WWE Hall Of Famer and WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager Kurt Angle was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho. Among other things, Angle talked about his shoot fight with current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, his health at the time of his incident with Tough Enough winner Daniel Puder, and whether he really entertained the idea of fighting for UFC.
On the subject of his shoot fight with Lesnar, Angle said that while it was a close match, the Olympic gold medalist was able to take the former UFC Heavyweight Champion down once and took him down into the ropes several times.
“I took him down once, he didn’t take me down at all, and it went 15 minutes. That’s pretty damn close.” Angle continued, “it was close. It really was. He had 90 lbs. on me, but I probably took him down into the ropes a good seven or eight times, but he used the ropes to [say], ‘hey, we’re out of bounds’ and that’s okay, but I did take him down once, he didn’t take me down at all, and it was really close. But, to me, Brock wasn’t the wrestler that I was.”
According to Angle, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ was not a great wrestler at that time and Lesnar was never in a position to take down ‘The Most Celebrated Real Athlete In WWE History’.
“Brock, as good of a wrestler he was, he wasn’t that good of a wrestler. He was a big, athletic kid that knew one move, a double-leg. And that’s not a discredit to him, it’s just a fact that we wasn’t real technical as a wrestler. So I knew a lot of technique, and always knew how to wrestle big guys, especially guys like Brock, so it wasn’t an issue to me. Brock never really came close to taking me down that day because I knew what I had to do. I knew how to create angles on him and I had to make sure my hips were low and I had to make sure that my hands were in front of me, so he couldn’t wrap his strong-ass arms around my legs. I just knew how to keep him from scoring and I knew that I would eventually score on him and that’s what happened.”
Angle admitted that if Lesnar received Olympic level training in amateur wrestling, he would not have been able to beat ‘The Nightmare Of Suplex City’.
“I didn’t kick his butt. It was a very close wrestling match. And the reason I won is because, and I know Brock doesn’t want to hear this, but Brock is a beast. I mean, anything he touches, he can turn to gold. He’s not just a beast. He’s a great athlete. He’s smart. If he would’ve stayed in the NFL, just another half a year, he would have been a 10-time all-pro. He was UFC [Heavyweight] Champion when he just tried that. When he comes to WWE, he’s WWE Champion when he tries that. He was NCAA [Heavyweight] Champion in wrestling. It’s like he wins everything.” Angle continued, “and if Brock would’ve learned, if he would’ve went beyond NCAAs and learned at the Olympic level, there’s no way in hell I would have beat Brock. He is that good of an athlete, but he just didn’t know wrestling like I did.”
In Angle’s estimation, at the time of the Tough Enough incident where he found himself locked in a kimura at the hands of Puder, the six-time WWE world champion could not even do five pushups.
“The day that I did that thing with the Tough Enough guys, Dan Puder and everybody, I couldn’t do five pushups. I broke my neck a couple of different times, as you know, and I was just getting over that and my strength in my upper body has suffered severely from those broken necks. Now, I broke my neck before the Olympics in 1996. That didn’t do so much damage to my neck as when I started breaking it? I broke it four times in two-and-a-half years in WWE. Yeah, it just kept happening over again.”
Angle acknowledged that he met with UFC boss Dana White a number of times over the years about fighting for UFC, but there were always scheduling issues.
“I did talk to Dana White in 2006 and 2010. I flew out and met with him both times. The issue was, first of all, we couldn’t get a starting date. He wanted me ready in four-and-a-half weeks in one fight, which was not going to happen. I thought that I needed three to six months, but I was in denial. I don’t have the strength I had before I broke my neck in 2003. And breaking them several times in that two-and-a-half year span, I didn’t help.”
Angle claimed that he would have gotten embarrassed if he entered UFC, but he believes he would have been a champion if he got into MMA in his prime.
“The severe neck injuries I’ve had, I couldn’t get into The Octagon. I’d get embarrassed. And it wouldn’t be knockouts and stuff. It’d be, they’d get ahold of my arm and rip it off because I don’t have the strength to protect myself. So I never really decided to do it.” Angle said, “I can do the sports entertainment stuff all night long, even now, but to be in The Octagon with all those top fighters, no. Could I have done well before I hurt my neck? Yeah. Absolutely. I would’ve been UFC Champion.”
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Source: Talk Is Jericho