John Cena's 50 greatest matches

#10 John Cena vs. Kurt Angle: SmackDown (June 27, 2002)

One of John Cena’s most impressive matches was also his very first. On the June 27, 2002 edition of SmackDown, the young Superstar answered an open challenge from Kurt Angle. Inspired by a speech from Mr. McMahon to the WWE locker room earlier in the week, Cena stood up to the Olympic gold medalist and cited the very trait Mr. McMahon was looking for in a Superstar — ruthless aggression.

With a powerful haymaker, the future "Champ" went on an explosive offense and gave Angle — a former WWE Champion and one of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all time — a run for his money. Although he managed to counter both the Angle Lock and Angle Slam, Cena ultimately fell victim to the Olympian’s experience. (WATCH FULL MATCH)

Although his bid against Angle was unsuccessful, Cena proved his abilities and earned the respect of his fellow WWE Superstars, including the legendary The Undertaker.