It can be stated that WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle had a profound effect on the early career of John Cena. Angle was Cena’s first-ever opponent on the WWE main roster when Cena debuted in 2002 and was one of Cena’s biggest rivals during his first WWE Championship run in 2005. Needless to say, the two wrestled a lot; but which match of there’s does Angle consider the best?
In an interview with TV Insider, Angle revealed he has two candidates for his favorite match against Cena. The interview would take place the day before WWE “Monday Night Raw” where Cena made his first appearance in WWE in a little less than a year, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut match with Angle, which also aired on June 27.
“I would say probably where I made him tap,” Angle said. “I believe it may have been No Mercy 2003. We had a really good match. John stayed with me and worked really hard, he hit all his moves. The match was magic and one of my favorite matches. All my favorite matches, though, are when I make someone tap out.
“John and I also had a great match in No Way Out 2005 where he beat me. It was right before the WrestleMania before he won the WWE championship for the first time. That match might have been a little better. That was when they were really pushing John to be the champion.”
Cena’s victory over Angle at No Way Out 2005 not only was the first time Cena defeated Angle by pinfall or submission (he had previously beaten Angle by DQ in 2002) but also made Cena the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. He would go on to defeat JBL to win the title for his first time at WrestleMania 21, a little more than a month later.
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