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Kurt Angle recalls The Rock being upset at Earl Hebner for botching the finish for WWE No Way Out 2001 main event

Kurt Angle and Conrad Thompson covered WWE No Way Out on the latest “The Kurt Angle Show” on No Way Out 2001 was headlined by Angle defending the WWE Championship against The Rock on the road to WrestleMania X-7.

Here are some highlights from the podcast:

Angle agreed that 2001 that was the biggest and hottest crowds in history:

“It was a huge time in the business.  It was the Attitude Era.  PPV buys were up.  TV ratings were up.  House attendance and ticket sales were up.  Every Superstar on the roster was over. We were stacked. Our roster was completely stacked. The Attitude Era was definitely the best era of wrestling.”

Angle talked about his WWE book:

“My book didn’t do that well because my media week got canceled. It was the week of 9/11. When that tragedy occurred, they shut everything down in New York City. No travel. I never had a media week. I was supposed to go the whole week long to 40 different networks to promote my book and we didn’t do it at all. It was canceled. The book did pick up on sales. It did pretty well eventually, but not at first.”

Angle said he was interested in writing another book:

“Yes, I do. I don’t want to write it until my documentary comes out. I’ve been working on a documentary for the past two years. I want to get that out before I write the next book.”

Angle said it was his idea to use the ankle lock:

“Being a shooter and having the history I did, I wanted to come up with a submission hold I could start using. I knew that Ken Shamrock used the ankle lock. He was gone doing MMA and I figured I might as well take that. Ken Shamrock wasn’t upset about it. He actually was very cool about it. Taking his finish and using it helped me dearly. It made me a more credible wrestler and more dangerous. I can give it to anybody, any size. It wouldn’t matter. It had nothing to do with the Olympic Slam getting changed to the Angle Slam. That was the Olympic Committee threatening to sue us if we used the word, Olympic because they owned that word. So, I had to change the Olympic Slam to the Angle Slam. It’s funny because when Michael Cole found out the Olympic Committee was upset, the next week on RAW, he said Olympic Slam at least 15 times because he wanted to piss them off. He just kept saying it.  It was hilarious. We have a sense of humor in the wrestling world. The fans would call it the Angle lock. I called it the ankle lock because I didn’t want to take away from Ken Shamrock. The word he used was ankle and I wanted to continue with that out of respect to Ken.”

Angle said there was a mishap on the finish of Angle vs Rock at No Way Out 2001 on the part of Earl Hebner, the referee:

“I distinctly remember that Earl probably thought that was the first Rock Bottom. I believe we hit a Rock Bottom earlier in the match and Earl forgot.  So, the finish was supposed to be the second Rock Bottom and Earl thought the second one was the first. So, that’s why he hesitated on the count.  Dwayne, The Rock, was pissed. He picked me up, Rock Bottomed me, and looked Earl in the eye and said, ‘Count the mother f**king finish.’ He was pissed. Earl’s was going to get it when we got back to gorilla. But, Dwayne was mad at the time, but when he got backstage, he cooled off and he didn’t really yell at Earl or anything. We all make mistakes. Things like this happen. You just have to move forward and continue on with the match. That’s what Rock did. He took the initiative to Rock Bottom me again and get the win. That’s an experienced wrestler.”

Angle said Pat Patterson told him to get more aggressive around this time period:

“Pat deserves all the credit. He was the one who actually told me, ‘We need you to start getting more aggressive and we need you to start doing more offense. We’re going to start at this PPV and we’re going to continue on with you. This is your big push. Even though you won’t be main eventing at WrestleMania, you’re going to be utilized big time by the company, so you have to continue to broaden your character and your wrestling style.’ I thought this was a great opportunity. It was sink or swim. I decided to swim and not sink. I took Pat’s advice and I started doing it. It actually made me a better leader in the ring because when you’re doing the offense, you have to call the match and you have to tell them what’s coming next. So, it actually made me a better leader.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “The Kurt Angle Show on” with a h/t to for the transcription.

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