On the latest episode of The Kurt Angle Show Podcast, the former Olympic Gold Medalist spoke about his matches against Shawn Michaels which included a 30-minute Iron Man Match on Monday Night RAW in 2005.
At WrestleMania 21, Angle faced Michaels in a match that Angle won, but prior to the match, Angle stated on a previous podcast that Michaels approached him about being stiff which led to a confrontation between he and HBK. Although their most memorable match happened that night, the WWE Hall of Famer detailed how he told Vince McMahon he wanted to feud with Michaels in 2005 and knew he’d have to come to RAW in order for it to happen.
“I had a talk with Vince and I told him I had my eyes set on Shawn Michaels,” Angle said. “I wanted to move over to RAW, I knew Shawn wasn’t going to move to SmackDown. There were guys that just didn’t want to move over to SmackDown for whatever reason, whether they thought it was the B show or they thought it wasn’t as important as RAW. I didn’t believe that but some guys did, so I knew that Shawn wasn’t going to move over to SmackDown and I knew I would have to move over to RAW.”
After spending a few years on SmackDown as the face of the brand, Angle moved to RAW where he said Vince McMahon’s first priority was to have Angle and Michaels resume their feud. Angle highlighted the first time he saw Michaels wrestle in the WWE which was at Survivor Series 2005, and what he told him that night.
“That’s the first thing that he said, he told me you’re going to have a program with Shawn and it’s going to be at WrestleMania,” Angle said. “I couldn’t be happier. I was so excited about it, I had been a fan of Shawn Michaels since the day he came back. It ended up being five guys against him and everybody on his side got eliminated except for him, and he had to go through five guys. His selling and his charisma and everything that he did in that match made me a huge fan.
“I actually went up to him, I didn’t know him at the time and I wasn’t a fan of his because I didn’t watch pro wrestling before I started. So I walked up to him and said, ‘Hey man, you’re pretty good.’ Shawn said ‘ What the hell are you talking about? I’m the best!’ It was classic because I didn’t know who Shawn was, I knew from what the wrestlers who talked about him but I didn’t know so me being clueless, I just told him you’re pretty good, meanwhile, he was actually the best.”
Michaels is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time for his ability to make everything in the ring seem so effortless. Angle highlighted how HBK was never stiff and called him one of the best overall entertainers in the history of the wrestling business.
“He is not stiff, you don’t even feel it,” Angle said. “He barely touches you, that’s what makes him such a pro. I don’t know if he’s ever stiffed anybody, Shawn is that good. He’s able to gage shots, punches, kicks. His athleticism in the ring, he’s unbelievable. He does things that nobody else can do and he’s the jack of all trades. Across the board, he’s the best overall entertainer in the history of wrestling. Ric Flair is up there, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Jericho too, especially late in his career the way he’s going. Shawn is probably in a class of his own.”
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.