John Cena finally made it clear when he wants to be done with WWE — and it’s coming soon.
The 16-time world champion, who turns 47 this April, revealed for the first time during an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” that he plans to retire from the in-ring competition within the next three years.
Cena, who is promoting his new movie “Argylle,” acknowledged that he made a “promise to the consumer early on” to honor them spending their money on a quality product from him and that WWE has a ton of content right now.
I never wanted to go out there just for the sake of going out there,” Cena told ET. “And I’m gonna be 47 this year. I feel great. So inside I feel great, but I know what it takes to be a WWE performer night in and night out and I don’t ever wanna just go out there and do it to do it. I wanna have the passion — the same passion as the fanbase — and I wanna give them exactly what they give me. The miles on the speedometer say, ‘Hey, that’s gotta be done before 50.’”
During a separate interview with People last week, he noted that winding down his WWE career is something that has been on his mind for a while.
“I’ve got to admit when I hit the 45 mark, I had to begin to try to form an exit strategy and I’m trying to work on that currently,” Cena said.
The “Peacemaker” star has been a special attraction performer for WWE since around 2019 as his career took off in Hollywood.
Though has had at least one match for the company for 23 straight years, Cena has wrestled just nine times on TV for the company since 2019.
Cena, however, is coming off a two-half-month run with WWE in 2023 from September to November during the Hollywood actors and writers’ strikes.
“It’s tough to juggle both because, you know, when you’re filming Argylle, Matthew [Vaughn] won’t let you go do anything else because of insurance,” he told ET. “So as long as the phone keeps ringing and we’ve had some good opportunities here, I’ll kind of preserve that for as long as I can. But even coming back for these one-at-a-time things or short three-month periods, it takes its toll more and more and I’ve just had an incredibly fortunate run with my health. I feel great. I just want to continue to feel great the rest of my life.”
During that time he gave back to younger talent, losing to then-United States champion Austin Theory at WrestleMania 39, wrestling for the company in India and losing to up-and-coming star Solo Sikoa at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.
Cena left his WWE story off with his character uncertain if he could hang with the current stars after he hasn’t been booked to win a singles match since he beat Triple H at The Greatest Royal Rumble in April 2018.
After his loss to Sikoa in November, he and WWE teased that retirement is near, now Cena is officially saying the clock is ticking — and fast.
Though Cena’s not sure it will happen, he does have a venue he would consider retiring in.
“Fans in the UK, WWE fans, they’re the best and fans in London specifically they will let you know how they feel and I don’t think I’ll be able to choose my opponent but if I could choose a venue it’d be the O2 in London,” Cena said during an interview with the “The One Show” on BBC.
During an appearance on WWE’s “The Bump,” longtime WWE rival Randy Orton offered an idea for a dream match in the future where he faced Cena for the first time in a singles match with the world title on the line at WrestleMania.
Being able to revisit that after all this time, I think it’s not only something that I would want,” Orton said. “I think the fans would eat it up, too.”