For wrestling fans, June 27th is an important date in history.
For 2002, it was all about John Cena debuting to wrestle Kurt Angle on WWE Smackdown. I don’t think we all need to re-love this, but let’s quickly do it anyway. Angle head just defeated Hulk Hogan via tap out at King of the Ring days earlier and was on a hot streak. He was looking to continue his run by facing anybody he had NEVER wrestled before. Well, to the sock of everybody, some no-name rookie came down the ramp, introduced himself as John Cena and boom! His ruthless aggression got the attention of the WWE Universe and despite the loss that night, he had left an impact – even getting a shout out backstage from The FREAKIN’ Undertaker!
For 2011, the anniversary belongs to one CM Punk. He dropped his infamous ‘pipebomb’ to close out WWE Raw. You see, he was fed up with the way things had been in the company. With his contract about to expire and his days numbered, who cares? It doesn’t matter, right? Why not air out your feelings on worldwide television? You may as well. What do you have to lose? Well, after a five minute rant calling Triple H a ‘doofus’ and ripping everything corporate and public about WWE, his mic was cut…and we were off to the races. one of the best endings to RAW in a long, long time and certainly sparked a buzz and shot Punk right up to the main event.
For 2004, June 27th is all about THE WRESTLING GOD John Bradshaw Layfield becoming WWE Champion. As shocking as the transformation from mid-card Bradshaw to main event JBL was for wrestling fans, nobody could ever imagine it would lead to a run with the top title in the entire industry. A run that would last over nine months and include headling WrestleMania the following year versus John Cena. At The Great American Bash, JBL began his incredible WWE Title reign by defeating Eddie Guerrero in a Texas Bullrope Match. While under controversial circumstances, none of that mattered. The hero fell to the dastardly villain.
What makes all of this even more amazing is the symmetry of it all. JBL had never been WWE Champion before, but he defeated the legendary WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero for that honor. How did the journey end on top of the world for the new title holder? Yep, that’s right – John Cena dethroned him at WrestleMania 21 – the same guy who debuted on June 27th, 2002…two years to the day, JBL won the championship. Cena won the gold and officially cemented himself as the future and present of the company. That same guy who sat in the ring during CM Punk’s pipebomb and was the target of many of his insults on June 27th, 2011.
Wrestling fans – beware of June 27th. History awaits.