John Cena debuts with Ruthless Aggression

On this day in pro wrestling, June 27th, 2002, in Chicago, IL, on Smackdown, John Cena debuts in the WWE with plenty of Ruthless Aggression. Arguably John Cena is the PG Era’s, Hulk Hogan. After winning a total of 16 World Championships and counting, Cena can definitely lay claim to that statement. He has been loved by kids all over the world and hated by wrestling traditionalists. In wrestling, as long as there’s a reaction, that’s what counts. Love him or hate him; no one in the modern era even comes close to the impact John Cena has made.

It’s True, It’s True

Kurt Angle felt like he had conquered the world, and honestly, he had. He is a legit Olympic Gold Medalist, a multi-time WWE Champion. His rookie year transcended wrestling. No rookie had won three major titles in their first year until the debut of the Olympic gold medalist. It’s true, it’s true.  On the June 27th,2002, episode of Smackdown opened with Kurt Angle walking to the ring of chants of ” You suck.”

He then grabbed the mic and said;

“I might as well be the poster boy for ruthless agression. I made Hulk Hogan tap out , last week I beat The Undertaker. Yet after how much I  have accomplished. I still have to deal with the fact that you people dont appreciate my greatness. This week Im in the mood to show someone what ruthless agression is all about. I am issuing a challenge to anyone in that locker room to come down here and face Kurt Angle.”

Week after week, Angle had issued the same challenge, but this time was different. This time a relatively unknown stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. That unknown was John Cena.

THROWBACK: John Cena Made His WWE Debut 15 Years Ago, Today - SPORTbible
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John Cena’s Debut

Cena was a “prototype” of what a wrestler should look like. He was chiseled. He was strong. As Kurt Angle was about to find out was ruthless too. Angle didn’t look worried, though. I mean, this is freaking Kurt angle. What can this new guy do to Kurt that has not been done. Angle grabbed the mic and asked him.

“Who in the hell are you?” The man said, ” I’m John Cena.” Then Angle asked him what the one quality he has that makes him think he can face Angle is. Cena answered, “Ruthless Aggression.”

John Cena debuts with Ruthless Aggression
Never saw it coming

He slapped Angle so hard across the face; the Olympic champion dropped the mic. Cena then took Angle down and began to throw fists. He then clotheslined Kurt out of the ring. Kurt Angle obviously did not expect this.  Cena threw angle into the ring and gave him a splash in the corner. He was rocked but caught Cena in an Olympic slam. After that offense, Kurt went to work dropping the rookie in a german suplex. Angle was angry. He began to punish Cena.

The Olympic Champion grabbed a front face lock, but Cena powered out of it. He hit Angle with a popup powerbomb and almost pinned him. The fans were going crazy. Cena then caught Kurt with a DDT, and still, he kicked out. Michael Cole, who was doing commentary at ringside, said, “These fans are starting to get behind John Cena” Cena’s power slammed angle off the ropes still only got a 2 count.

At that moment, Kurt saw his opening and, with a float over, pinned Cena. John Cena may have lost his debut match, but he won the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe. Little did anyone know that John Cena would go on to become a major superstar. That in itself is an understatement; Cena became the man in the WWE. He has become a 16-time World Champion and a 5 time United States champion as well as several tag team title reigns, Mr. money in the bank, Royal Rumble winner, and a sure-fire Hall of Famer. It was all based on two words “Ruthless Aggression.” Just like Cena’s catchphrase, “You can’t see me,” No one saw it coming, including Kurt Angle.