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WWE’s Bayley, Liv Morgan and More React to John Cena’s Retirement

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Bayley, Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, John Cena.
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WWE’s best and brightest are celebrating the impact and legacy of John Cena after the pro wrestling legend announced plans to retire.

“I can’t take this! I can’t take this, man,” Montez Ford exclusively told Us Weekly at the L.A. premiere of Netflix’s Receiver on Tuesday, July 9. “Do you know how many cherished memories he’s given us throughout the years? And now it’s coming to an end? I can’t take this. My heart, my emotions, my mind!”

Cena, 47, made the announcement at WWE’s Money In the Bank on Saturday, June 29, telling fans he will step away from in-ring action sometime in 2025. “Thank you so much for letting me play in the house that you built for so many years,” Cena told the capacity crowd at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.

Bianca Belair gushed about Cena’s impact and the little nuggets of advice he offered her along the way, including one that came when she needed it the most. 

John Cena and Shay Shariatzadeh

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“The biggest gem he ever gave me was after SummerSlam (in 2021) when I lost in 26 seconds,” Belair, 35, recalled. “I had just main evented WrestleMania. I won a title. I was on a huge roll, had all this momentum, and then lost in 26 seconds. I was so defeated. He pulled me aside and really spoke life into me. He told me about the ins and outs of the business and how to go from the bottom to the top.”

Belair continued, “You saw him do that over and over in his career. He was always reinventing himself.”

WWE women’s champion Bayley shared a similar sentiment about Cena and recalled how she recently worked up the motivation to “shoot my shot” with the 16-time champion. 

“I said, ‘John, if there’s anything you think is missing from the women’s division or anything specific you think I should work on, what should it be?’” Bayley, 35, told Us at the premiere. “It turned into this hour-long conversation and it all came down to storytelling. What’s the story we’re trying to tell tonight? Don’t think about what they want, what he wants, what you want. It’s all about storytelling.”

WWE s Bayley Liv Morgan Bianca Belair and More React to John Cena s Retirement Share Memories

The Rock fights against John Cena on Night Two at WrestleMania 40.
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She continued, “He wants to give back in a way that not everybody does. He has such unique information that he can share. It brings us back to why we got into it. Having him around to have conversations has been really great.”

WWE women’s world champion Liv Morgan said she was “obsessed with John Cena growing up,” so his departure is a bittersweet moment. 

“He’s been constant, undeniable, always there,” Morgan, 30, said. “You can always rely on John Cena being there. He’s had an amazing, unparalleled career. I think he deserves to live the rest of his life exactly how he wants. He’s given so much and we’ll really miss him.”

Baron Corbin, who signed with WWE in 2012, has formed a special bond with Cena during his decade-plus in the business. 

“We live 10 minutes from each other,” Corbin, 39, told Us. “I work out at his gym. I would see him on a weekly basis before he was doing all the Hollywood stuff. When I would get frustrated, he became a mentor, in a sense. He would say, ‘Let’s go to dinner. Let’s each steak and burnt Brussels sprouts, have some wine and we’ll talk through this and figure it out.”

Corbin continued, “That’s why John Cena is who he is.”

Receiver — a documentary series which profiles the NFL’s George Kittle, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Justin Jefferson, Davante Adams and Deebo Samuel — is available to stream now on Netflix.

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