What Dory Funk Jr. Recalls About First Training A Young Kurt Angle

In 1996, Kurt Angle was offered a 10-year contract by Vince McMahon following the 1996 Summer Olympics without having ever stepped between the ropes for a pro wrestling promotion. At the time, he famously refused. But by August 1998 he had signed a five-year contract and was training under WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr. — son of Dory Sr. and brother to the hardcore legend Terry Funk. Recently, Dory recalled what it was like training the young Olympian on the "Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw" podcast.

"I saw [in Kurt Angle] what every wrestling fan wants to see," Funk said. "Every wrestling fan, when they're sitting ringside, they want to believe what they're looking at."

Sooner than later, it was apparent that the Olympic gold medalist was meant to do this. "Kurt Angle could give the people realism; he could give the people entertainment," Funk continued. "And he did it, and he did a helluva job of it. And everything that Kurt Angle got out of the wrestling business, he certainly deserved."

His professional wrestling career spanned just over 20 years, primarily between WWE and TNA. During such, he became the inaugural TNA World Heavyweight Champion and went on to win the title six times. Inevitably, he was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2013. Angle's final match though came at WrestleMania 35 when he lost to Baron Corbin. By then, he had become a World Heavyweight Champion as well as a four-time WWE Champion en route to being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.