As a guest on the latest episode of The Kurt Angle Show Podcast, Ken Shamrock spoke about being approached by Vince McMahon to sign with WWE in 1997. The former UFC star talked about the decision to join the company labeled as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.” He said that he would not have signed if he was not able to be himself.
“That’s why I had the meeting with Vince because I had other options out there,” Angle said. “I got calls from All Japan, New Japan, WCW and I never heard back from WCW but I was definitely very cautious on how I wanted to be portrayed going into it. Not having an understanding of not using another character but how they would use that other character. When I came in, Vince wanted to use me as me and I remember thinking this will be interesting, to use everything I know in the wrestling ring.
“I had an understanding of how wrestlers fought because I was one first. I knew there was going to be some trust issues going into the locker room and getting inside those ropes. As soon as me and Vince talked and we went over all the details and all the things he wanted me to do, I was going to do something with the Nation [of Domination] so we did that and it seemed to peak some interest. Vince said let’s get you started and let’s get this contract done, I was happy with the contract and it was really built on the strengths and if I did well, I was going to do well.
The IMPACT wrestling star took to Twitter in March to take credit for introducing tapouts to WWE, showing his submission style of wrestling. Shamrock continued to speak about why he ultimately left the WWE in 1999, citing issues involving the death of Owen Hart and Bret Hart being screwed over at Survivor Series 1999 as the main reasons. The former UFC star said that started his mistrust with WWE and he felt a lack of security working there.
“I think there was a lot of insecurity on my end when they did the thing with Bret Hart and then the thing with Owen and then they did the little skit thing with the Road Warriors where he fell off the big screen and then we saw a body fall behind it,” Angle said. “It just felt like it was hurting, to see a guy that you knew you worked with, was down in Calgary with him and he falls from the rafters. They did the screwjob with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, then they do a little skit where the Road Warriors, I think it was Hawk, fell off the screen and you see a body hit the ground. Everything that I was taught going into the WWF was that you had to trust people and that when you went into the ring, the guy across from you, you had to trust he would do his job and you were going to do yours, the announcers were going to do their jobs and so on. It just felt like it came apart.
“I felt like my trust and the security I felt I had was just disappearing. It felt like there was no foundation there for me. I’m not saying this is true, I’m saying this is what I was feeling. I was going to be destroyed, I was going to get ruined and what if something happened to me in the ring because somebody wanted to do something. Doors were now open to do that and it was just a lot of un-trust on my part. Not to say any one person did anything to build that, I think it was just a culmination of a bunch of things that had happened that made me feel like I wasn’t wanted anymore.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.