WWE Ronda Rousey has for the first time spoken to the Wives Of Wrestling Podcast about Kurt Angle, who had a significant impact on her career.
She acknowledged that Hall of Famer influenced her due to her background in the Olympics.
Kurt was an influence on me before I even met him, as an aspiring Olympian,” she said. “I wanted to be an Olympic Gold medalist, the first American to win an Olympic Gold medal in Judo. I mean, Kurt was that hero that I had of, ‘oh, one day you could have people look up to you, and talk about you with that kind of reverence that people talk about Kurt with wrestling.’
In wrestling, people are all like, ‘oh, Kurt Angle, you know?’ So, I wanted to be the Kurt Angle of Judo. Then when I came into WWE and they partnered us up, it was like he’s the only other person who has been in a similar situation like that. Coming from the outside, from other successes, starting your rookie year under a microscope, and the spotlight.”
In an interview with Ronda Rousey, Angle showed her that she could push the boundaries of the traditional pro wrestling career. Rousey acknowledged this and acknowledged that he “really influenced” her to go all-in and pursue a professional wrestling career.
Having him to guide me in the beginning, and not like roll his eyes at me, and all the kind of stuff that I would say or do or whatever. It’s just my inexperience and stuff like that. He was an awesome guide and a teacher,” Ronda said. “I just kind of felt like I was in good hands, and that anything I aspire to is possible. Because Kurt has already done it, and if Kurt could do it, I could do it, kind of a thing. He’s not an alien, I could do it because he did, and maybe I could do more.
Among other fighters in women’s MMA, WWE Ronda Rousey has dominated the cage since joining the UFC. But she had concerns early on if that was a path worth pursuing.
When I first came into wrestling, I didn’t think that I’d even be able to have a match. It’s just so complicated, and I didn’t think I’d be able to have a singles run, she said. I thought I might be able to be like a periphery-like helper character, like to Kurt, and be able to be in a tag and stuff like that. After I worked with him, I was kind of like, ‘you know what, maybe I can actually do this and not just be somebody’s whatever.