It’s already a big deal when All-Elite Wrestling – or, AEW, the first legitimate competition for WWE in ages – comes to Boston. New England has long been home turf for the Stamford-based standard bearer of “sports entertainment.”

But there was an added twist when the father of WWE’s biggest stars (whose status with WWE is somewhat uncertain) tweeted that he would be attending the show.

John Cena Sr. – father of West Newbury native and 16-time WWE World Champion John Cena – got some attention this week when he posted: “Tonight Boston Massachusetts, AEW. Should be a Fabulous show. Looking forward to it see you there.”

This stands out for a few reasons. First, it seems a bit odd that someone tied to the “Babe Ruth of WWE” would publicly promote their direct competition. Attend the show? Sure, why not? But to publicly announce it?

And while Cena was rumored be negotiating with WWE about a return for WrestleMania in 2023, his contractual status is somewhat murky. It’s believed Cena has a deal to make occasional appearances with the promotion, but he hasn’t competed since summer of 2021.

Cena is also known to be incredibly tight with former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who was forced to depart the company earlier this year. Is it possible Cena’s relationship with McMahon’s successor, New Hampshire native Triple H, isn’t as warm as that he shared with McMahon?

Since its inception in 2019, AEW has continually surprised fans by bringing in names known for their time in WWE, such as The Big Show, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, Sting, and Billy Gunn.

It also has a reputation for its more laid-back, inclusive atmosphere, set by AEW President Tony Khan.

“He is so in tune with everybody,” Gunn told me recently. “He appreciates everything that everybody does from driving the (equipment trucks) to the people that set up our stage. He is a guy with endless energy.”

Added Gunn, “When you see your boss having just as much fun as you are, it brings your work to a different level.”

Also notable about AEW is that it typically broadcasts once or twice per week, allowing talent to fill their calendars with independent wrestling appearances or other commitments.

For someone now regarded as a fulltime actor, that would likely appeal to John Cena.

While Cena remains a Mount Rushmore figure for WWE, he has been primarily used to put younger talent over in recent years. Meaning, it’s been a long time he’s even won a match.

AEW is already known for bringing in talents from all over the world. The one piece it’s missing? A notable New Englander.

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