• OLD SCHOOL HISTORY (April 16, 2001) – WWF RAW IS WAR
On this day in 2001, the World Wrestling Federation aired another LIVE episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF RAW IS WAR’.
It was broadcasted from the Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee and featured matches, interviews & segments, on the road to the ‘WWF Backlash 2001’ PPV.
Here’s the card:
1. WWF Tag Titles: Edge & Christian vs. Crash & Hardcore Holly
2. Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Justin Credible
3. WWF Hardcore Title: Kane vs. Steven Richards
4. Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
5. Chris Benoit vs. William Regal
6. Billy Gunn & Raven & Test vs. The Radicalz
7. Handicap Match: Big Show vs. Kaientai
8. WWF Intercontinental Title: Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
WATCH: Stephanie McMahon Exposed Due To Nip Slip On Live TV:
• Kurt Angle Reveals How WWF Ended Up Booking A Love Triangle Between Him, Stephanie McMahon & Triple H
In this flashback article, we take a look back at an old shoot interview with WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle.
Angle talked about joining the WWF, who helped him in the company, the love triangle storyline with Stephanie McMahon & Triple and more.
Below are the highlights:
Host: So what made you sign with WWF? How did that come about?
Kurt Angle: I hated being a sportscaster and I was gonna sign another year and they were going to change me from new sports anchor to reporter where I should have been the first place because I was better at that. And I didn’t have the experience for it to be a sports anchor. I wanted to go back to do something athletic. I was thinking about going back and going for the Olympics again but I already did everything I wanted to do and there was just so much pressure.
I remember how I felt training for the Olympics and getting ready and waiting for it to happen. And when it was finally over, it wasn’t that I was feeling excited and I was happy and elated and overjoyed. I was relieved (that) it’s over. I finally did it. Thank God! I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I can move on with my life and and close that chapter and say you know what I did it and I became the best in the world, probably one of the best of all time. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back.
I started watching RAW in ’98. I was watching Stone Cold and Rock and Triple H and Undertaker. And at the time, I think Undertaker was injured, Austin just had neck surgery, Rock just started doing movies. And Triple H was kind of the only guy that was main event material at the time because Shawn Michaels was out. And when I signed, it was like bang bang bang bang bang bang…. “Kurt hurry up on TV.” And I didn’t know how to wrestle yet. I was still really green. And they had me do open car matches and I didn’t work on that promo skills, nothing.
Host: Who helped you with your promo skills?
Kurt Angle: Nobody. Nobody helped me. I had to do that myself. Vince kind of nurtured me at the beginning, but he also threw me into the fire. My first promo and he didn’t even put it on paper. He literally told me and it took him, I’d say, three or four minutes to say the whole thing to me. He said it once. He said, “I want you to say this this this this this this this this this.” And he went on for like three and four or maybe five minutes. I’m like, “Holy sh*t! He wants me to remember all that? And then he’s like, “Go out and do it right now.” I went out there and I don’t know how but it just came to me. And so Vince found out that not only I was gonna be a pretty good wrestler, I was actually going to be a pretty good mouth piece. And from then on, he never looked back. It’s just Kurt Angle, the character, just started going out before I knew I was doing the angle with Triple H.
Host: How did the whole love triangle with you, Stephanie and Triple H come about?
Kurt Angle: You know what Stephanie and I, it was funny, we didn’t have an attraction, like $exual attraction. We had a good friendship and we were attracted to each other in that way. So someone saw that. And Stephanie was trying the whole deal with Triple H, what they were doing at the time. And they were thinking who could they use to kind of make Triple H jealous and who was an upcoming guy.
They really needed me to step up because we had a lot of guys out with injury. So the whole thing happened because Stephanie and I somewhat were pretty good friends and we looked like we would be a good couple to be together and so the writers went with it. Triple H, he was cool about it. We did the whole thing and I know he was dating Stephanie for real and everything and he didn’t mind doing it.
We had a lot of fun with it. I just was a little disappointed on the way it ended. We could have played with that for another four or five-six months but for some reason it came to an end. But that really…Triple H and Stephanie really helped me out at that point. I mean, I needed that. Once I did that and we had our blow-off match, the next pay-per-view was me and Rock for the Title. There was nowhere else for me to go. So that’s when I won that Title.
Host: With that angle, were you ever given an idea how it would play out?
Kurt Angle: I don’t know if they had an idea how it’s gonna play out. Basically the rumor was that I did sleep with her (Stephanie) in a hotel and that she didn’t know because she was knocked, had a concussion. But it never really panned out what really did happen, was Kurt Angle lying or was Kurt Angle really telling the truth. But the whole thing is just I guess because they wanted to get the Title on me right away which I would have been a lot better off without the Title for a while to keep that storyline going.
But I think what they wanted to do is give me a nice little Title run while they started gearing up for The Rock and Austin for WrestleMania. So basically they gave the Title to me and I wrestled The Rock and Undertaker then Triple H and Austin and then The Rock again and I lost it back to Rock. Then him (Rock) and Austin went to WrestleMania.
Host: With the whole Triple H and Stephanie angle, was there ever tension between you guys at all? Was there any political stuff?
Kurt Angle: No. Me and Triple H, we were coming up with some fine stuff. I mean he was really cool about it. We didn’t have any problem. Stephanie was great. Triple H was great. They actually wanted to do this. They knew that it was the one storyline on TV that people really were caught into it. They really liked it, enjoyed it. They wanted to see how it was gonna pan out, was Stephanie again out with me or was she gonna end up with Triple H. I mean there was a lot that people, they got into it and really wanted to see what was gonna happen, how it’s gonna pan out. I’m just surprised it just kind of came to a standstill.
But in that whole angle, I suffered that really bad concussion at SummerSlam that was with the triple threat match with the Triple H and The Rock. And I think after that, I was pretty goofy for a while. I kept having concussions. And that might have had something to do with the angle being kiboshed.
I mean there could have been many things but Triple H, he wasn’t blocking anything that was helping me to enhance my character. I mean, I’m sure that a lot of guys will tell you that he’s done some stuff political to stay in the top position. I never had a problem with him. I always did my own thing. If Triple H was the main event of the show, I was kind of like Rob Van Dam in ECW. You had the main event match and then you had the Rob Van Dam match. There’s always a main event match and then there was the Kurt Angle match. I don’t think he ever felt threatened. I never felt threatened.
I think the three people to stay above water that didn’t need the Title and all they needed to do is have a good match and have a good little storyline were like me, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker.
We were considered, near the end of my WWE days, we were all considered special attractions. We weren’t always in the main event. Shawn wasn’t always in the main event. Undertaker wasn’t always in the main event. I wasn’t always in the main event. We did it in cycles. But we were always an integral part of the show.
So it didn’t matter to me whether I was in the opening, mid card or main event match. As long as I did my thing, I was cool with it because I was an attraction. I’d say that the two guys that have really taught me a lot were Triple H and Undertaker. They’re great storytellers. They always have very strong matches. They have a good mind for the business.
As far as athleticism, Undertaker is a much better athlete. But as far as structuring a match and going out there and doing it and also calling it on the fly, Triple H is probably the best at that.