Kurt Angle Recalls Beating The Rock For First WWE Title
Everybody remembers their first and in this case, it’s Kurt Angle talking about what it was like to become the WWE Champion for the first time.
Kurt Angle had one of the best rookie years in WWE history. The Olympic Gold Medalist made his official televised match debut at Survivor Series 1999 when he defeated Shawn Stasiak. Eleven months later, Angle was beating The Rock for the WWE Championship at No Mercy 2000.
The rivalry between Angle and Rock started when they were part of the SummerSlam 2000 main event with Triple H. The Rock held onto the title that night while Angle suffered a concussion, but still managed to get through the match.
At No Mercy 2000, Angle beat The Rock to become WWE Champion. It wasn’t clean because Stephanie McMahon got involved for Kurt and Rikishi attacked The Rock as well, but all that matters is that Angle left as WWE Champion.
On a recent episode of the Kurt Angle Show podcast, the WWE Hall of Famer recalled his first match with the People’s Champion.
“I thought I did really well. I think the reason I had so much heat, to be honest with you, is because The Rock was so over. I mean, those fans were going absolutely for him. At the beginning when I was doing my promo they wouldn’t even let me talk. They were telling me I suck and go home Angle and all this crap.”
“I just started in the business, so I wouldn’t say I was over even as a heel. I think because of The Rock the fans really turned on me double time. I think it’s because Rock was such a big character in the WWE.”
When talking about the WWE Title change at No Mercy 2000, Kurt Angle believed that it was one of one of the biggest moments of his career.
“I felt very honored to be able to be part of that and be the world champion during my rookie year. Especially beating someone like The Rock. That was a major feat for my career it really was. It’s one of the biggest wins of my entire career.”
Even though it took about four months, The Rock would get his WWE Title back from Angle at No Way Out 2001. That was arguably the best singles match that Rock and Angle had together.