AEW stars made shock appearances on Raw to celebrate John Cena

WWE honoured the 20th anniversary of John Cena on the latest edition of Raw on Monday – and even AEW stars paid their respects.

The 45-year-old was back on televised WWE programming for the first time since August. Cena lost to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam.

But he made a triumphant return to the ring to celebrate 20 years in the company. Cena made a point of stating that he didn’t know when he was going to wrestle again. However, he said that he would definitely wrestle again at some stage.

Throughout the show, vignettes aired showing Cena’s best moments in WWE. There were backstage scenes, showing Cena alongside the likes of Seth Rollins, Ezekiel, The Street Profits and Theory.

Raw opened with most of the locker room congratulating Cena. They include his old adversaries Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and Shinsuke Nakamura.

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But perhaps the most significant part of the night was the messages sent to Cena by current WWE stars and legends. In addition, there were video messages read out by AEW stars who used to be in WWE.

AEW stars honour John Cena

Amongst those to pay tribute to Cena were Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton.

The 45-year-old had legendary rivalries with all three of the above Superstars. In fact, Cena has wrestled more matches against Orton than any other Superstar.

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Booker T and Kurt Anglewho Cena debuted against in 2002 – were amongst the legends to send celebratory messages.

But WWE fans were pleasantly surprised when current AEW stars paid their respect. In modern professional wrestling, stars from other promotions are very rarely even mentioned on WWE programming, let alone appear on the show.

But the company broke protocol for one night. Chris Jericho, Big Show and Daniel Bryan, who are all now in AEW, sent messages to Cena.

All three wrestlers received huge ovations from the crowd, a sign of how WWE fans always appreciate those who gave so much to the business.

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Why did AEW stars appear on Raw?

Fightful Select have reported that WWE approached AEW’s lead promoter, Tony Khan, and asked if Jericho, Big Show and Bryan could all send video messages. The requests were approved.

Last week, meanwhile, WWE allowed AJ Styles to record a video message to send to Impact Wrestling to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Fans will be hoping these exchanges may open the ‘forbidden door’ and allow wrestlers from other promotions to make similar appearances.

Featured Image Credit: WWE / YouTube