John Cena has a very good amount of pull backstage in WWE. He actually voted against signing AJ Styles to a WWE contract, but that obviously didn’t stop WWE from inking him to a deal.
During The Arn Show, Arn Anderson, who was John Cena’s producer for years, spoke about a time he ran some names by Cena. WWE needed new talent and they were thinking about bringing in some names that were known for their work in TNA.
Anderson said that he sat down with Cena and pitched guys like Robert Roode, James Storm, and AJ Styles. Cena looked him in the eyes and asked why WWE would want to sign any of them.
“I sat John (Cena) down. I don’t remember the year, but I could feel that things were getting a little stale. WWE needed an influx of not just bodies and people coming from NXT, no knock on that, but seasoned veterans. People that were considered stars. I sat John down and said, ‘You know John, there’s some guys with the other company and that we can steel and blend in to work with you.’ My conversation was that it was Bobby Roode, Cowboy (James Storm), and AJ Styles. I said, ‘These guys can go. I’m talking about talk shelf performers and they will freshen everything up.’”
“He looked me right in the eye and at this time John had 100% stroke, power, it was his call on everything that had to do with him. He said, ‘Why would we want those guys? We make our own stars.’ So yes, he was on my radar. AJ Styles was one of those rare talents that only come along every 20 years or so that can do it all. I knew that then. I know that now. It will be the same thing that, barring injury, a year from now. So yes, definitely on my radar. I was pushing for the three of those guys.”
WWE did sign Robert Roode and AJ Styles. The company also almost signed James Storm last year but, as Ringside News exclusively reported, they didn’t go through with the situation when the pandemic stopped the world from functioning as planned.
John Cena still has a lot of pull in WWE. As Ringside News exclusively reported he’s one of the few people who is still allowed to have direct access to Vince McMahon.
Thanks to Wrestling News for the quote