During the illustrious span of his wrestling career, Kurt Angle had the privilege of grappling with some of the most iconic athletes to ever step into the professional wrestling arena. Among these formidable contenders, one colossal figure stands out as the pinnacle of athletic prowess.
In an appearance on "The Joe Rogan Experience," Angle heaped effusive praise upon none other than the wrestler-cum-MMA fighter, Brock Lesnar. "He's adapted to everything in his life," Angle remarked with admiration. "The kid is unbelievable.
For his size — he's a formidable 310 pounds — he's the best athlete I've ever had the privilege of sharing the ring with." Angle, with nostalgia in his voice, recollected a significant episode when he locked horns with Lesnar in a genuine amateur wrestling showdown.
"I did wrestle him one time for real," Angle reminisced. "When he emerged from training at OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling), someone approached him and inquired about his odds against Kurt Angle. His response? 'I'd kick his ass.'
... Prompted by this revelation, the news reached me: 'Hey, Brock claims he can defeat you in a wrestling match.' "
The Sandal Dilemma
Angle wasted no time and extended an invitation to Lesnar for an impromptu bout. Lesnar, however, cited his choice of footwear as the deterrent, as he was donning sandals and was reluctant to wrestle barefoot.
A week later, Angle bore witness to Lesnar's awe-inspiring feat of lifting and slamming the 500-plus pound behemoth, Paul "The Big Show" Wight, onto the unforgiving canvas. This remarkable demonstration of strength left Angle astounded but also triggered an opportunity for him to ascertain who was the superior wrestler.
Seizing the moment, Angle patiently waited for the opportune instant when Big Show was grounded, and Lesnar's attention was diverted. With a tap on Lesnar's shoulder, Angle issued the challenge, declaring, "It's time to go." What followed was a riveting 15-minute tussle that has been the subject of much discussion.
Angle debunked the myths, clarifying, "The wrestlers might tell you that I kicked his ass, that I dominated him — that's not true. I beat him, but not by much. I took him down twice, and he couldn't reciprocate." Angle expressed his astonishment that Lesnar never ventured into Olympic competition, despite seemingly possessing the requisite qualities to vie for the coveted Gold Medal, a distinction Angle himself had achieved.
Reflecting on his amateur encounter with Lesnar, Angle disclosed the tactical advantage he had deployed. "Duck-unders," he divulged, "because Brock would often attempt double-leg takedowns. He'd charge in, and I'd deftly lift and duck underneath to gain the upper hand.
It was an intense flurry of counters." Their paths crossed once more in the professional wrestling domain, most notably at WWE WrestleMania 19. This memorable encounter is often recalled for Lesnar's infamous botched shooting star press, a moment etched in the annals of wrestling history.
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