last weekend. Cena made a surprise appearance to announce that he was going to retire from in-ring wrestling activities after a string of dates next year. Specifically, he plans to wrestle when WWE hosts its first show on Netflix, as well as at the 2025 Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. So, while he will be retiring, there will be a kind of retirement tour to send him off, something not often awarded to pro wrestlers.

At the press conference following the event, Cena clarified his announcement, saying, “This is where we give you some of the deets on the farewell tour. It’s not going to end at WrestleMania. That WrestleMania will be my last WrestleMania, but hopefully, if everything goes according to plan, we’re going straight through from January to December.” He continued, adding, “We’re going to try and do a long list of dates, I think right now tentatively it’s hovering in the mid-30s to 40s because I’m still going to try and juggle a lot of stuff that’s going on, and that will be the end of my in-ring competition.”

The famed wrestler made it clear that just because he was retiring from wrestling, he wouldn’t be too far from the WWE (which explains why he dodged a question about company founder and literal monster Vince McMahon during the presser). “Now, part of this business plan I guess that I proposed and they accepted, thank you they, is me remaining in the WWE family in some capacity for an extended time to come. I’ve always said to the audience that the WWE is my home, and I love it, and just because I physically feel I’m at my end doesn’t mean I need to distance myself from something I love,” he explained.

Cena detailed his love for wrestling, noting, “I have a passion for this business. I still watch Money in the Bank and yell at the screen and yell at the guys for what they’re doing or what they could be doing, so I still … I feel I still have some wisdom locked up here that could be of some value. I look forward to ending my participation in the ring in the best way I possibly can and being a member of the extended WWE family for quite some time to come.”

This will be a monumental shift in Cena’s career. Even at his most active in Hollywood, he has always kept a foot in the squared circle. There’s a chance he’ll enter a whole new phase as a performer and star. He may take to more experimental roles, like his contemporary, Dave Bautista. He’ll likely become more of a fixture in James Gunn’s DCU. The possibilities are endless for the former world heavyweight champion. Whether or not we see him is the question.