In 2000, WWE decided to ban several standard moves, including the DDT, various suplexes, and all variations of the piledriver. While the specifics of that ban have changed and evolved over the years, usually without the benefit of public scrutiny, many wrestling fans have probably wondered why they’ve continued to see such moves performed on WWE television in the decades since.
The answer, according to Kurt Angle, is that WWE made exceptions for specific wrestlers. During the latest episode of “The Kurt Angle Show,” the Olympic Gold Medalist detailed how certain talents were still able to use moves that were banned for others during that time, including himself.
“Vince McMahon pulled me aside and said ‘Listen, I know 90% of your repertoire are suplexes and I want you to keep them because I know you’re safe with them, you never land anybody their head, and I trust you that you’ll continue to do a good job,'” Angle said. “He allowed me to continue to do my belly-to-belly suplex and my German suplexes. The thing is, I was really grateful for that … because that’s what I did. That’s my offense, and thank god Vince McMahon continued to let me use it.”
That said, Angle agrees with the ban in principle, claiming that sometimes wrestlers have to be restrained for their own good.
“The boys would’ve killed themselves,” he said. “The office had to monitor the boys, because if it were up to them, they would’ve been doing the craziest sh*t in the ring, and everybody would be getting injured.”
In addition to Angle, the Undertaker, Kane, Brock Lesnar, and others were able to continue using the banned moves because of their proven ability to keep themselves and others safe. But even those wrestlers couldn’t always guarantee the safety of some of these maneuvers, as Angle has good cause to remember.
“I took a German suplex from Chris Benoit on the top of the top rope in a cage match and I landed right on my head,” Angle said. “I should’ve broke my neck and had a concussion. I don’t know how I survived through that.”
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.
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