MMA and pro-wrestling legend Ken Shamrock was the latest guest on the Kurt Angle Show to reflect on his WWE signing back in the late 90s, and details his first ever meeting with chairman Vince McMahon. The World’s Most Dangerous Man also shares the advice that was given to him by Hall of Famer Bret Hart shortly after he decided to join the company. Highlights from the interview are below.
Recalls his first meeting with Vince McMahon regarding joining WWE:
“That why I had the meeting with Vince because I had other options out there. I had calls into All Japan, New Japan, WCW, and I never heard back from WCW. I was definitely very cautious of how I wanted to be portrayed going into it. Not having an understanding of using another character obviously, but just how they would use that other character. But then when I came in, Vince wanted to keep me as me. I remember thinking, ‘This will be interesting being able to use everything I know in a wrestling ring.’ Of course, I had an understanding of how wrestlers thought because I was one first. I also understood that there was gonna be some trust issues going into the locker room and getting inside the ropes because I was a wrestler before and had seen how it worked. There is a lot of trust between each person stepping into that squared circle. As soon as me and Vince talked and we went over all the details and the things he wanted to do – I think it was Monday Night RAW and I was going to do something with the Nation, and we did that and it seemed to get some interest. So, then Vince says, ‘Let’s get you started, and we’ll get this contract done.’ I was happy with the contract and it was built on the strengths. If I did well, then I would do well. I liked that.”
Shares the advice Bret Hart gave him shortly after signing:
“I remember going into this thinking I had to get to a place where I could focus on….because I couldn’t do it in a shoot gym. It just wasn’t the same. I had guys to work with, but that was MMA. I needed pro wrestling and somebody that was better than me. I needed education and some guy I could respect. I remember Bret Hart reached out and somebody said [I should go train with him]. I remember contacting Bret, and Bret said come on up. I went up there and it was Stu [Hart]’s birthday. He put me in so many submission holds, man. It was like his birthday present [laughs]. So, for like an hour I was getting submitted by his dad. That was my first experience. After that, I remember getting in there and working and him saying to me, ‘You’ve gotta be you. Guys are gonna want you to go through these different pro wrestling things because they’re comfortable with it. They’re gonna try to get you to do those things, but you’ve gotta stand strong and say that’s not what Vince wants me to do.’ He said do it respectfully and also make sure I go in there and shake everybody’s hand and let them know they’re in charge of putting the match together. So, basically giving them the control over the match because they had more experience than me and I’m here as this guy that’s learning. I needed to approach it as so, yet standing firm to where I was getting my stuff over. Bret explained all that to me.”
(H/T and transcribed by 411 Mania)