June 27 is one of the most important dates in modern WWE history for two reasons, and they both — like most WWE-related things from the past 15 years — involve John Cena.
The first happened 12 years ago today on June 27, 2002. A boastful Kurt Angle has just tapped out Hulk Hogan at King of the Ring and issues an open challenge to anyone in the locker room he’s never wrestled before. Whosoever should appear by a baby, debuting John Cena in colorful biker shorts. Cena says he’s got “ruthless aggression,” and we know he’s prepared to overcome these odds.
Cena gives Angle a good fight, but Angle’s able to chickenwing him, roll him over and pin him. Cena’s performance that night would get him backstage respect from the Undertaker and instantly made him a future star. On Halloween he discovered how much he liked to rap, and eventually he found out what “the troops” were and shit got real.
The second important moment happened three years ago today, June 27, 2011, on a Las Vegas episode of Monday Night Raw. Cena has just been distracted by CM Punk (in a Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt) and put through a table by a then-relevant R-Truth. Truth leaves, but Punk sticks around. He sits down on the stage and delivers a scathing, laced-with-reality promo about Cena, WWE and the value of Vince McMahon being dead that became known as the “pipe bomb” promo.
Knowing what happened with Punk and where everything went, this promo could’ve just as easily been delivered in January 2014. If you haven’t revisited it in a while, you can do so below. Hi, Colt Cabana.
It doesn’t look like Cena’s doing much on tonight’s June 27 edition of Smackdown, but hey, you never know.