Kurt Angle prefers his rings with a couple of extra sides.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist spoke about the neck injury he sustained while competing in Atlanta and how it made him more susceptible to having it happen repeatedly in the future.
"Well, you know, I damaged my neck in the Olympics—right before the Olympics. But, when I went to the WWE, my neck was still damaged. Once you break your neck, it’s not gonna be 100% forever. It’s just the way it is and I kept getting injured over and over again in WWE. I broke my neck four more times between 2003 and 2006. That had a lot to do with the injury that I started off with. So, it just kept happening over and over again," Angle said.
Angle joined WWE in 1998 and remained there until 2006. At that time he joined TNA Wrestling. The WWE Hall of Famer shared that he actually preferred the 6-sided ring in TNA as opposed to the traditional 4-sided one you'd find in most other wrestling companies. He said the following:
"The ring’s smaller. It’s six sides. It’s really harder to adapt to. Especially if you’re wrestling in a four-corner ring. It was difficult. It took me a few months to adapt to it, but eventually, I got it. I actually liked it better. It’s a faster-moving pace, yeah. The matches are a lot faster. You’re flying off the ropes and before you know it the guy’s right there. So, it’s a lot different than a four-sided ring."
In February 2007, Angle made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Later that summer he would face and defeat Brock Lesnar in a champion versus champion match for the Inoki Genome Federation to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
"I had a good relationship with Brock," Angle began by saying. "He actually told New Japan that he wasn’t gonna lose to anybody over there. If they wanted him to do a job, they would have to bring in Kurt Angle. That’s what I was told. So, I decided to do it because Brock wanted me to and I’m a good friend of his and there’s no shame in beating Brock Lesnar for a World title. So, I went ahead and did it. It actually gave me more business over in New Japan. I started doing matches, defending the title. I wrestled Yuji Nagata, which was an awesome match. Nakamura, Tanahashi. I lost the title, I think, to Nakamura. They went with him. He was their future and I completely understood it. But I was a transitional champion. I was there to get the title off of Brock and hand it over to Nakamura."
Angle agreed that the style in Japan is stiffer than in North America, but believes the matches look incredible and likes the idea of a worked shoot.
"Yeah, it’s a very stiff style and they do a lot of worked shoots over there. So, they kinda mix it up. It goes extremely well. The matches look incredible. They do a very good job with that. I like the worked shoot concept," Angle said.
That style of wrestling isn't a problem for Angle, as he admits to having a reputation for working that way too.
"Yeah. It’s a little stiffer and that’s how I am, too," Kurt explained. "I tend to stiff individuals. I have a reputation of it. I like to go hard. That’s just the way I am."
Angle finished up with NJPW in 2009. He remained in TNA until 2016. In 2017 he rejoined WWE and was inducted into their Hall of Fame.
You can see our full interview with Kurt Angle at the top of the page, and can check out the Kurt Angle Show on AdFreeShows.com. You can also check out his nutrition line at this link.