Kurt Angle Recalls Appearing At ECW Show In 1996, What Paul Heyman Told Him About Controversial Angle

On the debut edition of The Kurt Angle Show, Kurt Angle discussed appearing at an ECW show in 1996, what Paul Heyman told him about the controversial crucifixion angle, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Kurt Angle on his friendship with Shane Douglas and his decision to appear at an ECW show in 1996: “We’re good friends. Back then, he knew a friend of mine and got my number from a mutual friend. He called me and said, ‘Hey, we have this company that’s more geared toward your type of wrestling – your Olympic wrestling – than pro wrestling. It’s called ECW.’ He’s telling me this looks more like Olympic wrestling than pro wrestling. I was like, ‘So you’re starting a pro amateur wrestling league?’ He’s like no, it’s pro wrestling, but looks more like amateur wrestling. That’s why they put the Taz match in there just to make me happy – him and Guido did amateur wrestling at the show I went to.

“Shane asked me to be a part of it, and they were gonna pay me a good amount of money. I was excited because I thought it was geared more towards amateur wrestling. When I get there meeting the boys, they’re all tattooed up with long hair and got their gear on with torn jeans. Raven is holding a chair and Sandman is holding a kendo stick and someone else is holding a ladder. I’m like this is supposed to be amateur wrestling? This is worse than WWE. It was a very eye-opening experience to be a part of the show and what happened during the show was crazy.”

On the controversial crucifixion angle between Raven and The Sandman on the show: “You’ve got to understand that I’m a Christian kid from Pittsburgh, and to see the crucifixion, was really offensive. I do want to say this because I do want to get it off my chest – I didn’t understand the storytelling of pro wrestling and how you want to get the ‘wow’ factor. Surprise people and get them excited or pissed off. A lot of emotion is involved in pro wrestling in telling a story. I didn’t get all that and I didn’t understand it. When I saw it, I was like this is a crucifixion. It’s someone portraying Jesus on a cross, and I can’t believe I’m here. I was really upset.”

On what Paul Heyman told him about the angle: “I went to Paul Heyman and said, ‘I can’t be on the same show as this. You can’t air this show with me on it, and if you do, you’re gonna hear from my attorney.’ Paul said, ‘I didn’t even know it was gonna happen.’ I was like, he’s the promoter and it’s the main event, and he doesn’t know this is gonna happen? He’s full of shit. I love Paul, he’s a great guy, but he basically lied to me. I understand why. He was just trying to take the heat off of himself. I was serious. I told him I’m gonna sue you if I end up on the same show. I won that battle, but it definitely scared me away from pro wrestling. I was terrified. That was my last straw, and that was late 1996 or so. That was my introduction to pro wrestling. It was overwhelming.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

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