Kurt Angle Reveals Surprising Name “Became A Mentor” To Him In WWE

Kurt Angle stands in the ring during WWE SmackDown 2004

When Kurt Angle debuted in the WWE in 1999, Dwayne Johnson was at the height of his popularity as The Rock.

Angle went on to defeat The Rock to win his first WWE Championship in 2000, eventually losing the title back to him the at No Way Out in 2001.

During a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show, Angle opened up about working with Johnson, recalling their first match together. According to Angle, the monstrous reaction he received as a heel was largely due to Johnson’s popularity at the time.

“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.”

Continuing, Angle reflected on winning his the WWE Championship during his first year as a WWE Superstar.

“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.”

“He Was A Great Friend And Teacher” – Kurt Angle On The Rock

Johnson is well known as a master of the microphone, and Angle was asked on the podcast whether he ever asked Rock for advice when it came to cutting promos. Angle admitted that while he never sought promo advice, he did learn a great deal from Johnson, and considered him to be a mentor.

“I never went to Rock for advice for promos, which I probably should have to be honest with you. I did go to him for a lot of advice for in the ring. The one guy that I spent a lot of time with my rookie year having matches with him more than anybody else and he became my mentor. So, whenever I had question or anything I was curious about I’d go straight to the Rock and he would tell me exactly what I needed to do. He was a great friend and a great teacher.”

Though he’s officially retired from in-ring competition after losing to Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35, Angle recently admitted he’d consider competing again if he could take part in cinematic matches.

h/t 411Mania