Kurt Angle thought he deserved better at SummerSlam 2005 and took his frustrations out on Eugene.
Kurt Angle first WWE run from 1998 to 2006 was filled with incredible success and incredible matches. But come 2005, despite having some of the best matches of the year against Shawn Michaels not once but twice, his match at SummerSlam 2005 was seen as a major step down.
After wrestling Michaels again at Vengeance 2005, Angle entered into a short feud with Eugene, whose gimmick was that of a developmentally challenged and gullible individual. Eugene managed to survive the Kurt Angle invitational and in the process won Angle’s coveted Olympic Gold Medal from him.
In response, Angle attacked Eugene which led to a match at SummerSlam that year. That match went less than five minutes, and while Angle did what he was told to do, he wasn’t happy about the match, despite having respect for Eugene.
Kurt Angle stiffed Eugene at WWE SummerSlam 2005
Speaking on his Kurt Angle Show podcast, Angle explained how he disliked the feud and used the opportunity to hit Eugene as hard as possible. This wasn’t an act of unjustified malice, though, but an order from WWE management.
“Okay, I’m not going to babyface it. Yeah, I was a little disappointed. At this point in my career, I was considered one of the top guys in the company. I was in great shape, I was wrestling well. You know, I was expecting to be the main event at SummerSlam. That’s where I was at that particular time and that’s what I deserved to be.
But you know what, wrestling Eugene wasn’t such a bad thing. I really think the kid is talented, and I didn’t mind doing it with him. It was pretty fun… I did not take it easy on him. I was told not to, I was told to stiff the crap out of him.
And I’m sorry, Eugene. [laughs] It was the Wrestling Machine [Kurt Angle]. Probably worse, the wrestling nightmare.”
After beating Eugene, Kurt Angle returned to the main-event scene by feuding with John Cena and having a third match with Shawn Michaels that ended in a 30-minute draw.