10 WWE Retirements That Could Be On The Horizon

12/19/2023 7:04 AM

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10 WWE Retirements That Could Be On The Horizon

10 WWE Retirements That Could Be On The Horizon

December 19, 2023 7:04 AM
10 WWE Retirements That Could Be On The Horizon

Retirement is an inevitable part of being a pro wrestler...

Wrestling is one of the hardest athletic endeavours an individual can put their body through, and eventually, a wrestler’s history of injuries catches up with them, and they are forced to call it a day.

Additionally, wrestlers, especially in the modern-era are always keen to explore new avenues, and this can sometimes lead to them leaving the squared circle behind in favour of exploring a new venture such as acting.

Currently in WWE, there are 10 names that could be facing the possibility of retirement in the near future, and when the day comes that each one of these iconic names hangs up their boots for good, it will be a sad and unfortunate day for the world of pro wrestling.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at 10 WWE retirements that COULD be on the horizon.

10: AJ Styles

AJ Styles is considered to be one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. It didn’t matter if AJ was in TNA, NJPW or WWE, he was always able to have classic matches, and AJ is responsible for some of the most celebrated pro wrestling matches of the past two-decades.

AJ has made it clear over the past few-years that he plans on retiring in WWE, and in an interview with Metro, the former WWE Champion stated:

"Once it’s over, I think it’s gonna be easy for me to go, 'Okay! I did what I was supposed to do! I fought as hard as I could for as long as I could to the point where I hopefully didn’t embarrass myself. No more missing birthdays, high school, elementary school stuff. I’m gonna be there as a father to see that. I’ve missed enough."

It was reported in 2022 that The Phenomenal One had re-signed with WWE, yet it wasn’t disclosed how long AJ’s new contract was for. When this deal ends, AJ has a difficult choice to make; however, judging by AJ’s comments in relation to retirement, it looks like AJ could be in the swan-song portion of his tremendous career.

9: Tamina Snuka

Although Tamina never managed to reach the top of the women’s division, her reputation as a pro wrestler and more importantly, as a human being is the reason she has stuck around for so long.

Tamina is said to be there for everyone in the locker room, and it’s hardly a surprise that every time a wrestler talks about her contributions to WWE, they have nothing but positive things to say.

Tamina has taken a considerable step back in 2023, as she only wrestled three matches in the calendar year, and it hasn’t been reported exactly why this is.

If Tamina has taken a break from her days as an in-ring competitor, then hopefully WWE have given her a substantial role backstage, as she would bring decades of experience to a producer or agent role within the company.

8: Becky Lynch

When Becky Lynch eventually calls it a day, she is a certified Hall of Fame headliner, and she will ultimately go down as one of the most influential talents of the modern era.

In 2024, Lynch is set to release her autobiography, and some fans are seeing this as a sign that Lynch is in the final chapter of her career. Lynch was reportedly cast in an undisclosed Marvel role, and it’s been widely claimed that Lynch has a strong interest in pursuing acting full-time.

Another factor in Lynch’s potential retirement, will be the fact that she’s a mother, and she will no doubt want to spend as much time as possible with her daughter.

No matter what Lynch decides, the door will always remain open for an eventual return, and who knows, in ten years’ time, Lynch could have a legacy run in the company, in a similar manner to what Trish Stratus delivered during her WWE stint in 2023.

7: Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins had a tremendous 2023 in WWE, yet it was revealed by Rollins himself that he has problems with his back. Although this seemed exaggerated to work a storyline, it was confirmed that Rollins’ injury problems are legitimate, and Rollins is going to need to address it sooner rather than later.

Rollins has stated throughout 2023, that he has no plans to stop anytime soon, yet Rollins may not have a choice in the matter. Rollins needs to look after himself, as he has a life beyond pro wrestling.

If Rollins is in so much pain on a consistent basis, then it may be easier for Rollins to slow-down, and perhaps adopt a part-time schedule. If Rollins has no interest in resting up, then in-time, retirement could unfortunately be a feasible and realistic possibility.  

6: CM Punk

2023 saw the WWE return of CM Punk. This was something that fans never thought would ever happen, yet Punk is back in WWE, and is expected to be a key part of WWE programming moving forward.

Whilst Punk being in WWE is an exciting concept, there is concern that Punk’s history of injuries may cause problems down the line. Fans are already labelling Punk’s second WWE run as his final hurrah, and whilst this may seem like an overreaction, Punk did encounter several problems in AEW when it came to his body giving up on him. Punk was injured several times during his AEW run, and most of these injuries were caused thanks to fluke accidents.

It's unclear how long Punk will be in WWE for during his second run, yet it could end up being Punk’s final run in pro wrestling, so it’s time to make the most of it, and appreciate the Straight Edge Savior whilst he’s consistently on WWE TV.

5: Brock Lesnar

Since returning to WWE in 2012, Brock Lesnar has taken on a part-time schedule. This has kept his appearances special, and for the past decade-plus, Lesnar has been a consistent and dependable draw for the company.

It was truly shocking when Lesnar appeared on the Michael Kay show in 2021, to reveal that he had initially retired back in 2020:

“When I was younger I thought, I wanna retire when I’m 40. I actually retired when COVID hit and my contract was up in 2020. Full circle Brock Lesnar story, I had my first wrestling match in Minnesota was in a garage with no people. 20 years later, had a WWE Title match at WrestleMania in a warehouse in front of no people. 20 years, full circle. I was like ‘I’m out.'”

Obviously, something made Lesnar come out of retirement, and his run as ‘Cowboy Brock’ has been incredibly popular with fans, and some would label it as one of the most exciting runs of Lesnar’s career.

What Lesnar initially retiring in 2020 indicates, is that Lesnar’s current contract may be his final ever pro wrestling contract, and when it eventually ends, Lesnar could ride off into the sunset.

4: Randy Orton

There was major concern throughout 2022, and into 2023, that WWE legend Randy Orton may never wrestle again. Orton had a serious back injury, and it was the type of injury that would put most wrestlers out for good; however, Orton was persistent with his recovery, and he is now able to wrestle on a regular basis.

Whilst this is great news, there is concern that Orton may be re-injured, as back injuries aren’t to be taken lightly.

Orton has been claiming that he could go for ten more-years, yet Orton has been wrestling full-time on the main roster since 2002, and his decades of bumps and bruises are going to catch up to him eventually.

Hopefully, Orton is able to continue wrestling as long as possible, yet fans should keep in mind that Orton’s plans to wrestle for another decade may not come to fruition.

3: Rey Mysterio

On December 18, 2023, it was reported that Rey Mysterio had re-signed with WWE. This is great news for everyone, as Mysterio remains at the top of his game, that is despite Mysterio wrestling since he was just 14-years-old.

Mysterio has spoken out in recent years regarding his retirement plans, and he has always stated that he has a strong desire to retire at 50-years-old. With Mysterio being 49, this indicates that he’s signed a one-year deal with WWE, and this will be his final year in pro wrestling.

When Mysterio is officially done, the WWE Hall of Famer stated during an interview with Kevin Hart on Cold as Balls, that he wants to spend more time with his wife:

"I think, more than anything, to give some time back to my wife, who has put her career on the line and her time to raise two kids to support me to let me pursue my dream. The rest of my lifetime, I just want to be able to enjoy the show with her…”

2: Roman Reigns

Since May of 2022, Roman Reigns has taken on a limited schedule in WWE. This has received significant criticism from fans, as Reigns has been World Champion for over 3-years, and having a part-time World Champion never goes down well with the weekly WWE viewers.

A few months after Reigns became a part-time talent in WWE, he would reveal during an interview on The Michael Kay Show, that he has aspirations to jump ship to Hollywood:

“We’ll have to see. I think there are going to be some moves made here pretty soon. There is always speculation with contract talks, that portion of it is my business. People who dive deep enough, I’m sure they can uncover and turn enough stones to figure out the timeframe. That’s something I want to dabble in and gain more experience. I want to use these tools that I’ve learned. WWE has done so right by me and have given me so much and placed so many great blessings and opportunities in front of me. I’ve just had to capture them and grab that ball and run with it. I’d like to think that along the way I’ve picked up so many skills and experienced so many things that are going to help me.”

Reigns continued by saying:

“At the end of the day, we all know how this works. This is a young man’s game. You can’t fall down your whole life. You have to get to a point where you can transition and continue to connect and create new fresh and evolved content for your fanbase and supporters. I think I have the ability to do that. At the end of the day, it’s about getting in that game, being thrown into that fire and seeing how you do. I have a pretty good track record with being thrown in the deep end. If that’s what happens in Hollywood, I’m going to swim.”

A lot of fans, particularly on social media, took this as Reigns hinting that his WWE days are slowly coming to an end. Reigns has previously stated that he could potentially wrestle until he’s 45, yet it looks like Reigns’ WWE appearances are getting rarer every year, and it’s evident that Reigns has his eyes set on the bright lights of Hollywood.

1: John Cena

One of the primary themes of John Cena’s extended WWE run in 2023, was the implication that Cena’s retirement is on the horizon.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t just a storyline, as Cena has revealed in a number of interviews that his days as a wrestler are coming to an end, and this is what Cena had to say on the matter during an appearance on WWE’s digital show, The Bump:

“Selfishly, I said I wanted to make sure it’s not time to go yet and I confidently believe that I’m not done, but I do believe that we’re all fighting that ticking clock and mine has less seconds than most other people in the locker room.”
“A lot of times we go away and we don’t get a chance to say a proper like ‘hey thanks for allowing me to do this for so long’. I don’t exist without the audience and I’m just really grateful for every single second. It’s why I can’t talk trash about anybody.”

Luckily for Cena, he has a highly successful Hollywood career to fall back on; however, there is no denying that it will be a sad day when WWE’s franchise guy decides to say goodbye to pro wrestling.