Kurt Angle tells the story of his embarrassing first encounter with Shawn Michaels in 2002.
A Young Kurt Angle Embarrasses Himself in Front of Shawn Michaels
Kurt Angle was a casual wrestling fan growing up, catching a bit of the product on television. He even attended a show one time featuring the legendary Bruno Sammartino.
When Angle made his way to the WWE in 1999, he recalls talk backstage about how great Shawn Michaels was. When Michaels eventually returned to WWE at SummerSlam 2002 and put on a quality performance a few months later at 2002’s Survivor Series, this caught Angle’s eye backstage. Following what he saw, Angle confronted Shawn, but he didn’t know who he was.
In a shoot interview with HighSpots, Angle looks back on this embarrassing moment:
“Growing up, being the youngest of five boys and a girl, my mom and dad did everything they could to provide for us – and they did an excellent job, god bless ’em – but I didn’t get an opportunity to go to a [Pittsburgh] Steeler game. I did get to go to one wrestling match – Bruno Sammartino versus Larry Zbyszko. I thought that was the greatest thing in the world.
“The only time I really watched wrestling growing up was if Roddy Piper was on. I’d watch Piper’s Pit.
“I didn’t know who Shawn [Michaels] was. I only heard about him when I got into wrestling in 2000, and it’s funny because when he came back, he had this match at Survivor Series. It came down to five-on-one; he was the one guy, and he eliminated four guys until the last guy, but he ended up losing, and I was like, ‘This guy’s good…’ I mean, I’d never heard of him before.
“So when he came backstage, I said, ‘Hey man…you’re pretty good.’ (laughs) I said, ‘I don’t really know who you are, but you’re really good.’
“And, you know, he kind of laughed, like, ‘Oh my god, this kid’s an idiot…'”
Kurt Angle would come to know Shawn Michaels quite well, and the two had memorable matches on Raw and at WrestleMania 21. Kurt Angle would, of course, also go on to carve his own legacy in the business. Still, it’s amusing to imagine what that moment must have felt like for them both when the former Olympian who “won a gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck” met The Showstopper for the very first time!
Watch Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels Face-off at WrestleMania 21:
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