A WWE name has recalled Jim Barnett predicted John Cena would be “the guy” in WWE.
Jim Barnett is one of the most important figures behind the scenes in wrestling during the national expansion. Barnett helped Vince McMahon backstage during the buildup to the original WrestleMania.
During the most recent episode of his “Something to Wrestle” podcast, Bruce Pritchard opened up about learning from Jim Barnett. Following the closure of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Pritchard would continue to call Barnett for advice and input on the state of the product.
Revealing that Barnett was the first to believe John Cena would be the face of WWE, Pritchard said:
“John Cena. The first time he saw John Cena, he said, ‘he’s a star. He’s the guy.’ You know, it was very early on,”
“When John had just started, we were scratching our heads, trying to figure out what to do with John. He had something, you know, he had it, but not knowing what to do. Jim was like, ‘That’s your next guy. He will be the guy.'”
“I’m like, ‘Ah, yeah, you know, Jim, I get it, man. He’s got all the tools and everything. But right now, I think he’s a little green.’ He said, ‘Get behind him. He’s the guy.’ He was right. He saw it before any of us saw it.”
John Cena has become one of the defining WWE stars in history and recently celebrated twenty years with the company in 2002. Cena last competed at WrestleMania 39, losing to Austin Theory for the United States Championship.
Here are results from the Friday, May 12 episode of WWE SmackDown:
AJ Styles def. Edge, Rey Mysterio in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament
Bobby Lashley def. Austin Theory, Sheamus in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament
Grayson Waller appeared in a backstage segment with Adam Pearce and announced the winner of the Styles vs Lashley main event would appear on his Grayson Waller Effect talk show next week
Cameron Grimes def. Baron Corbin
Roman Reigns made his first appearance since WrestleMania 39 and said that Solo Sikoa has stepped up, but the Usos are a problem and that they embarrassed him
Paul Heyman then announced Reigns and Sikoa would be challenging Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez def. Bayley & Dakota Kai to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Former NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly made their SmackDown debut backstage, setting up a match against the Brawling Brutes for next week
Bianca Belair appeared for a ‘celebration’ in her hometown of Knoxville, but was interrupted by a returning Asuka who spat mist in Belair’s face
AJ Styles def. Bobby Lashley in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament
Transcription via Fightful
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