Upon arriving in WWE, it didn’t take long for AJ Styles to get into a feud with John Cena.
A recent comment by Arn Anderson in The ARN Podcast would imply that that Cena was not a fan of “The Phenomenal One” making the switch from Impact Wrestling.
Styles was in a list of three Impact talents, along with Bobby Roode and James Storm, which Cena shot down when mentioned by Anderson, as “we’ve got NXT, we make our own stars”.
I was pleasantly surprised [by his signing] and I pushed for AJ. It was at a point when TNA was doing well. I would watch there, sitting with Cena one afternoon, and I said, ‘It would really beef up the company if we went out and stole Bobby Roode, AJ Styles and ‘The Cowboy’ James Storm. If you brought those three guys in it would give you a whole plethora of new opponents, it would give a lot of guys new opponents.’ John looked at me and said, ‘We’ve got NXT, we make our own stars’.
Anderson explained that he felt those three wrestlers would have a great chance of coming in and being ready to have a feud with Cena in 6-9 months as they already had enough experience to step in to the role.
Only one of the men in that list, ‘The Cowboy’ James Storm, ended up not signing with the company despite appearing twice on NXT before re-signing with Impact.
Anderson made a point of singling out what he felt Storm would have brought to the company had he decided to make a full-time switch to WWE.
I don’t know if it was his choice, the meeting didn’t go the way he wanted it to go, or if the money wasn’t right. You never know in those situations. Any company would benefit from having a veteran like that on their crew. If it’s a guy that can get over, on day one give you a main event match you don’t have to groom that guy, you don’t have to teach him.
With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.