John Cena turned 40 earlier this year and has already moved into a part-time wrestling role with the WWE, as he takes less physically demanding gigs like starring in movies and hosting reality TV shows or award nights.
Despite his infrequent presence on WWE television, Cena insists that’s not a “part-timer” at all. He describes himself as an “all-timer,” even though he knows that he won’t be able to wrestle forever. He’s currently a member of SmackDown Live, but also works non-televised shows for the Raw brand. In a recent interview with Complex.com to promote Tapout body spray, Cena talked about how he became a “free-agent” (allowing him to freely travel between Raw and Smackdown) and how much longer he plans to stay in wrestling.
“The reason that I wanted to be a free agent and the reason they kind of granted my request is because I don’t know if I’ll be available for Smackdown-specific only or Raw-specific only, and I also know that my days are numbered. I just turned 40 in April and we have so many young and talented performers, I don’t know how many years I have left. So in the time I have left, I’m gonna do what I can to dedicate to this company I just want to be able to do it the most time that I possibly can.”
Cena also explained that when he gets an acting role, the movie studio’s insurance prevents him from kicking it into overdrive and working a double schedule.
“I haven’t danced around it, I explained that the reason I cannot be on the program is because the movie folks, their insurance doesn’t allow you to. That’s a dealbreaker, it’s not negotiable. But instead of laying low for a few months before I start another project, the second that I wrapped, I scurried on a plane and got right back into the WWE fold. I guess that’s what I mean by all-timer.”
There are already rumors that Cena will face off against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34 next spring, and he seems a lock to eventually beat Ric Flair’s record for the most world championship reigns of all-time (they are both currently at 16).
Cena has definitely given a lot to the business during his career, but he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who is going to stick around and keep wrestling into his 50s and 60s. We should probably just enjoy him while we still can.