Is Samoa Joe to Thank for WWE Signing John Cena 17 Years Ago?

If not for Samoa Joe, we may have never gotten John Cena in WWE.

According to a recent interview with 102.5 The Bone's Drew Garabo Live out of Tampa Bay, Florida, Samoa Joe served as the final stepping stone that got Cena into WWE's famed doors:

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"Actually, John Cena's match with me, the one that kind of got him hired with WWE, I remember they were there to look at John, obviously. He looked great, he was like the blue-chipper, and John was a good friend of mine, so I had no problem whatsoever helping him kind of highlight and do his thing. Hey man, he was a hard worker, man. He got it done, so after the match, I remember Jim Ross, head of Talent Relations at the time, I went up to him and I was like, 'is there any interest over here?' 'Ah, no, son. I don't think you're quite going to work out here.' Two years in, but it was cool because I was like, 'well, if I can't go there, I'm going to focus on all this other stuff. Where else can you make money? Oh, Japan!' So I focused on Japan, I got a contract over there, and the rest is history."

While Cena arriving in WWE was likely inevitable, this is still a cool anecdote from The Destroyer. Think about it, if Joe wasn't feeling it on that fateful night, Cena's arrival could have been delayed by the sub-par performance. It wasn't, and the rest is quite literally history.

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For Joe, though, that night marked the beginning of a long journey chasing his WWE opportunity. As Joe mentioned, the match was perfect for John Cena to launch into WWE, but Joe was flat out denied. He would have to tour the world and nearly every Indy promotion in America for nearly 20 years before WWE would come knocking.

Sure, Joe would have loved to have been in WWE in 2010, but he must be appreciating his current run with the company. Joe is the hottest wrestler in WWE right now, rivaled only by Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. It seems like all that time pursuing this WWE moment has been worth it because Joe is taking his main event opportunity and making a mad dash for WWE's pinnacle. All signs point to him competing in a SummerSlam Fatal 4-Way for the Universal Championship. A match that he may just win.