The wrestling legends associated with AEW didn’t have to film tributes to John Cena for WWE — they chose to.
In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer, Dave Meltzer gave further details behind AEW talent making appearances on this past Monday’s “WWE Raw” for Cena. According to Meltzer, Bruce Prichard got in contact with Tony Khan and inquired to see if he could get footage of Chris Jericho, Paul Wight, Bryan Danielson and Mark Henry giving their praise for 20 years of Cena. Khan expressed that he and the roster had a great deal of respect for Cena, and that he was fine with it, but the decision was up to the stars themselves.
It was Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer Megha Parekh who reached out to the talent, and all four were happy to pay their respects. Video tributes from Jericho, Wight, and Danielson all made it onto the “Raw” broadcast. Henry’s video didn’t air — on Friday morning’s “Busted Open Radio,” he said he believes that it’s because he mentioned AEW and said “pro wrestling” in his clip.
Although rare, there has been some crossover between WWE and AEW in the past. Chris Jericho made a memorable guest appearance on an episode of “Broken Skull Sessions” with Steve Austin — Jericho spoke openly about leaving WWE for AEW on the program. Currently employed WWE talent have yet to appear on AEW television, but it at Impact’s Slammiversary event, WWE star AJ Styles shared a “thank you” video for his original home promotion. Styles was praised as a top talent in Impact/TNA history, and he thanked the promotion for his time there. Impact also featured in a big crossover back at Royal Rumble, when then-Knockouts Champion participated in the women’s Royal Rumble match. The Knockouts title was featured on the premiere live event, and James was named as the Knockouts Champion in build to the match.