Kurt Angle talks about wanting to test John Cena’s endurance during their match on SmackDown.
John Cena’s 20th anniversary is this month, and everyone involved is recalling moments they had with the sixteen-time World Champion. Someone who had a tremendous impact on Cena’s career was WWE Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle.
Cena battled Angle in his debut match on SmackDown and nearly defeated him. While Cena was out to prove he had ruthless aggression, Angle wanted to know if he also had endurance. On the recent edition of The Kurt Angle Show, Angle revealed that he was trying to “blow up” John Cena by making the match have non-stop action:
“Okay, listen, what I did was Cena I shouldn’t even have done it. Okay, it was just a test to see if he could last in the match where he had endurance, because he looked like a million dollars. And he was a great wrestler, and I wanted to see if he had the conditioning. I shouldn’t have done it to him, but I did.
But Hulk Hogan I’m not going to do that with an older wrestler. And remember John Cena at the time was a no name, he just started out. Hulk Hogan is the biggest name in wrestling. I’m not going to embarrass Hulk Hogan and try to blow him up, that doesn’t make any sense. So I had too much respect for Hulk Hogan at that particular time. And don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for John Cena now, I wish I didn’t do that. But I did.”
Johnn Cena was rumored to wrestle Kurt Angle’s retirement match at WrestleMania 35, but he ended up in a segment with Elias instead. Angle and Cena wrestled many times after their initial match on SmackDown in 2002. Cena, at one point, successfully defended the WWE Championship against Angle at Survivor Series.