John Cena Announces His Retirement from Professional Wrestling after 2025 Season

John Cena is pictured at the premiere of "Bumblebee," Dec. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP)
John Cena is pictured at the premiere of "Bumblebee," Dec. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP)
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John Cena Announces His Retirement from Professional Wrestling after 2025 Season

John Cena is pictured at the premiere of "Bumblebee," Dec. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP)
John Cena is pictured at the premiere of "Bumblebee," Dec. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP)

John Cena announced Saturday night that he will retire from professional wrestling next year after two decades in the ring.

The wrestler-turned-actor delivered a heartfelt speech to a stadium of World Wrestling Entertainment fans in Toronto, who booed in disappointment as Cena said the 2025 season would be his last.

He promised a farewell tour with dozens of dates and an epic final fight, and he assured fans he would remain involved with the wrestling franchise that launched his career.

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

In a news conference after the event, Cena told reporters that he feels physically “at my end,” but that doesn't mean he needs to distance himself from the sport he loves.

Cena is a 16-time WWE champion who burst onto the scene in the early 2000s as the fan-favorite “Doctor of Thuganomics,” a rapper character decked in gold chains and a backwards hat who challenged his wrestling opponents to rap battles. He went on to portray other popular characters, both in the ring and on the big screen.

Cena played starring roles in the films “Blockers” and “The Suicide Squad.” He has made multiple appearances in the “Fast & Furious” franchise and appeared most recently in the comedy thriller “Argylle” and the box office hit “Barbie.”



Netflix Beats Subscriber Targets, Cautions on Ad Growth

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
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Netflix Beats Subscriber Targets, Cautions on Ad Growth

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Netflix said on Thursday it added more than 8 million subscribers in its second quarter as the streaming service benefited from a password-sharing crackdown and the popularity of such titles as "Bridgerton," "Baby Reindeer" and "The Roast of Tom Brady."
While the subscriber gains topped analyst predictions of 5 million, Netflix issued cautious guidance for the third quarter and said its advertising business would not become a primary driver of revenue growth until at least 2026, said Reuters.
Netflix shares reversed initial losses after it reported results to trade up 1% in after-hours trading. The stock has surged nearly a third so far this year.
"Netflix is still the best and most profitable streaming company out there, but with technology stocks generally retreating over the last several days, some investors may sell on the generally good news and taking profits now while waiting for a possible better re-entry point for the stock," said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital.
The streaming video pioneer is facing saturation in the United States and plans to stop regularly reporting new subscriber additions next year. Investors have been zeroing in on the company's relatively new advertising business as a potential source of growth.
On Thursday, Netflix said third-quarter subscriber gains would be lower than the comparable period in 2023 when it had just started the password clamp-down.
The company also said its vice president of ad sales, Peter Naylor, was departing.
Third Bridge analyst Jamie Lumley said Netflix's advertising business "has yet to prove itself from a revenue standpoint."
"Our experts highlight that Amazon has made a much bigger splash in the ad market and Netflix needs to continue working on scale in this segment if it wants to be a major player," Lumley said.
For April through June, Netflix posted diluted per-share earnings of $4.88, compared with consensus forecasts of $4.74 a share, according to LSEG. Revenue for the quarter reached $9.56 billion, in line with estimates.
At the end of June, the new sign-ups brought the total number of global Netflix subscribers to more than 277 million.
Netflix said its ad tier membership grew 34% from the prior quarter, but it did not say how many subscribers chose that option.
"Our ad business is growing nicely and is becoming a more meaningful contributor to our business," Netflix said in a letter to investors. "But building a business from scratch takes time - and coupled with the large size of our subscription revenue - we don't expect advertising to be a primary driver of our revenue growth in 2024 or 2025."
On a post-earnings video, Netflix Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann said the company's advertising business is "growing nicely," but it is building off a small base.
"It's a meaningful contributor," Neumann said. "And then we get (to) '26 and beyond, it can be even more meaningful, and hopefully comes to the point where it's a primary contributor."
The company said it expects third-quarter revenue growth of 14% compared with a year ago.
Three years into its videogame initiative, Netflix said it planned to release a multiplayer game based on "Squid Game" later this year when it debuts Season Two of the dystopian Korean series. It also plans games tied to "Emily in Paris" and "Selling Sunset."