On a recent edition of his “The Kurt Angle Show” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle recalled winning his maiden WWE Championship in 2000.
Angle defeated The Rock to win the WWE Title at No Mercy 2000.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the transition to becoming the WWE Champion for the first time: “Oh, a little bit of me was like, ‘This is really cool, because the company must have a lot of faith in me to be their champion, and it’s a big responsibility.’ But I wasn’t really like, ‘I’m the s**t now.’ And it didn’t come to me, because I was still learning the business. I was learning psychology. These guys were helping me out, my opponents. So I was still a student of the game — and I’m always a student of the game, don’t get me wrong. But at this particular time, I was still learning a lot about psychology and being in the ring. It happened really fast, you know? But I had so much fun in my first year. It was just a lot of fun. I went through the ranks and climbed every month, just going higher and higher and higher till I got to the very top. It was so much fun doing it. It really was.”
On whether he got special treatment as WWE Champion: “No, I never asked for it. I don’t feel comfortable having my own locker room because then you separate yourself from the boys, and you don’t want to do that. Some wrestlers do that, but they don’t have really good relationships with the wrestlers. Like Undertaker never asked for [it]. He was always the leader of the locker room, but he stayed where the boys were. And if you don’t do that, I’m sure you will get a little heat.”
On getting more time with Vince McMahon as WWE Champion: “Yes, yes, a lot. And not only that, but he started asking me to go to the meetings, the production meetings. So the only two wrestlers who were in the production meetings were Triple H and myself. And I went to those meetings probably for a good three or four years. And then after those three or four years, I thought, ‘Man, I wonder if I’m getting heat with the boys by being in the meetings.’ So I felt like it wasn’t my place to be there. So, I stopped going, and I probably should have continued to go. But Vince wanted me to learn the whole facet of the business. He wanted me to learn production. He wanted me to learn how to write and be creative and everything. So he wanted me to go in there and get more experience. So I did that, I’m very grateful that Vince had me do that. But after a while, I started thinking, ‘Am I getting heat with the boys for doing this?’ So I stopped going.”
On his schedule as WWE Champion: “You know what? Honestly, I worked my ass off that year when I had that title run. It was a good five or six months, and they were having me wrestle almost every week. But this triple threat was a repeat of SummerSlam I believe, when I got knocked out from the pedigree on the table with Triple H. So this was another match. It was the same, you know, the same group of guys? Oh my god, man. I wrestled every Raw and SmackDown and then the pay-per-views. Roman Reigns, he wrestles once every blue moon. So it is a lot different. Man. They put me to work, man. They really did.”
On WWE booking him as a weak champion: “Yeah, yeah, I was a heel champion, so they didn’t give me a lot of offense. And I started getting concerned after a little while. And what happened was eventually, they were making me look so weak, Pat Patterson came to Vince and said, ‘Listen, what you’re doing with Kurt, man, you gotta stop. I mean, this guy needs to add value to this champion. You’re making him look illegitimate. You need to make him a legitimate champion. He needs to start getting some wins, legitimate wins.’ And so eventually, Vince started having me get wins. Yeah, I started winning as a champion. But it took a little while.”
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In the world of professional wrestling, winning a championship is a significant milestone for any wrestler. It not only signifies their talent and hard work but also the trust and faith that the company has in them. One such memorable moment in WWE history was when Kurt Angle won his maiden WWE Championship in 2000.
Angle, a WWE Hall of Famer, recently shared his experience of winning the WWE Title on his podcast, “The Kurt Angle Show.” He recalled defeating The Rock at No Mercy 2000 to capture the prestigious championship. Angle’s victory marked a turning point in his career and solidified his status as one of the top stars in the industry.
Reflecting on his transition to becoming the WWE Champion for the first time, Angle expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and acknowledged the responsibility that came with it. He mentioned that while he felt honored and recognized the company’s faith in him, he remained humble and continued to learn and grow as a wrestler. Angle emphasized that he was still a student of the game, eager to absorb knowledge and improve his skills.
When asked if he received special treatment as WWE Champion, Angle revealed that he never asked for it. He believed in maintaining good relationships with his fellow wrestlers and didn’t want to separate himself from them by having his own locker room. Angle cited legendary wrestler The Undertaker as an example, stating that he never asked for special treatment either and always stayed with the rest of the wrestlers. He understood that isolating oneself could lead to strained relationships within the locker room.
As WWE Champion, Angle had the opportunity to spend more time with Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE. McMahon invited Angle to attend production meetings, a privilege usually reserved for top executives and key personnel. Angle mentioned that only he and Triple H were allowed in these meetings, which gave him valuable insights into the business side of professional wrestling. McMahon wanted Angle to learn about production, writing, and creativity, and Angle appreciated the chance to broaden his understanding of the industry. However, after a few years, Angle began to question whether his presence in these meetings was causing friction with his fellow wrestlers. Concerned about potential backlash, he decided to stop attending the meetings, even though he acknowledged the value they provided.
Being WWE Champion meant a demanding schedule for Angle. He revealed that he worked tirelessly during his title reign, wrestling almost every week on both Raw and SmackDown, in addition to pay-per-view events. Angle contrasted his schedule with that of current WWE Superstar Roman Reigns, who wrestles less frequently. The intensity of Angle’s workload showcased his dedication and work ethic during his championship run.
Angle also discussed how WWE initially booked him as a weak champion due to his heel character. He expressed concern about the lack of offense he was given and how it made him appear illegitimate as a champion. However, thanks to the intervention of legendary WWE producer Pat Patterson, who spoke to McMahon on Angle’s behalf, the booking changed. McMahon started allowing Angle to win matches and regain credibility as a legitimate champion.
Overall, Angle’s recollection of winning his first WWE Championship provides fans with a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes aspects of professional wrestling. It highlights the challenges and responsibilities that come with being a champion, as well as the continuous learning process that wrestlers go through to improve their craft. Angle’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers and reminds fans of the dedication and hard work required to reach the pinnacle of success in the wrestling industry.