Kurt Angle says that he knew this WWE legend would be a huge star down the road when he met them.
Tonight’s WWE Raw will celebrate the 20 year anniversary of John Cena with his return to the company.
Cena debuted on the June 27, 2002 edition of SmackDown, answering the open challenge of Kurt Angle before uttering his famed “Ruthless Aggression” response.
Speaking with TV Insider, Kurt Angle recalled John Cena’s debut and what he said to the WWE legend after their first match.
“I liked what they had him do. I thought his response to me and the whole ‘Ruthless Aggression’ response was perfect. He had that written all over him. It was a good idea for them to basically start that whole era with John Cena. I remember him saying those two words and slapping me in the face like he wasn’t scared of anybody. I think that gave him a lot of traction to become a bigger superstar. I could have a match with a broomstick. That was what a lot of the wrestlers would say about me. I guess they knew Cena would have a guaranteed great match with me because it was me. Cena did step up. There was a point in time in that match where I kept on him. I stayed with him. I wanted to test him to see if he had the conditioning to stay with me. And he did. He kept up with me the whole time. We went hard for 12 minutes. We didn’t have any pause. It was high throttle the whole time. He proved to me he was a very well-conditioned athlete.”
Following their encounter, Angle and Cena had a brief interaction backstage. Angle revealed what he said to Cena, saying:
“All I said was, ‘You stepped up tonight. It was a great match.’ He said, ‘Thank you, Mr. Angle, for working with me. I really do appreciate it’ He was very respectful. I knew this kid was very special from the first time I got in the ring and after I got done wrestling him, I knew he would be a huge star down the road.”
You can keep up with the live results of tonight’s Raw at this link.
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