Kurt Angle has dealt with countless injuries throughout his wrestling career, but none compete with back issues.
In 1999, Angle would debut for the World Wrestling Federation and would become World Champion in under a year.
The Olympian would leave in 2006 and join TNA Wrestling that same year.
Angle enjoyed one of the most impressive careers of all time, but had to deal with several injuries over the year.
On this week’s episode of The Kurt Angle Show, the WWE Hall of Famer reflected on Survivor Series 2002, and reports at the time that he would be working a lighter schedule because of his back.
The Olympian explained that the reports at the time were true, and that he had dealt with back pain before he stepped in the ring.
“Ever since high school. I had some back problems in high school. But I didn’t have any [as serious] as up until this moment. The thing is, with my back, it was really painful.”
Kurt added that while he’s no stranger to a broken neck, the effect that horrific injury has on the body can’t compare to back issues.
“What I want to tell you is this. Breaking my neck five times, it debilitates you, where you can’t do certain things, especially in your arms. Your arms go numb and sometimes you lose strength in your arms.
“Your back controls everything. You can’t do anything when your back is hurting”
“But your back controls everything. You can’t do anything when your back is hurting. I’ll give you an example. Randy Orton just had surgery on his back. He literally couldn’t do anything. This surgery is actually, hopefully, saving his career. But that’s how much back problems can affect you as a pro wrestler.”
The Viper has been out since May and is expected to miss the rest of 2022 due to his back injury.
As fans know, Kurt Angle won an Olympic Gold Medal (with a broken freakin’ neck!) at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
While Kurt would tease returning to the Olympics several times in his career, he never did so, but explained why he missed the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
“I had just started training [for the Olympics] at this particular time three days a week. But what I was going to do in 2003 is take time off and train full-time for a year in the run-up to the Olympics. WWE had agreed to give me a year off. But that never happened because unfortunately in 2003, at the beginning, I broke my neck again.”
Instead of the Olympics, Angle feuded with Eddie Guerrero during the 2004 Games, getting a win over Latino Heat at that year’s Summerslam.