The brutal history of John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar: SmackDown, Sept. 19, 2002

The first meeting between Lesnar and Cena came less than a year after each man debuted. Brock, five months into his WWE career, was already the WWE Champion, having plowed through The Rock at SummerSlam. Cena was only two months newer, but light years behind the rapidly ascending Lesnar. And for this one, the future 15-time World Champion might have wished he stayed back home in West Newbury, Mass.

The six-minute Non-Title “Match” was essentially a showcase for the tremendous power of the new champion as he prepared to defend against The Undertaker three days later at Unforgiven. Only 30 seconds after the opening bell, Cena was clutching the ropes for dear life as Lesnar dragged him onto the mat. Once on his feet, Cena’s jaw dropped, incredulous that a monster like this could exist. Brock used a combination of meaty elbows, organ-wrenching submission holds and the F-5 to completely demolish his opponent. So much for ruthless aggression. Thanks for coming.

VIDEO: The very first meeting between Cena and Lesnar