One of the best matches of John Cena’s wrestling career came just a few years ago when he went one-on-one with AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Interestingly, a WWE Hall of Famer and current member of AEW has revealed that Cena didn’t actually want WWE to sign AJ Styles several years ago.
According to Arn Anderson on the latest episode of his podcast, Cena told him “we’ve got NXT” when the idea was brought up to him about signing AJ Styles:
“No, I wasn’t surprised [they signed AJ]. I was pleasantly surprised and I pushed for AJ. It was at a point when TNA was doing well. I would watch there, sitting with Cena one afternoon, and I said, ‘It would really beef up the company if we went out and stole Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, and ‘The Cowboy’ James Storm. If you brought those 3 guys in it would give you a whole plethora of new opponents, it would give a lot of guys new opponents.’ John looked at me and said, ‘We’ve got NXT, we make our own stars.”
Arn would go on to explain that Cena was just transferring Vince McMahon’s philopatry and mindset onto him:
“I’m sure he was just transferring Vince’s psychology to me when he said that, but I knew at that time what those guys could do in a match for John. If you just gave them 6-9 months to come in and get over – these guys had their experience, they were ready. You could bring them on day one and you have a player. They were all on my radar for a while before they ever made it.”
I’m sure Cena is regretting what he said now, as Styles went on to not only be one of Cena’s best opponents, but also be one of the biggest stars in the company right now.