Kurt Angle officially retired from the scene after losing to Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. The former Olympic gold medalist originally planned to play his last match in front of another opponent, John Cena, but the numerous commitments to The Bostonian's Hollywood prompted him to give up early (also due to a series of physical problems).
Through his Instagram profile, the former heavyweight champion recalled Cena's famous WWE debut. The two faced each other in the episode of SmackDown on June 27, 2002, with Angle coming out victorious thanks to a roll-up.
Despite the defeat, the debut of the leader of the 'Cenation' is unanimously counted among the best in the history of the Stamford federation.
Kurt Angle on his first meeting with John Cena
"I wanted the one against John Cena to be my last professional match" - admitted Kurt Angle earlier this year.
"I would have liked to work with him one last time because I had started his career, so I wanted him to finish mine. Already the first time I had to deal with him, I realized that he would become an absolute champion. Unfortunately, my dream did not come true”.
Kurt returned to WWE in 2017 after an 11-year absence from the company. Upon his return, the former WWE Champion was inducted into the Hall of Fame by John Cena. Angle has never hidden his admiration for two other stars of the modern era: “I've always wanted a meeting with Daniel Bryan and Bret Hart.
I remember asking 'The Hitman' if he would be willing to go into the ring with me, but he refused. At first, I didn't take it well, but over time I understood the reasons for that choice. If a young Bret Hart came to me now that I'm 51 to offer me a match, I too would say no.
The reason is that I could never offer performance in line with my standards”. Speaking in a recent interview with Complex News, John Cena admitted WWE does not need him to make his upcoming return. “I relate a lot of things to WWE, and this one falls directly in that line,” Cena said.
“What was it like to join the WWE locker room? WWE is already a global phenomenon, with or without John Cena, and that’s proven before I got there and certainly now that I’m not there anymore and they’re still thriving… they don’t need me. But it’s such an honor and a privilege to walk in that locker room and be able to go out and perform”.