Chris Benoit's name might be erased from WWE history, but Kurt Angle isn't willing to forget about the former world champion's contributions to the business. The Olympic hero had some of his greatest matches against Benoit and recently opened up about the controversial star on his podcast.
Benoit's name has been banned from being mentioned in WWE since he tragically murdered his wife and son before taking his own life in 2007.
The former world champion was one of the finest wrestlers of his generation, and Kurt Angle admitted that he could never entirely ignore Benoit's work in the squared circle. However, Angle clarified that he did not condone what Benoit did outside the ring and was strictly focused on The Rabbid Wolverine's in-ring work.
Here's what the WWE Hall of Famer revealed on the latest Kurt Angle Show episode:
"Oh, by the way. I did want to say this. I know that people don't really care about me talking about Chris Benoit, but I'm not doing it for Chris Benoit. If I erase Chris Benoit, I'm going to erase most of my career," said Kurt Angle. "And I'm not going to erase myself. So, a lot of people might not agree with me having this show today talking about Chris and everything. I don't condone what he did outside the ring, but what he did in the ring was phenomenal, and I love the guy for that." [32:59 - 33:26]
Kurt Angle made another massive claim as he called Benoit the best wrestler he'd competed against throughout his career.
"Top 2, actually no, number 1. He is definitely number 1," opined Angle. "I put him over everybody as far as in the ring wrestling, not overall entertainer, but in the ring, he was the best." [45:58 - 46:10]
Kurt Angle says Chris Benoit was the most intense wrestler he faced in his career
Keeping up with Kurt Angle in the ring was a grueling task as he was a legitimate wrestling machine. However, Chris Benoit was amongst the few athletes who could match Angle's intensity and give the Olympic hero a run for his money.
Kurt Angle was known for wrestling long matches during his prime. He soon found the perfect opponent in Benoit, as they created magic on several occasions during the early 2000s. Angle stated that he was often left awestruck by Benoit's passionate performances as a wrestler:
"Chris was the most intense wrestler I've ever been in the ring with, bar none. But I was pretty intense as well, and that's the one thing that I liked about Chris was that he matched my intensity. I never wrestled another person ever in my life since Chris Benoit that ever matched the intensity he had. That guy was so tough, so strong, so intense, so good. It's hard to believe that a human being could be that good." [45:23 - 45:49]
After a storied career, Kurt Angle hung up his wrestling boots at WrestleMania 35. Fans will have to wait and see if he ever returns to the squared circle moving forward.
Was Chris Benoit the greatest in-ring worker of his era? Sound off in the comments section below.
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit The Kurt Angle Show and H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription.