WATCH: MMA Legend Ken Shamrock Trolls Kurt Angle, Teaches Him How to Apply the Ankle Lock

Published 05/09/2021, 9:00 AM EDT

The Ankle Lock is one of WWE’s most devastating submission maneuvers. Ken Shamrock introduced it to the WWE when he debuted, but Kurt Angle made it famous. Superstars like Jack Swagger and Daniel Bryan would use the move, but none used it more effectively than its innovator.


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Ken Shamrock takes a friendly dig at Kurt Angle


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Despite popular belief, the innovator of the Ankle Lock wasn’t Kurt Angle. While he popularised it and added his own quirks to it, the innovator of the submission move is Ken Shamrock.

Shamrock is an MMA legend and a former UFC Champion. He joined WWE in 1997 and is a former Intercontinental Champion.

Despite his invaluable contribution to wrestling, fans do not regard him as the innovator of the Ankle Lock. Hence, he demonstrated the correct way to do the move on Chris Van Vliet, a popular wrestling podcaster.

He said, “Kurt Angle, this is the right way to do it,” before making Van Vliet cry out in pain.

Although the dig was friendly, Angle and Shamrock never actually faced off in WWE or TNA. Both men had similar paths to WWE and made a name for themselves prior to wrestling. A match between them would’ve been a classic, but it failed to materialize.

When Angle debuted in WWE, Shamrock returned to the UFC. Angle became a multi-time World Champion in WWE, while Shamrock became the inaugural inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2003.

Angle took the submission move from Shamrock

Kurt Angle (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations)

While some may think Ken Shamrock passed the Ankle Lock down to Kurt Angle, the former Olympian revealed he actually stole the move from the MMA legend.

On his podcast, the Kurt Angle Show, the former WWE Champion revealed how the Ankle Lock became an iconic part of his arsenal.

“Well, it was me. I was, you know, being a shooter and having the history I did I wanted to come up with a submission hold that I could start using. I knew that Ken Shamrock used the Ankle Lock, and he was gone doing MMA, and I figured I might as well take that.”


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“You know, Ken Shamrock wasn’t upset about it, he actually was very cool about it. Taking his finish and using it helped me dearly. It made me a more credible wrestler and more dangerous.” (H/T Inside the Ropes)

With the Ankle Lock, Kurt Angle won several World Championships. The biggest names in wrestling, including Brock Lesnar, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena have tapped out to the move.


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Nathan Fulgado

1044 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.