It is very well known that top stars like Hulk Hogan, Triple H, and John Cena massively influenced the creative backstage. If you were liked by any of the top guys, it was easier to get a push.
John Cena, being the top guy, was known as a thorough professional, often losing to younger stars like Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. However, Tyler Reks, Alex Riley, and Ken Anderson will not agree with the above statement.
AEW superstar Jake Hager was another Superstar added to this list as Cena didn’t like him and didn’t want him to get a push. In an episode of Talk Is Jericho, Hager revealed that John Cena didn’t want him to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on him.
“I had a little inclination, but I had no idea what was going to happen. The night before, I teased it on Raw. I hit Cena with the briefcase, I snuck up on him when he had one of his brilliant promo segments. Later, come to find out, he refused to do the job for me for the [WWE] Championship. We won’t talk about that. Ugh. ‘The most unselfish top man in the business.’”
After Cena’s denial, the plans for Hager changed, and he went after Chris Jericho. He was successful as he captured the world heavyweight championship.
While many superstars who jump ship from WWE to AEW don’t have good things to say, Hager had many positive things to say about his short stint as World Heavyweight Champion.
Five days after WrestleMania 26, Jake Hager (then Jack Swagger) cashed in his Money in the bank contract. Edge had knocked Jericho out cold in the ring, and Hager took the opportunity, becoming World Champion.
Hager’s Championship reign wasn’t an illustrious one. However, Hager claims he learned a lot from his short championship reign.
“I first went with Big Show and then I went with Randy. I thought it was fine. I know looking back, I needed to do a lot more as champion. It’s one of those things where it was a learning curve. Everyone kind of sees that championship run as short, but to me, I look at it as one of those things it’s like, my name is on the list with some greatest of the greatest, so you’re not going to take that away from me.”
Sometimes in professional wrestling, only talent and skills are not enough to take you to the top. Relationships play a key part too.