Kurt Angle is one of the few professional wrestlers to have a Hall of Fame career in multiple mainstream promotions. During his time away from the WWE, Angle wrestled in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and various other well-known companies.
On the latest edition of 'Ask Kurt Anything' on AdFreeShows.com, Angle revealed that his favorite non-WWE match was against Yuji Nagata for NJPW in 2008. Angle has had several five-star matches outside WWE, but this was the best.
Kurt Angle faced Nagata in a singles match for the Third Generation IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom II at the Tokyo Dome in January 2008. The show had many TNA/IMPACT Wrestling wrestlers, and was aired as 'Global Impact!' in the United States.
Angle and Nagata had teamed up before, but had never wrestled each other. Much to Kurt Angle's surprise, he experienced a faultless chemistry with Nagata. Angle recalled:
"Oh, man! I had some great ones in TNA, but I do have to say, Yuji Nagata, New Japan Pro Wrestling, I believe 2008. One of my best performances of all time. What's crazy is Yuji, and I never worked together. We never locked horns before that day. That was the first time we ever touched each other, and the chemistry was unreal," Angle said.
Kurt Angle "freaked out" during the match
Angle added that Nagata's facial expressions and selling during the match reminded him of The Undertaker. There was a spot during the contest in which Angle had Nagata in a submission move. Nagata pulled off an Undertaker-like gimmick to roll his eyes back into his head, and Angle was stunned.
Nagata operated at a very high level, and it resulted in a classic bout with the Olympic gold medalist. Angle added:
"His facial expressions and his selling were out of this world. It reminded me a lot of Undertaker when Undertaker, his eyes would go up his head. When Yuji Nagata, when I had a submission hold on him, he put his eyes up in his head, it just kind of freaked me out. I was like, 'Wow, this guy is doing the full monty.' I mean, he is doing everything! So, he pulls out all stops. Our technique was just incredibly good. We just had great chemistry, and the whole match flowed... It was definitely my best match I did in Japan and definitely my best match outside of WWE," Angle declared.
If you haven't already watched the memorable 18-minute clash between Kurt Angle and Yuji Nagata, we highly recommend you do so right away.
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