Shawn Spears recalls facing John Cena for WWE Title in OVW, Cody Rhodes putting in a good word for him

Originally published at Shawn Spears recalls facing John Cena for WWE Title in OVW, Cody Rhodes putting in a good word for him

The opportunity came several years into Spears’ career. 

At Starrcast 6, Colt Cabana hosted a live Art of Wrestling podcast and multiple guests were a part of the show such as Shawn Spears. 

They took a look back at Spears’ time in WWE developmental in the early 2000s. In 2007, Spears had the opportunity to challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship at Ohio Valley Wrestling’s Six Flags Summer Sizzler Series. Spears shared that at the time, Cody Rhodes spoke highly of him to Cena which assured Cena that he’ll be fine in the ring with Spears.

It was pouring down raining during their match. He knew that if something were to happen to Cena, it would be pinned on him. Spears called John one of the greatest workers of all-time. Nearly two years after that match, Spears was cut from WWE. He later joked that he’ll be fired from AEW after facing a top talent in similar weather conditions. 

That day, we had an eight match card (for OVW’s Six Flags show). But because there was severe, severe rainstorms and I think Jerry Lawler was on this show, somebody else might have been on the show too and then me and John (Cena) would go last, while there was a downpour. Crazy downpour so the matches went from eight to three and John wasn’t there yet. The good saving grace is-is that Cody (Rhodes) had talked to John beforehand because I think John had asked him, ‘Who is this guy? What’s he all about?’ And Cody kind of said some good things. So, when I ran into John, he’s like, ‘Yep. Cody said some good things about you. We’ll be good. We’ll do this, this and this’ and then he kind of walked off and I went, ‘… Sh*t. Okay.’ So we went out there, it was pouring rain. I was out first, he comes out on a Hummer, with soldiers walking beside him and the place just — deafening. Crazy. But, if you’ve ever been in a wrestling ring when it’s been wet, I’m assuming most of you haven’t been, it’s like ice and so when people sweat, it’s like ice. You can slip and someone can get really hurt so the fear was that if this guy went down, it’s on my watch, they’re gonna look at me. So, but to his credit, he is probably one of the absolute professional athletes on this planet. A lot of people will give John slack about his wrestling ability. Say whatever you want about his wrestling ability. He is one of the greatest workers and there is a difference between working and wrestling. He is one of the greatest workers of all-time. So, he taught me a lot in that match… I got through, he got through it and I went, yay and then I got fired like a year-and-a-half later (he laughed). 

I’ll get fired in a year (from AEW), year-and-a-half, something like that. We’ll figure it out. Just waiting for an outdoor show and then Kenny (Omega) or somebody and yeah, a year later, I’m not on the calendar (he laughed). 

As a part of the AEW All Out Zero Hour pre-show, Spears participated in the Over Budget Charity Battle Royal that was won by Hangman Adam Page. 

If the quote in this article is used, please credit Art of Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.