10 WWE matches that John Cena needs to have before he retires from wrestling (2024)

Highlights

  • John Cena announced his retirement tour, with 2025 being his final year in a WWE ring.
  • Some potential matchups for John Cena before his retirement include Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton, CM Punk, GUNTHER, Bron Breakker, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, LA Knight, The Rock, and Jey Uso.
  • These matchups would offer a mix of nostalgia, passing the torch, revisiting rivalries, and showcasing the next generation of WWE superstars.

John Cena rocked the wrestling industry at the 2024 edition of WWE's Money in the Bank when he delivered the news that he will soon embark on a retirement tour that will end his incredible career. Upon hearing this, many would immediately assume that Cena was gearing up for perhaps one or two more matches which would culminate in a huge goodbye at WrestleMania 41.

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John Cena Announces Retirement From WWE in 2025

WWE legend John Cena has announced that he will be retiring from the company in 2025.

However, he instead mapped out 2025 as a big year for him, saying that, while the next Royal Rumble and the next WrestleMania will be his last, there is still more to come after the events for WWE’s franchise star. So, with it looking like there may be lots more to come from Cena in the short time that remains of his career, let’s offer up some potential matchups as GIVEMESPORT takes you through 10 matches that Big Match John needs to have before he retires.

Cody Rhodes

A passing of the torch

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For two decades, John Cena was the first man most people thought of when hearing the letters ‘WWE’, as he was undoubtedly the face of the company throughout most of his career. But, as we progress further into the ‘Paul Levesque Era’, Cody Rhodes is undeniably the guy they are positioning in the Cena role for the coming years. So, a clash between the two would not only be a big-time match but also a passing of the torch.

While face vs heel is the usual dynamic for a wrestling match, Rhodes vs Cena could easily be a respectful encounter based around two of WWE’s most iconic superstars. They may have faced before, but Cena has never faced this version of The American Nightmare, and it’s a match that would grab the attention of the wrestling world at large while giving John a chance to win his record 17th world championship.

Randy Orton

Revisiting his greatest rival

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Old reliable. It’s been done a thousand times before, so you’d be forgiven for not being overly excited about the prospect of this match, but, in Cena’s last run, would you turn down one more Cena vs Randy Orton match just for old time’s sake? These two defined the childhood’s of many WWE fans, and it’s fair to say nostalgia would certainly be through the roof for this one.

While all of these matches could be perfect for Cena’s last run, one with Orton could be ideal for him to go out on. The Viper aims to wrestle until he’s 50, so this can’t be a double retirement match, but a final match between these career-long rivals could be the best send-off for John Cena.

CM Punk

Return to one of his greatest feuds

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Just one year ago, this suggestion would have appeared on a list based around the best of AEW taking on the best of WWE, with it seeming as if another match between CM Punk and John Cena would remain a distant thought for fans who wanted to see another match between the two former rivals. Now that the Chicagoan is back in the fold and Cena wants another run, another clash could very well be on the horizon.

They’ve both evolved heavily since last their last meeting, so there’s plenty of history to play off of in promo segments if they went down the path of one more match. Their previous encounters are also some of the best matches of either man’s career, meaning it’d be a fitting stop on the John Cena retirement tour.

GUNTHER

Face off against one last monster

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Cena, to many fans displeasure, famously never turned heel throughout his run as the WWE's number one guy, always choosing good over evil in the ring. So, in typical fashion, he could play the perfect underdog babyface role against an opponent as imposing as GUNTHER. Think of the arrogance of The Ring General matched-up with the never say die attitude of the 16-time world champion.

Plus, GUNTHER is one of the best bell-to-bell wrestlers in all of WWE, so he is probably one of the best selections to work with a now 47-year-old John Cena. Should the Austrian be the last opponent and retire the legend once and for all, it could elevate him even further as the top heel in the entire company.

Bron Breakker

Rub shoulders with the next generation

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After not winning the Intercontinental Championship at Money in the Bank, what’s next for Bron Breakker? The company are doing their best to stun fans with the second-generation performer’s explosive offence and frightening speed, so they could have Raw’s unstoppable force match up with the immovable object in Cena.

It didn’t happen against Sami Zayn, but Bron could absolutely run through John Cena when the bell rings. They could lean into the idea that the legend’s body has caught up with him, and maybe he just can’t compete with the young star. Imagine the statement that could be made if Breakker dominates Cena. He could set himself up for a decade or more on top of WWE.

AJ Styles

Recreate the magic that gave Cena some of his best matches

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Despite only signing with WWE in 2016, AJ Styles has a genuine case for being John Cena’s biggest rival. He may not get everyone’s vote for being the best foe for the 16-time world champion, but the pair blew fans’ minds just by stepping into the ring with each other, creating a match that people seriously thought was impossible for decades.

In the modern era, their feud was essentially the biggest WWE-made star vs the biggest name to operate outside of WWE, so people were in awe when Cena and Styles stood face-to-face three times across 2016 and 2017. With both men at the tail end of their careers, it’d be a shame if they never met in the ring again, especially with Styles’ fresh heel character.

Kevin Owens

The feud that kickstarted Kevin Owens' main roster run could be the one to end Cena's

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When Kevin Owens signed with WWE, it was immediately clear just how much the company believed in him. He utterly dominated in NXT, becoming champion in emphatic fashion, and hadn’t even lost the belt before he showed up on Raw and dared to defy John Cena. Owens even pinned the icon in his first main roster match, so it would probably mean a lot to both men to wrestle one more time before Cena wraps up.

Now a beloved babyface, they could facilitate a shocking heel turn for The Prizefighter if they wanted to put on another heated feud between Owens and Cena. Alternatively, a respectful match could allow Kevin to give the legend his flowers prior to him riding into the sunset next year.

LA Knight

The verbal battles alone are enough to get any fan excited

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Aside from Cody Rhodes, no one on the WWE roster is more popular than LA Knight. The 41-year-old has been white-hot for over a year, and so he may be a perfect candidate to share the spotlight with a name as big as John Cena. The pair have history, too, as the duo teamed up at 2023’s Fastlane to defeat The Bloodline’s Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso.

Can you imagine the promo battles between two of WWE’s most charismatic superstars ever? While still being face vs face, the feud could have an extra edge due to the comments made pre-match, and Knight could become a star in the mainstream by pinning John Cena.

The Rock

Thrice in a lifetime?

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From ‘Once In A Lifetime’ to headlining two consecutive WrestleManias, John Cena vs The Rock was an era-defining feud for WWE that they just have to go back to before all is said and done. Time stood still when the pair came face-to-face at WrestleMania 40 in the midst of Cody Rhodes’ triumph, and, on that night, it was Rock who nailed Cena with a Rock Bottom to gain the upper hand over the 16-time champion. It can’t end there, can it?

Now firmly a heel, it’d be interesting to see how Rock’s ‘Final Boss’ character interacts with a retiring John Cena on his last run. Should the bell ring for another clash, the electricity between the pair would be off the scale, and just seeing them lock up would give those watching chills on Cena’s farewell tour.

Jey Uso

Cena could cement Jey Uso as a star

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From The Bloodline’s Final Boss to someone who left the family in search of success on his own, no one could’ve predicted the rise of Jey Uso since he arrived on Raw. Coming in as someone who was just trying to find his place on Monday nights. Now, emboldened by his ‘Yeet’ catchphrase, no one is riding a bigger wave of momentum than the one they call ‘Main Event’.

If Uso and Cena shared the ring, it could cement Jey as the real deal in terms of being one of WWE’s top babyfaces for the coming years. Depending on how far the company truly think he can go, a feud and victory over Cena could propel the former tag team wrestler into a world title superstar.

10 WWE matches that John Cena needs to have before he retires from wrestling (2024)

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