US actor and wrestler John Cena has announced he is retiring from competing in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events.

Cena made the surprise announcement to fans during an appearance at the WWE Money in the Bank event in Canada.

The 47-year-old, who made his move into acting 18 years ago, said his final in-ring competition will be in 2025 as part of a farewell tour.

Cena is often regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time and achieved world champion status 16 times since joining WWE in 2001.

“Tonight I officially announce my retirement from the WWE,” he told fans in Toronto who reacted with surprise and later chanted “thank you Cena”.

“What an incredible gesture of kindness,” he replied.

Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “The Last Time is Now” and his trade mark “jorts” [denim shorts], he thanked WWE fans for “letting me play in the house that you built for so many years”.

In a press conference later, he said he intended to remain part of the WWE family in some capacity despite feeling “at my end” physically.

Cena made his acting debut in 2006 when he starred in The Marine, going on to to land roles in a number of big budget films including The Suicide Squad, Fast & Furious 9 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This year the star has performed in WWE part-time since 2018 as his acting career took off. He also made headlines after appearing naked, save for a strategically placed envelope, during an Academy Awards skit.

The American is also the all-time most requested celebrity by kids with charity Make-A-Wish.

He holds a Guinness World Record for the number of wishes granted to Make-A-Wish children who have critical illnesses.

BBC

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