‘The Olympic Gold Medallist’ Kurt Angle has opened up about his extensive use of painkillers while he was active and the match that first caused him to use medication.
While the use of painkillers in professional wrestling has been well documented throughout the years by stars who had to get rid of their niggles in order to compete the majority of the year, Kurt Angle’s personal use of the aid didn’t begin until almost three years into his career when he came toe-to-toe with Brock Lesnar.
Taking to his Kurt Angle Show podcast, the submission specialist opened up about his use of the drug and the Brock Lesnar match that caused him to being using regularly:
“The first time Brock broke my neck in 2003, that’s when I was introduced to painkillers. The second I took them, I loved them. It took the pain away, it gave me energy, it got me up, it made me feel really energetic. I started taking them, when one didn’t work I started taking 2, 2 went to 4, 4 went to 8, 8 went to 16, I got completely out of control. I was taking 65 extra strength Vicodin a day before I started trying to fix the problem. I got myself dug into a hole and I had to get myself out.”
Despite the erratic behaviour the medication began to cause in Angle, the star cited that he was always able to keep a lid on his addiction to the point where even Vince McMahon didn’t know what was occurring:
“I didn’t really tell anybody. I hid it really well. Vince didn’t know it was occurring, a couple of the boys saw me sneaking pills so they knew I was taking them but they didn’t know how many. Nobody knew I had a serious problem like that.
I was just trying to find a way out. Once I injured my neck, I got the GM job and I was being wheeled around a wheelchair and I got really self absorbed in the painkillers at that point. The people I was hanging around with were a bad influence. It wasn’t the right thing for me and I had to get myself straight.”
Though Kurt Angle’s addiction spiralled out of control, causing issues both personally and professionally, the star managed to get himself clean, get his life in order and return to World Wrestling Entertainment in order to end his career at WrestleMania 35 in a loss to Baron Corbin.
Credit for the interview: The Kurt Angle Show
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.