This Is The Only Time Kurt Angle Got Blown Up In A WWE Match

As pro wrestling's only Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle understandably takes a lot of pride in his athletic abilities, including his superior conditioning. But, on a recent episode of "The Kurt Angle Show," he did admit that one WWE Superstar was able to push him to his physical limits.

"I've only blown up once in my career that I remember, and that was against 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin in Fresno. And he never let me forget about it," Angle said. "He always texts me every week, 'Don't forget Fresno.'"

The match in question likely took place on August 18, 2001, in a WWF Championship match at a house show at the Selland Arena in Fresno, California. The two were paired frequently on house shows as they were embroiled in the Invasion storyline of late 2001. As you might expect, it's a moment that Austin wears proudly. He's been ribbing Angle for it ever since and has retold the story on a number of occasions, including a 2019 episode of "The Steve Austin Show" where he reviewed their WWF Championship match at Unforgiven 2001. Recalling the Fresno incident, Austin joked, "I was very proud of that, because that means that I basically could have probably beat Kurt Angle in the '96 Olympics."

The two men have squared off numerous times in their careers, and Angle has praised Austin as the very best wrestler he has ever faced. Noting Austin's unmatched intensity, in-ring psychology, and quick thinking, Angle placed Austin atop his list of all-time opponents. "He's one of the very few guys that can improvise out in the ring and change the spots and change things and go back to what it was originally," he said. "So he has all the knacks for the business."