Surprising WWE Hall of Famer Predicted The Rise of John Cena

John Cena

John Cena has enjoyed one the most remarkable WWE careers of any Superstar in company history.

The sixteen time World Champion has seen and done it all since arriving on the main roster, promising to bring ‘Ruthless Aggression’ in his debut match against Kurt Angle on the June 27th 2002 episode of SmackDown. By the end of that year Cena had adopted his popular ‘Dr of Thuganomics’ persona and was a huge hit with crowds across the world.

After capturing his first World Championship from JBL at WrestleMania 21, Cena embarked on over a decade of dominance in the WWE ring, adding to his record equalling World Title tally with five United States Championship victories, four runs as World Tag Team Champion and a pair of Royal Rumble wins to name just a few accomplishments.

Cena would also go on to record successful albums before departing his full-time WWE days to become a mainstream Hollywood actor, appearing in big name motion pictures such as Bumblebee, Trainwreck and Daddy’s Home 2.

Many have conceded that Cena exceeded the expectations set when first appearing in developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling as Prototype, but a WWE Executive has revealed that a surprising WWE Hall Of Famer pointed out Cena’s potential early on.

WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Barnett Believed Cena Was ‘The Guy’.

On a recent edition of ‘Something To Wrestle With’, WWE Executive Bruce Prichard was discussing the impact that legendary wrestling figure Jim Barnett would have on him following the closure of WCW and noted that Barnett was quick to highlight Cena as the man with the most potential:

“John Cena. The first time he saw John Cena, he said, ‘he’s a star. He’s the guy.’

You know, it was very early on, when John had just started, we were scratching our heads, trying to figure out what to do with John. He had something, you know, he had it, but not knowing what to do. Jim was like, ‘That’s your next guy. He will be the guy.’ I’m like, ‘Ah, yeah, you know, Jim, I get it, man. He’s got all the tools and everything. But right now, I think he’s a little green.’

He said, ‘Get behind him. He’s the guy.’ He was right. He saw it before any of us saw it.”

Barnett was a former owner of Georgia Championship Wrestling and became a senior advisor of WCW until it’s closure in 2001. He passed away of pneumonia in 2004 and was posthumously inducted into the legacy wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2019.

H/T: Fightful for the above transcription