John Cena Thanks WWE Fans After Keeping 20-Year Streak Alive

John Cena is grateful to WWE fans for letting him wrestle for 20 years and counting.

On the final "WWE SmackDown" of 2022, Cena accomplished the rare feat of stepping foot in a WWE ring every calendar year since his debut match against Kurt Angle on June 25, 2002. In fact, Cena pointed to the statistic as the primary motivation for his WWE comeback a few weeks ago, as he declared his intentions to team up with his "old friend" Owens — who had been embroiled in a feud with The Bloodline for several months. 


After Cena & Owens defeated Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn in the main event, an emotional Cena addressed fans at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. 

"This year was the first year that [wrestling a WWE match] wasn't supposed to happen," Cena admitted. "So, I found out that the last event of the year was right here in my backyard in Tampa Bay. I want to thank you as a community for welcoming me with open arms, I want to thank those I share the ring with – for helping me make magic every night. But most importantly, I want to thank all of you – and for all the hard work and sacrifice [you put in] to come and see us week in and week out! None of this exists with you!"

Cena concluded, "Thank you for a wonderful 20-year run, and for a wonderful 2022. Everybody be safe tomorrow night, and let's have one hell of a 2023! Thank you, Tampa Bay."


According to PWInsider, Cena was ambushed by Zayn and The Usos after "SmackDown" went off the air, until Owens, Drew McIntyre and The Brawling Brutes made the save. The babyfaces were in the ring during Cena's speech. 

Could WWE fans expect to see Cena return for a match at WrestleMania 39? In recent months, there have been conflicting reports of a potential Cena vs. Austin Theory match at the Showcase of Immortals in April. Cena has not "wrestled" at WrestleMania since his Firefly Fun House match against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 36.