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WWE News: AJ Styles on how John Cena would have done in the indies

The Phenomenal One on how Cena would have fared in the indies.

John Cena as The Prototype in UPW

What’s the story?

According to a report by Uproxx, AJ Styles gave his thoughts on how John Cena would have done on the independent circuit during an interview with Yahoo! Sports prior to the Royal Rumble.

In case you didn’t know...

John Cena actually started his career in 1999 for a promotion called UPW, which was based out of California. He debuted as a semi-robotic character known as, “The Prototype.” He held the promotion’s Heavyweight Championship for 27 days in April of 2000.  

He wrestled for UPW until March 2001, when he signed on with Ohio Valley Wrestling, which was WWE’s developmental territory at the time.  

The heart of the matter

Just like most of Cena’s feuds over the past few years, his feud with AJ Styles was built largely around whether Cena respected someone who came up through the wrestling business from the independent circuit. After all, Cena spent very little time in any kind of independent setting and was largely skyrocketed into prominence as the face of WWE.  

Cena even downplayed the accomplishments of AJ Styles on the episode of Smackdown before the Royal Rumble, stating that he was busy being the face of WWE while AJ was working in bingo halls.  

AJ was asked how he thought Cena would have fared on the independent circuit in his interview with Yahoo! Sports:

“Let’s talk about that. The independent scene is really hard. When I say that, it’s because you may be the guy coming in from a different state that no one knows. So, how are you going to have people react?” 

AJ would explain that getting people to react has to take place through stuff the fans haven’t seen before or stuff they may not have expected. It also takes the ability to adapt to a lot of different styles of wrestling, such as Lucha Libre, Puroresu, or perhaps even the British style.

“Nobody is really going to know how John Cena would do. But I would venture to say as a nobody coming in, eyes would be on John Cena based on his look alone. That’s the first thing people would see, so he would get a reaction on the way he looks. Now, what happens in the ring won’t be as easy because people haven’t seen him before. Who’s to say whether John would have done well or done terrible in the indies. How will we ever know? We won’t.”

What’s next? 

John Cena just won his 16th World Championship from AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble.  He will defend the championship against AJ Styles and four other men inside the Elimination Chamber, at the Smackdown brand’s PPV of the same name in two weeks.

Sportskeeda’s take
AJ’s thoughts are pretty much dead on. We don’t, and won’t ever know how John Cena would have done if he had come up through the indies.  It’s an interesting thought because that would completely change the last 15 years of WWE, but we'll never know for certain.

Send us news tips at fightclub@sportskeeda.com  

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