When John Cena debuted in WWE 20 years ago, AEW wasn't a thing. Many of the promotion's biggest stars, and some of their commentators too, were employed by companies like TNA, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and yes, WWE, where they built up legacies worthy of a place in wrestling history.
So, when a promotion like WWE wants to tell the story of Cena, of his rise, his prolific run, and his eventual transition out of the ring, it's incredibly challenging to do without including at least a few performers who are currently employed by AEW, most notably Bryan Danielson, Paul Wight, Chris Jericho, and “The Voice of Wrestling,” Jim Ross, who called many of his biggest bouts in The Fed.
Could WWE have attempted to whitewash their past and pretend that none of these things happened, like when they obscured the face of Mike Chioda during a match he officiated for Rey Mysterio? They very much could have, yes, but thankfully, someone thought better and instead asked the likes of Danielson and Wight to produce video packages thanking Cena for his years of service, which they happily agreed to do.
EVERYONE has well-wishes for @JohnCena!#Cena20 #CenaMonth #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/HAxWyqeNM6
— WWE (@WWE) June 28, 2022
It's certainly weird to see the names Daniel Bryan and The Big Show on a RAW screen but hey, it's always nice to watch a video package on WWE television featuring JR's voice.
Though WWE remains the least interested wrestling promotion to do cross-promotional activities through a “Forbidden Door,” it's nice to see their formerly ridged approach soften a bit, from having Chris Jericho on Broken Skull Sessions, to having Mickie James appear in the Women's Royal Rumble, and even allowing A.J. Styles to call into Impact's Slammiversary to congratulate the company formerly owned by Dixie Carter on 20 years of operation.