John Cena to Retire in 2025: Tracing WWE Star’s Journey From ‘Ruthless’ Newcomer To an All-Time Great

John Cena is set to retire from in-ring competition in 2025. Here is a look at the best moments from the WWE great’s illustrious career.

WWE icon John Cena is set to retire from in-ring competition in 2025. The master of the Attitude Adjustment made the heartbreaking announcement at the Money In The Bank Pay-Per-View (PPV) yesterday (July 6).

Cena made his official WWE debut in 2002 and soon emerged as a mainstay of the company. As such, his impending retirement will mark the end of an era for the professional wrestling giant. With that, here is a look at some of the most unforgettable moments from his illustrious career.

 A ‘Ruthless’ Debut And First Title Win

John Cena made his in-debut by answering Kurt Angle’s open challenge and gave the Olympic Gold Medallist a run for his money but came up short. Around the same time, WWE formally ushered in the “Ruthless Aggression” era, which blended with his in-ring persona.

Cena then worked as a face (hero) before turning heel (villain) for the first and only time in his career. He then locked horns with and picked up surprise wins over Eddie Guerrero and The Undertaker in singles matches, a clear indication that the WWE management had faith in his abilities and viewed him as a top star.

Meanwhile, Cena adopted a rapper gimmick which further added to his popularity. This eventually paved the way for a landmark moment in his career when he beat Big Show to win the US Championship.

Towards Greener Pastures

The year 2005 proved to be a red-letter one for Cena as he beat JBL at Wrestlemania 21 to win the WWE Championship for the first time.

With this, he transitioned to the big league. He then defended the title on several occasions, picking up wins over the likes of Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho. He eventually dropped the belt to Edge when the “Rated-R Superstar” cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase at New Year’s Revolution. Cena soon won the title again.

During this reign, he had feuds with the likes of HHH and Shawn Michaels. The “Doctor Of Thuganomics” went on to win the WWE Championship on 11 more occasions.

He also won the World Heavyweight Championship on three occasions. This makes him a 16-time world champion like the legendary Ric Flair.

John Cena Had Memorable Feuds With The Rock and CM Punk

John Cena has had several notable feuds with A-listers during his career. However, his matches with CM Punk and The Rock stood out. ‘The Marine’ star locked horns with the “Second City Saint” in 2011 at the Money In The Bank PPV and the match turned out to be an absolute classic.

It holds the distinction of being the Cena match to receive a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer, a veteran wrestling journalist. The suspense surrounding Punk’s future further added to the drama surrounding the showdown, making it a treat for one and all. The two squared off again at SummerSlam in a title unification match, which Cena lost.

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John Cena’s feud with The Rock resulted in two of the most hyped matches of her career. This truly established him as the true successor to “The Great One”. Their first showdown took place at WrestleMania 28 (2012) after a year-long buildup.

It lived up to expectations with critics lauding the ending which saw the Rock pin Cena. Their second match, however, didn’t live up to expectations but garnered attention nonetheless.

Transition To Part-Time Performer

Cena remained an integral part of the WWE roster after his feud with The Rock. During the next few years, he had memorable matches with veterans such as Mark Henry, AJ Styles and Randy Orton. He also feuded with younger stars such as Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, and Rusev.

These feuds signified his transition to a mentor/senior role. Meanwhile, he continued consolidating his standing in Hollywood. This forced him to transition to a part-time role. Following this, he sporadically feuded with Theory and Roman Reigns, Last year, he took on and lost to Solo Sika at the Crown Jewel event in an intense match.

A Special Cameo And The Last Run

John Cena surprised fans when he made a surprise return at this year’s WrestleMania and interfered in the main event between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes. He took out Solo Sika, who was aiding “The Big Dog”, before receiving a Rock Bottom from the “Brahma Bull”.

This cameo cemented his standing as one of the GOATS of wrestling and laid the groundwork for his imminent retirement.

John Cena will truly be missed once he hangs up his boots in 2025.