The two had even fewer interactions behind the scenes as Angle's career was just getting started when Michaels retired due to injury. When Michaels returned, he was part of the Raw brand while Angle made his home on SmackDown.
Ahead of WrestleMania 21, they did have a rather curious interaction backstage that stunned Angle.
"The last I really spoke to Shawn before that was Survivor Series  when I told him, 'Hey, you're pretty good.' He was like, 'Oh, thanks.' I didn't know Shawn because when I started, he was out with injury and didn't come back until a couple of years after. The next time I see him, he knows he's wrestling me and he comes up and wants to tell me he's not afraid of me," recalled Angle on The Kurt Angle Show. "He says, 'Listen, I'm not scared of you. If it goes down, it goes down. I'm not afraid to fight you.' I was like, '...Okay. I don't know why you're saying this, but I respect that.' I guess because I was a shooter and I had a little reputation of being stiff in the ring. I think that might have added to it. He was just telling me that if I took advantage of him, he was going to fight back. I respected that. I was shocked because I had been professional up until then. I was in the company for five years and never did anyone wrong. I'm not sure why he said it. It was the shock factor and crazy he said this to me. It blew my mind."
Angle noted that the only time he injured an opponent was when he accidentally broke Bob Holly's arm on a moonsault. He said he felt bad for the incident and stayed with Holly throughout the injury. The only other time he got rough with an opponent was during the Kurt Angle Open Challenge, where Vince McMahon told him to rough up the opponents.
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