WWE legend Kurt Angle has revealed that he found out he was going to be facing a debuting John Cena at the last second.
The two superstars competed against each other in the ring for the first time on SmackDown in June 27th, 2002. The Olympic Gold Medalist emerged victorious, defeating the newcomer via pinfall. The two stars have faced off against each other numerous times over the years, and it's unlikely that they'll ever wrestle each other again.
During a recent interview with Scott Fishman of TV Insider, Kurt Angle reflected on their first match, stating that they weren't prepared for the bout, as Vince McMahon wanted to see what John Cena could do in the ring.
"It was that day. Last second. No pre-planning. I think Vince McMahon just wanted to see what he had and wanted him to go up against a formidable opponent. That’s how he started his career and never looked back," said Angle.
Kurt Angle says he knew very little about John Cena before their match
Before making his televised debut on SmackDown in 2002, John Cena was a part of OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling), WWE's former developmental territory. He was in the same class as Brock Lesnar, Batista and Randy Orton.
When asked if he knew much about the 16-time world champion going into the match, Angle stated:
"I knew he was a good-looking kid with a great build. His wrestling name was “The Prototype.” I didn’t know much about him aside from that he worked in OVW at the time. The WWE developmental where I think he was even training with Brock Lesnar."
When it was announced that Kurt Angle would compete in his last match at WrestleMania 35, many fans expected Cena to be his opponent. However, it turned out to be Happy Corbin. Unfortunately, Angle was defeated by the former United States Champion in his retirement match.