The history between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder is an infamous tale but despite their bad blood, Angle remains shocked at Puder’s short-term wrestling career.
The fourth season of WWE reality series Tough Enough featured an array of future wrestling stars, including Ryback, The Spirit Squad’s Mitch, and eventual WWE headliner The Miz. However, it was Daniel Puder who was crowned the winner of the series.
Puder wrestled just 34 matches throughout his career, barely making it onto WWE programming. He was let go in September 2005, less than a year after winning Tough Enough, and would go on to wrestle sporadically until 2010, bar a one-off return in 2019.
Kurt Angle addressed Puder on the latest Kurt Angle Show episode, being surprised that Daniel Puder didn’t make a proper run of it in the squared circle:
“I thought he had a bright future. I mean, he won Tough Enough. You know, he picked up on it very quickly. I was surprised that his career didn’t last as long as I thought it would, unfortunately for him, but I thought he was a great talent. I think that he did really well in Tough Enough and I thought he had a bright future.”
Daniel Puder and Kurt Angle had an infamous altercation during a November 2004 broadcast of SmackDown. In the middle of Tough Enough being on-air, Puder almost submitted the former WWE Champion with a shoot Kimura lock. The referee counted Puder’s shoulders against the mat to prevent embarrassment on Angle’s part.
Puder wrestled four other matches for WWE, concluding with a brief, yet brutal, stint in the 2005 Royal Rumble match. He left the company in September 2005 as a “cost-cutting measure”, coming after he spent time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s then-developmental territory.
Although he wrestled his last official match nine years later, Daniel Puder’s run as a pro wrestled concluded in November 2010 following stints in Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He’d most recently teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura in that year’s NJPW G1 Tag League, ending with four points.
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