During the most recent episode of his podcast on AdFreeShows.com, WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle looked back at the WWF Unforgiven 2001 pay-per-view which took place days after the 9/11 attacks in Pittsburgh, PA.
Check out the highlights below, transcribed courtesy of WrestlingNews.co:
“I knew he was struggling with his knees. With his neck, he never really sold it. Even after the surgery, when he came back, he was 100% and going hard. What happened with him and the reason why he retired is because his back started to go too. He was really playing with fire because when he got up on the second rope to pose, his legs would twitch really hard. It was noticeable on camera, so Vince McMahon was telling Kevin Dunn, the producer, not to show shots of Austin’s lower body, just his upper body, because his back was starting to go too. He was going to have to have surgery again. He went to the doctor, and that’s what the doctor said. The doctor actually said, ‘I can fix you.’ I think Austin got a little worried that this injury was going to get worse and worse, and even if he had surgery, it was going to be bad. He actually walked out of the doctor’s office and didn’t even answer him. He just left because he didn’t believe he needed surgery. I think he just thought he was done.”
“It was the biggest moment in my pro wrestling career. I was in my hometown, Pittsburgh, wrestling the biggest star of all time with my family there. This was a huge, special moment for me.”
“I called Vince. I came up with the idea about a week before this event. I told him, ‘Listen, the country is hurting. People need a boost. They need someone to believe in. I’m the Olympic hero, the American hero. I’m representing our country during this difficult time. I really think that you need to give me the title, not for a long time, just to give the country a little booster shot of confidence and feeling good about who we are. Vince told me to talk to Steve, and if it was ok with Steve, we could do it. I called Steve and he agreed immediately. He said, ‘That’s a great idea. Let’s do it.’ I only held the title probably for a week and then I gave it back. I wasn’t supposed to win the title at that particular time.”