You won't see me: John Cena leaving wrestling behind with retirement after 2025 season

John Cena will leave the wrestling ring behind.

The World Wrestling Entertainment athlete and “The Suicide Squad” star announced his retirement Saturday, noting that the 2025 competitive season would be his last. Cena began his professional wrestling career in the early 2000s and is a 16-time WWE world champion. He explained that his 2025 retirement was “not up to me” and that WWE “initiated the talks” about his final year.

“I wish I could do it infinitely, but now I just want to try to do something special for a globe of people that I owe everything to,” he said during a news conference Saturday. “I think this is hopefully the best way to do it.”

Cena, 47, dropped the retirement bombshell during WWE’s “Monday in the Bank” event in Toronto, thanking his fans for “letting me play in the house that you built for so many years.”

During the post-show conference, the wrestling star added that his final year comes amid WWE’s Netflix debut in January 2025 and that he takes pride “in still being a vigil that they can call up” for ideas.

Cena, who quickly became a fan favorite and whose “You can’t see me” catchphrase and taunt made for viral meme material, said during the news conference that he and WWE are still ironing out the details of retirement, including his final matchups. He teased the farewell tour leading up to the end of his in-ring career.

WWE, facing turmoil amid founder Vince McMahon’s sexual misconduct controversies, is on the “precipice of something special” and will continue to have a special place in Cena’s heart, he said.

“I’ve always said to the audience that the WWE is my home and I love it,” he said. “Just because I physically feel I’m at my end doesn’t mean I need to distance myself from something I love…I feel I have some wisdom locked up here [in my head] that could be of some value.”

In the last decade, Cena’s wrestling career helped propel him into the Hollywood spotlight. His most recent high-profile film credits include “Barbie,” “The Suicide Squad” and the ninth and 10th installments of the “Fast and Furious” franchise. On TV, Cena has most recently appeared on FX’s hit series “The Bear” and led Max’s “Peacemaker” as its titular hero.

Cena made his commitment to the entertainment industry clear when he made a splash earlier this year at the 96th Academy Awards. As part of a skit, the wrestling star was almost nude when he presented the costume design Oscar.

“Costumes are important,” he told attendees during the ceremony.

Cena promised fans that he would “remain in the WWE family in some capacity for an extended time to come,” despite his various commitments.

“I look forward to ending my participation in the ring, in the best way I possibly can,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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