On the latest episode of The Kurt Angle Show, the former Olympic gold medalist spoke about his rookie year in WWE stretching from 1999-2000. Angle went undefeated up until Royal Rumble 2000, where he faced the debuting Taz. Taz choked Angle out and looked strong doing so. Angle spoke about the idea of having Taz defeat him in his debut and why it was a positive for his career.
“I think the writers planned for me to have an undefeated streak,” Angle said. “They wanted to continue to have me go on an undefeated streak until Madison Square Garden, Royal Rumble 2000, where I wrestled Taz. We decided that Taz would go over, it was his debut, Taz was a big name in wrestling.
“He was one of those guys that hit the main event level, Taz was really popular and he had a great run in ECW, everybody knew who he was. It was me giving him a rub, an elevation win and at the same time it’s me getting a rub from someone who was a main eventer in a wrestling company that was very successful.”
Over the years, there were claims that Taz was “stiff”, but Angle dispelled that rumor. In the match they had at the Rumble, Angle said he told Taz to flip him over to his belly in a german suplex to make Taz look even stronger. He said that moment was all his idea and doesn’t understand why Taz took the blame for it from WWE management.
“Taz was not dangerous, that was my idea,” Angle said. “I told Taz to give me a german suplex and throw me really high in the air and I would flip over to my stomach. I wanted to do a moonsault german suplex where I landed on my stomach, I thought it would look really vicious and brutal. That was all my call, I’m not sure why Taz didn’t tell the office that I chose the move.
“Taz was never dangerous with the suplexes, he was relatively safe, I never had a problem with it.”
As a former Olympic Gold Medalist in amateur wrestling, Angle said there was never a moment in his career where he felt like anyone tried to take advantage of him or do something in a “shoot” style against him. He said if that ever happened, he would always dominate.
“I wasn’t concerned about Taz shooting on me,” Angle said. “I wasn’t concerned about anybody shooting on me. The thing is, being an Olympic gold medalist and being a shooter, I never was taken advantage of in the WWE. Nobody tried to take advantage of me because of my experience, because they knew if I ended up shooting, I was going to dominate. It wasn’t an issue at all.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.