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John Cena announces retirement from WWE

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Sixteen-time world champion wrestler John Cena announced his retirement Saturday at WWE’s Money in the Bank at ScotiaBank Arena in Toronto, which Cena said was the “perfect” place to make the announcement.

In recent years, Cena has shown off a towel that said “Never give up.” 

This time, it said, “The last time is now,” a reference to his entrance song, “The Time Is Now.”

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John Cena at a WrestleMania

John Cena celebrates his win during Wrestlemania in New Orleans April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE, File)

Cena also wore a shirt that said “The Last Time Is Now Tour” and “John Cena Farewell.”

Cena said he would compete at next year’s Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania, which will be his final events. Chants of “Thank you Cena” roared through the crowd afterward.

“Thank you for letting me play in the house you built for so many years,” Cena told the crowd.

Now a Hollywood superstar, Cena made his WWE debut in 2002 and quickly became a fan favorite. His first dominant shtick was as a trash-talking rapper when he was nicknamed the “Doctor of Thuganomics.”

Two of his most famous matches were at back-to-back WrestleMania events in 2011 and 2012, both of which came against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Cena lost the first but won the second.

John Cena addresses the crowd

John Cena returns to WWE for the WWE Universal Championship during Money in the Bank at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, July 18, 2021. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

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Cena has been a part-timer the last five years. His most recent return, before Saturday, came on night two of WrestleMania XL when Cody Rhodes dethroned Roman Reigns as the undisputed WWE champion.

He won his first of 16 world championships at WrestleMania XXI in 2005 at the age of 28.

Outside the ring and film, he is known for having granted the most wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, granting close to 700.

Because of his in-ring success and popularity that was unmatched throughout the 2010s, he’s widely regarded as one of the greatest WWE performers of all time and is often placed on hypothetical WWE “Mount Rushmore” lists.

John Cena enters the ring at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City.

John Cena enters the ring at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn Aug. 23, 2015. (JP Yim/Getty Images)

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Cena has headlined WrestleMania five times, and since next year’s in Las Vegas will be his farewell, it’s fair to assume he will headline a sixth.

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