“We Had a Phenomenal Match”- Kurt Angle Recalls Wrestling Brock Lesnar in NJPW

Published 06/05/2021, 1:44 PM EDT


Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle had a phenomenal rivalry in WWE that stretched across 2003. They faced off at WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and captained their respective teams at Survivor Series. However, few fans know these two legends faced off in Japan as well.

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Kurt Angle wrestled Brock Lesnar in Japan

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After leaving WWE, Brock Lesnar went to NJPW and won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his debut match. He defended it against New Japan’s best and brightest but faced his toughest test in a former opponent.

Lesnar faced Kurt Angle at Inoki Genome Foundation where he dropped the title to the Hall of Famer. On the Kurt Angle Show, Angle talked about his match with Brock in Japan and the aftermath of it.

“Brock did approach me about working with him in Japan, and I ended up going over for NJPW, and I had a match with Brock. We had a phenomenal match over there and I won the World Title from him; the New Japan Pro Wrestling Title.”

“You know, Brock, after the match, said hey when we do the press conference, because they always have huge press conferences before and after the matches. And he said when you have the press conference and we’re sitting up there in front of the press, tell them you want a rematch with me.”

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Why did Lesnar want a rematch?

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Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

On the podcast, Angle also revealed why Lesnar wanted a rematch with Angle. According to the former Olympian, Lesnar was making a sizeable amount of money from New Japan and wanted to milk the cash cow.

“Well, I didn’t know at the time, but I heard Brock was making a ton of money on these matches. He was a remaining champion as long as he could, and then they wanted to take the title off of him. So, he wanted to do the match, but he wouldn’t do it with just anybody. So, he told New Japan, ‘Bring Kurt Angle over; I’ll do the job for him.’”

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Angle did not face Lesnar in a rematch, and their only match in 2007 was the Lesnar’s last wrestling match until he returned to WWE in 2012. As for Angle, he dropped the title to current WWE Superstar and New Japan Pro Wrestling stalwart Shinsuke Nakamura in a title unification match.

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Nathan Fulgado

1224 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.

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