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CM Punk And Bryan Danielson Talk What Type Of Crowd Reaction John Cena Would Get If He Joined AEW

AEW has come a long way since its beginnings and seen a lot of changes since guys like Triple H didn’t see it as a significant threat to shows like NXT. Years later, Triple H is now head of the WWE’s creative team, and AEW is a much larger outfit capable of pulling major WWE talent under its umbrella. One has to wonder if a wrestler, though, can be “too WWE,”  and how a guy like John Cena might be received if he decided to join up with Tony Khan and perform in AEW in its current state. CinemaBlend asked CM Punk and Bryan Danielson their thoughts, and their takes on it might be surprising. 

CinemaBlend had a chance to speak to AEW superstars at San Diego Comic-Con, and we had to know how someone like CM Punk thought John Cena would do in AEW. Punk had a memorable rivalry with Cena in the WWE, and while they had their differences in the ring, Punk actually believed he’d be a good fit: 

I think him being so WWE would make him the perfect fit in AEW. Can you imagine that? They’d probably boo him out of the building, but John is so great. I think, eventually, people would wind up cheering him.

CM Punk is likely right in his assessment about John Cena being booed out of the building. AEW is a show that, by design, doesn’t try to be like the WWE. A guy like John Cena, who served as the face of the WWE for decades, would be a very polarizing addition. At the same time, it’d be like when Hulk Hogan joined WCW, with the caveat being that Cena would likely never turn heel. 

Bryan Danielson worked with John Cena in the WWE for years, and likely knows the champ a bit better than other wrestlers. Danielson spent some time outside of the WWE over the years with Cena since they both were in serious relationships with the Bella twins (Danielson married Brie Bella in 2014, Cena dated Nikki Bella until 2018). Danielson didn’t have a ton to add on top of what his colleague CM Punk had to say but did assure it’d be something folks might enjoy:

Yeah, I think he’d fit really well. In the sense of, like, it’d be a real fun experience for everybody.

I don’t disagree with Bryan Danielson, though I think most of the fun in that experience comes from the fact that Cena appearing in AEW feels so unlikely. Then again, it feels the wrestling world has seen so many surprising things happen over the past few years that even something as unlikely as this is possible. For now, though, it may be better to hope Cena appears at an upcoming WWE event, especially after he didn’t return for SummerSlam. 

AEW Superstars throw down on Dynamite on TBS every Wednesday beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET, and on Rampage Fridays on TNT at 10:00 p.m. ET. To watch a John Cena match anytime soon, one might need a Peacock premium subscription unless he’s interested in making another visit to the WWE in the coming months.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.