There’s no arguing with the fact that Kurt Angle is one of the most decorated pros to have ever graced the industry. He’s won a stack load of titles with numerous promotions, but the WWE is really where he made a name for himself in the world of wrestling. He then cemented himself as a star with TNA, where he reigned supreme for over a decade, and this is all after he rose to fame as an amateur wrestler.
Kurt Angle’s 47 now, but is still going strong although he has cut back a lot on is schedule. He still has the passion to want to succeed at the highest level – he’s still one hell of an entertainer and an in-ring performer.
On the road to all of this glory, there’s been plenty of trials and tribulations leading to his success. As a fan of wrestling and Kurt Angle, it all makes for some pretty interesting reading. There are plenty of things in Angle's life that have made the news – stories that have been broadcast and made apparent to all; much of this has had to do with Angle’s in-ring persona. But what about the real life stuff?
These are 15 insane real-life stories about Kurt Angle, his life in wrestling, and his life in general away from the cameras and the ring.
15 He Was Once Popping 65 Vicodin A Day
As Angle has told us time and time again, he won a gold medal with a broken freakin' neck. Angle payed a heavy price to win that gold medal and probably did some damage to his health in the long-term.
After fracturing his neck, Angle was determined to do anything it took to compete in the Olympics even if it meant doing some damage to his body. When trying to recover enough in time for the games, Angle claims he popped 65 Vicodin pills a day. Sixty-five!
"I was desperate. I was spending a lot of money on medication, and it took control of my life," he recalled. "It was the worst time of my whole entire life—those three years when I was really really deep into it."
Even crazier than the pain killers, was Angle's tolerance to mix them with muscle relaxers. One time in particular Angle took so many relaxers, he missed his call time with the WWE and slept for 18 hours straight. This event is what led to his initial trip to rehab.
This likely led to Angle's addiction problems in later years, but thankfully, Angle no longer turns to pills to ease his pain.
14 His Beef With ECW
After his Olympic career, Angle pursued a career in broadcasting and worked for a Pittsburgh Fox affiliate for about a year.
However initially, Angle decided to dip his toes into the pro wrestling business. He initially declined an offer from WWE, but then had a stint doing some guest commentary for ECW.
While he was at a show, the company ran a terrible, offensive angle where Raven crucifed The Sandman on a cross right by ringside. Angle was disgusted with the angle and went straight up to Paul Heyman and demanded his voice and likeness be removed from the broadcast, or he would sue the company. Heyman and the company complied with Angle's demand.
It's a miracle the incident didn't completely alienate Angle from the wrestling business. Eventually he went on to accept an eight-year offer from the WWE.
13 Was Denied A WWE Return because Triple H said they had enough talent
Kurt Angle enjoyed a terrific time of it in WWE, the promotion that exposed him to the masses and with whom he made a name with between 1998 and 2006. He got on well with the management, enjoyed a good relationship with Vince McMahon and everything was fine. He left, really to take greater care of his body and his health, and then went to TNA where he blossomed.
But it’s no secret the WWE is the biggest promotion out there; Angle knew that and down the line, he was ready to make a return. But it was Triple H who wasn’t having any of it. Angle had a conversation with Vince, during which he was told that it was Triple H who was now essentially at the helm, handling those kinds of things. Triple H basically said over the phone that they had enough talent and that Angle didn’t feature in their plans – something Angle found very hard to take. He was hurt, humbled by that experience, but it made him realize where his loyalties were – with Dixie Carter and TNA.
12 He loves MMA and was once scheduled to fight
Angle is a pure MMA nut. He loves all things MMA, and there’re always rumors floating about that Angle’s going to appear in the octagon at one event or another, but as of yet, nothing’s materialized.
Apparently, Angle has actually fought numerous MMA competitors, behind closed doors that is. He’s had friendly competition with the likes of Randy Couture and Mark Kerr – he’s even gone at it with his buddy Brock Lesnar.
Dana White has revealed that Angle was once scheduled to appear as a contestant on a season of The Ultimate Fighter. He even signed with Bellator MMA, but any talks of a fight ended.
He told The Roman Show in 2016 that there’s pretty much no chance of him making the switch to MMA anytime soon. But he hasn’t ruled out a stint as an MMA competitor in the future.
Angle’s getting on a bit in years now, but with the creation of MMA’s Masters Division, Angle in MMA is a possibility - a tantalizing prospect.
11 He failed a test under WWE's Wellness policy
The WWE Wellness Program was created to take care of the promotion’s talent. Wrestlers have to adhere to certain rules and regulations in accordance to the Wellness Policy, but plenty have been guilty of violating it.
Wrestling and steroids have enjoyed a less than happy relationship. Decades ago, stars were open about their steroid use, but it’s now illegal and wrestlers don’t want to be associated with the performance enhancers.
Unfortunately for Angle, he’s one guy who got caught. Sports Illustrated did some digging and discovered he was taking anabolic steroids. Angle didn’t deny that, but said he was doing so legitimately with a prescription. However, later that year in 2007, his name was implicated in another drug ring. His prescription for the steroid Deca-Durabolin had expired, and he was therefore found guilty of violating WWE’s Wellness Policy.
10 He's had numerous legal issues (Four DUIs in five years)
Kurt Angle is no stranger to seeing the inside of a court room. He’s got into a lot of hot water with the law over the years; most of these problems stemmed from his dependence on alcohol – an addiction he’s thankfully beaten.
His first alcohol-related misdemeanor is when he received a DUI in Pennsylvania. He almost hit a woman who was leaving the restaurant and the police were called.
A couple of years later, he was charged with "driving while operating privilege is suspended, prohibited acts-possession, harassment and prohibited acts." Steroids were found in his car, but the protection from abuse order charges were later dropped.
In 2011, Angle was twice charged with a DUI. When he was once again charged in 2013, he realized that it was about time he sorted his problem out and booked himself into rehab.
9 Suffered from depression
Angle had a number of injuries during his wrestling career. This meant that he was popping pills for the majority of his career – prescription pills – but he soon became dependent on the drugs. Alcohol was added to make a toxic cocktail – he was subjecting his body to this too regularly.
This was all because of depression. Angle has battled with depression on and off for the majority of his wrestling career. He first encountered the mental demons after he achieved Olympic Gold. Nothing could compare to that high, and he then went into a downwards spiral. The highs of professional wrestling entertainment couldn’t expel those mental demons from his head; drugs and alcohol were introduced to help himself cope, get through each day. He got professional help and addressed the situation, and today is much better for it.
Angle feels so strongly about depression, he wants to help others suffering from the mental illness. His own creation, the “Angle Strong” App, has been designed to pair sufferers up with sponsors who can provide much-needed assistance.
8 His Shoot Fight With Brock Lesnar
Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar always had a friendly rivalry while in the WWE. The two had very similar backgrounds, as both men were accomplished amateur wrestlers. While Lesnar was a NCAA heavyweight champion coming into the WWE, Angle of course had an Olympic Gold Medal.
They would often brag to each other about who the better amateur wrestler was and one day, they decided to find out. After Lesnar defeated the Big Show in an exhibition, Angle went after The Beast.
“We were doing take-downs, and it was very, very tight,” Angle remembered. “Brock showed me that he knows how to wrestle. A lot of heavyweights are big and strong and know how to use their weight, but Brock knew how to wrestle. He was a lightweight who grew into a heavyweight body, and he brought that technique with him. That’s how good Brock was.”
Multiple witnesses have said that Angle got the better of Lesnar in the encounter. However the experience was taxing on Angle, who decided to never challenge Lesnar again.
7 Planned an Amateur Wrestling comeback for the 2012 London Summer Olympics
Ever since Angle embarked on a career in professional wrestling, he’s struggled to come to terms with the fact that his Olympic wrestling career is over. It’s tough to dedicate the majority of your life to one thing, and then try and achieve success in another industry and walk away from the sport and competition you love. He achieved success as a professional wrestler alright, but Angle’s always been an amateur wrestler at heart.
While he was with TNA, he decided to do something about the burning desire he had to compete for the U.S at the Olympics again. He announced that he wanted to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but a knee injury hampered his progress and meant he couldn’t take part in the necessary trials.
6 Once had real-life beef with Eddie Guerrero
Angle’s kind of a straight up guy and is not one for trading blows or trashing his fellow wrestlers or his bosses, but there was one incident where he got into an altercation with Eddie Guerrero.
The backstage fight was quick and it was all done and dusted there – no one harbored any grudges after that incident.
On one occasion, he just let his frustration pour out. He was basically saying that Angle needed to take better care of him when they were working together. After a barrage of abuse, Angle snapped back and they ended up having a bit of a backstage brawl. Angle got Eddie in a headlock, began chocking him, but it didn’t last long and all was forgotten pretty soon afterwards.
When JBL asked Guerrero why on earth he would pick a fight with Kurt Angle, Eddie replied honestly; "Because I'm stupid!!". Thankfully their beef was squashed from there.
5 Carelessness and alcohol addiction soured his relationship with Triple H
Angle’s always had a tremendous amount of respect for Triple H. They’ve never been best buddies or anything like that, but he respected him for all his accomplishments, and the respect was mutual.
We’ve mentioned how Triple H didn’t welcome Angle back, saying the WWE had enough talent. Angle found all this puzzling and wanted a proper explanation.
Their relationship broke down a tad when Angle began to get dependent on alcohol and drugs. He thinks this had something to do with the WWE not wanting him back and well as his alcoholism, and if that’s the case, Angle -- being the professional he is -- can accept that. After getting four DUIs in a five-year period, he understands why the WWE wouldn’t want him on board. However, he’s now sober, has sorted himself out, and wants to strengthen his relationship with Triple H, earn his trust back and get back into the fold.
4 Really does want to return to WWE before the end of his career
Despite his now strained relationship with Triple H, Angle maintains that he does have a goal of returning to WWE at some point in the future. It’s where he made a name for himself and it’s where he potentially wants to finish things – at least give wrestling a final shot with the promotion. He’s eager to please and thinks that in his first time around, he didn’t bring his best to WWE. He really excelled when he joined TNA, and now that he has that experience, he’s a much better wrestler for it and wants to bring his "A" game to WWE.
Angle feels that if Vince was in charge, he’d already be back with WWE, but he has to regain Triple H’s trust.
3 Has five kids and has contemplated getting a vasectomy
Angle’s 47 now. For a man who’s been in the limelight as much as he has for as long as he has, it’s no surprise that he’s been with plenty of women. He’s been married twice and is a father of five kids – no problems with any of his internal plumbing!
He has two children with his first wife Karen – a daughter and son.
Four years after his divorce, he became engaged to Giovanna Yannotti, and she began popping out kids right away. They have three daughters together; their youngest child was born pretty recently in Nov 2016.
Angle’s certainly a busy daddy. He’s 47, but with five kids, he can forget about winding down. Because his wife seems to get pregnant every time they go under the covers, he’s even contemplated getting a vasectomy.
2 Almost got choked out by The Undertaker
In his WWE autobiography, Kurt Angle revealed a rather amusing story – not so amusing for Angle – involving The Undertaker in a case of misunderstanding.
Angle and Vince McMahon had been playing around for weeks, trying to take each other by surprise and tackle the other guy to the ground. It was all good-natured fun, a bit of messing around, but one day Vince blindsided Angle and took him down. Of course, Angle being the competitor that he is, didn’t like that one bit. So, when they were on a flight to an event in Europe, Angle saw his opportunity to get even. He tackled his boss, but The Undertaker, who was nearby, awoke from his slumber, and took what he saw too literally – he thought Angle was legitimately beating up Vince. He jumped to the Chairman’s rescue and got Angle in a choke hold. Luckily for Angle, Vince had regained his composure and came to his assailant’s aid.
1 Stone Cold Mentored Him In WWE
There aren’t many stars who would credit another wrestler for helping them find their feet. But Angle has been very open about his relationship with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and what the man has done for his professional wrestling career. He’s said that when he first started, Austin carried him through a lot of matches, showed him the ropes and how to become a star in the business.
He told The Sun: “I wrestled him in my first year in the business, and I knew nothing. Austin carried me through every match that we had.” That’s pretty awesome to say considering they were essentially rivals. Not many people would’ve thought Austin was capable of that, but evidently his stone-cold persona softened when it came to helping Angle.
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