John Cena’s first-ever pay-per-view match was against Chris Jericho at Vengeance 2002. As seen in the video above, Cena countered the Walls of Jericho submission hold into a roll-up pin to pick up the massive upset victory.
However, the original plan was for Jericho to beat Cena, according to Y2J himself.
“I remember calling Vince [McMahon] a night before that show, and basically telling him that me winning was the wrong finish,” Jericho revealed on his Saturday Night Special podcast. “I told him clearly that John should go over. However, Vince didn’t see anything special in Cena,” he added.
Jericho said he finally managed to convince McMahon that Cena was the rightful victor.
“I told Vince, ‘I’m telling ya, this guy has got something.’ Finally, Vince was like, ‘fine, put him over if you want.’ And that was the beginning of John Cena as we know it.”
Jericho also went onto praise Cena as both a wrestler and person.
“I’m a big fan of Cena and always excited for all his success both in and out of the ring. I always loved working with him, and love him as a person,” said Jericho.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Jericho’s Saturday Night Special with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.