WWE legend and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle was recently interviewed by Lucha Libre Online's Michael Morales Torres.
After winning a gold medal for freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Kurt Angle was a much sought-after personality in the world of wrestling.
WWE offered him a contract straight away, but Angle turned it down because as an Olympic gold medalist, he could never lose.
ECW, in the form of Shane Douglas, then came calling. Angle would state that Douglas would use their hometown connections to "trick" him into becoming part of the Philadelphia based outfit.
"I was told by Shane Douglas that this new company ECW was more geared toward amateur wrestling and I couldn't be any further from the truth. You know, these guys are using weapons, chairs, Kendo sticks and ladders. It was you know, it wasn't much of wrestling."
The wrestling wasn't the only thing that offended Kurt Angle at the ECW event
Things would go from bad to worse for Kurt Angle when Raven and Sandman would take part in the notorious crucifixation segment. In the segment, Raven would get his sidekicks, The Blue Meanie and Stevie Richards, to tie up the Sandman to a cross, complete with a crown of thorns, and cruxify him.
This deeply shocked and offended Kurt Angle, who threatened to sue Paul Heyman and ECW if the showed him on ECW television programming.
"So I didn't understand the business back then and being a christian and have enough my faith in God, I got offended; and would I be offended today? No, because people do crazy stuff and I just, at the time, I just thought it was not the right thing for me to be involved in, you know, winning a gold medal and representing United States and I had a pretty good reputation back then and I didn't want to be affiliated with it. So I told Paul Heyman, you know, if I'm shown on this program, you're going to hear from my attorneys. And he told me he didn't know about the crucifix, which obviously, you know, it's hard to hide a crucifix under a ring without knowing it's there."
Kurt Angle looks back at his first foray into pro-wrestling and puts his reaction down to lack of knowlegde and experience with the business.
"I get it. It was a shock Factor. The fans, a lot of fans, were upset too. Some fans weren't. It was just different. ECW, they made a splash and they really had a great run and I don't want to put them down for what they've been able to accomplish. So I get it now and I just didn't back then. I didn't understand that wrestling was entertainment and I thought it was more personal. So, I did what I had to do at the time."
Despite this unfortunate introduction to the crazy world of professional wrestling, Kurt Angle signed with WWE in 1998. He became one of the best wrestlers ever to do it and a bonafide WWE legend.
You can check out the full interview below:
What are your thoughts on Kurt Angle's introduction to professional wrestling? Sound off in the comments.Published 15 Nov 2020, 22:18 IST