WWE.com announced Thursday afternoon that Kurt Angle will be inducted into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class by his former rival, 16-time world champion John Cena.
Cena and Angle seemed to be inextricably linked during the early years of "Big Match John's" WWE career, in part because Cena debuted against the Olympic Gold Medalist. On the June 27, 2002 episode of Smackdown, Angle laid out an open challenge to anyone who wanted to face him, and it was the former OVW Champion who answered, introducing himself to the audience and declaring that he possessed the ruthless aggression it would take to beat the star. Though Angle ultimately pinned Cena, the rookie's performance in the match earned him immediate notice.
The two would clash several more times over the next few years. At No Mercy 2003, Cena - then a heel - made another failed attempt to defeat Angle, but turned babyface in time to join Angle's team at Survivor Series. By No Way Out 2005, the roles were reversed, and a babyface Cena beat a heel Angle to earn a title shot at WrestleMania 21. After Cena won the WWE Championship and moved to the Raw brand, Angle would follow, but he was unsuccessful in his quest to capture the belt from the rising star.
The 2017 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony airs live on the WWE Network on Friday, March 31, at 8:00 PM ET.