John Cena, 16-time world champion, to retire from WWE after 2025

FILE PHOTO: Apr 1, 2023; inglewood, CA, USA; John Cena during Wrestlemania Night 1 at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

John Cena announced Sunday his impending retirement from professional wrestling, saying that 2025 will be his last year competing in a WWE ring.

Cena made a surprise appearance at Saturday’s “Monday in the Bank” Premium Live Event to make the announcement, saying next year’s “Royal Rumble,” “Elimination Chamber” and “WrestleMania” would be his last shows. Cena clarified during a post-show news conference that he will have around 30 or 40 dates from January 2025 through December, and then that would be it.

“I approached the WWE with this idea, and they initiated the talks that this would be a great span of time if we were ever going to do it,” Cena said. “The business is at incredible heights of popularity and awareness. There are some big things going on, especially the Netflix debut (in January 2025), and I take pride in being an individual WWE can call up and say, ‘Remember that idea? The time is now.’ Let’s do something that can bring all of us together. They’ll write the stories, and we’ll execute the best we can.”

Cena, 47, first wrestled in the WWE in 2000 and has been with the company since 2001. He’s one of the most successful pro wrestlers of all time.