Kurt Angle has discussed a moment on an episode of Smackdown in 2002 when taking a hurricanrana from Rey Mysterio led to 14 stitches in Angle’s head.
Rey Mysterio was one of the most popular wrestlers in WCW and ECW that arrived on WWE television in July 2002. That would lead to Mysterio having his first match against Kurt Angle in the opening match of SummerSlam of that year.
There were a lot of high expectations for Mysterio as one of the leaders of the cruiserweight division on Smackdown, but he decided to challenge Angle leading to Rey’s first PPV match at SummerSlam.
At the time of the SummerSlam match on August 25th, 2002, Angle was considered by many people to be the best wrestler in the world and one of the top heels in all of WWE. One month earlier at Vengeance 2002, Angle was in a triple threat main event for the WWE Title won by The Rock that also included The Undertaker. Mysterio wanted to test himself against the best, so that’s why he challenged Angle to a match at SummerSlam.
During a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show podcast, the former Olympic Gold Medalist talked about the SummerSlam match as well as working with Rey many times in their careers. Due to multiple surgeries on his knees, Rey has been wrestling with knee braces under the pants that he wears in the ring. Angle told the story about how one time he took a hurricanrana from Rey leading to Angle getting his cut open.
“Rey Mysterio, he wears these knee braces, they’re big as hell, they’re underneath his pants. And when he went to do the hurricanrana off the top rope, the brace hit me on top of the head and I grabbed them and rolled through and I ended up getting a scar here about 14 stitches. It was the real deal, man.”
It was also mentioned on the podcast (watch Angle talking about it around the 33:00 mark) that they had to do the spot three times at the Smackdown taping with laughing about how he messed it up a few times. Angle said he got cut on the first attempt and then by the third attempt the blood was everywhere. That was in the days when Smackdown was taped on Tuesday and aired two days later on Thursday. Angle joked that he wasn’t perfect.
The moment Angle was talking about happened on a Smackdown episode on August 15, 2002, leading into the SummerSlam match. You can see the spot where Angle was cut open after the hurricanrana by Mysterio at the 7:15 mark in the video below.
Angle was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017 while Mysterio is a definite Hall of Famer whenever he retires. Rey recently celebrated his 20-year WWE anniversary in July.
While Angle did have a retirement at WrestleMania 35 in 2019 (a match Angle loss to Baron Corbin), he did recently say he’s open to having at least one more match after having double knee surgery earlier this year.
As for the near future, Angle is set to appear on the August 29th edition of Monday Night Raw in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.