John Cena made his WWE debut on SmackDown in 2002, taking on Kurt Angle in a match that immediately put his name on the map.
In the months that followed, Cena began to make his name on the blue brand in matches against the likes of Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar, and Matt Hardy, although he faced more defeats than he became used to later in his career.
Matt Hardy recalls working with John Cena in his early days
On a recent edition of his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, the now-AEW star looked back on his early relationship with John Cena, saying he had “a great attitude”.
“He had a ton of potential. I enjoyed working with him. He had a great attitude, very respectful. One thing I can’t stress enough about whenever he broke into the business, especially once he started on the main roster, WWE. But I had fun wrestling with him.
“There were a lot of things we kind of shared and had things in common, we both liked rap music and that’s something we had discovered at this time as well. And he was just overall just a cool fun guy, so, yeah, I enjoyed working with him and I thought this guy is going to be special because he’s very gifted and very talented.”
When it came to putting matches together, Hardy praised Cena for being respectful and an extremely hard worker.
“Once again, he was very respectful in the aspect of he was like, okay, well, you’re the veteran, you just tell me what you want me to do. And he would contribute like, I do this, I do that, what if we did this, but, yeah, he was just very easy to work with at that time.
“Very laid back, very easy going and just an extremely hard worker. And one thing I can say about John more than anything else is that he’s very disciplined and you can tell that obviously by his physique, the way he eats, the way he trains, his intensity as well and he’s also very discipline as far as applying himself to bettering himself when it came to his craft as well and you could see that right from the jump.”
H/T to WrestlingHeadlines.com for the above transcription.