A former World Champion has revealed Vince McMahon ordered them to change their appearance on the day of their WWE television debut.
On the June 27th 2002 edition of SmackDown, WWE fans got introduced to John Cena for the first time. Just days before on Raw, Vince McMahon had challenged the roster to find some “ruthless aggression” to stand out.
With those words ringing in his ears, Cena arrived on SmackDown to answer an open challenge from Kurt Angle. Although it was Angle who won the match, the rookie pushed him all the way. After the match, Cena was congratulated backstage by a number of Superstars including The Undertaker.
Speaking in a recent WWE Playback clip as part of the month-long celebrations for the 20th anniversary of his debut, Cena lifted the lid on the backstage build-up to his match with Angle. In the clip, the would-be World Champion revealed that just hours before the match WWE Vince McMahon ordered him to get his cut.
“I found out at 2:45 in the afternoon that I’d be wrestling Kurt Angle. I had one meeting with Mr. McMahon before this. I was pushed into his office and Michael Hayes asked, like, ‘What do we do with this?’ Mr. McMahon’s first sentence to me, it was a short meeting. He said, ‘Cut his f*cking hair.’ Then I was out of the office.”
John Cena is set for a WWE return 20 years to the day that he debuted on SmackDown. Cena will be present on the 27th of June 2022 episode of Monday Night Raw with the expectation that Cena will be fighting at SummerSlam.
H/t to SEScoops for the transcription.