During his interview with Chris Van Vliet, Kurt Angle revealed that he was originally scheduled to be the first ever Undisputed Champion, not Chris Jericho. According to Angle, Vince McMahon had a change of heart only a few days before the event. Here’s what he had to say:
Vince McMahon came to me two weeks prior and said ‘We’re going to give you the strap again. You’re going to be the Undisputed Champion’. I thought that was pretty cool, considering that the pool was Chris Jericho, The Rock, and Austin. Those three are the best of all time. I knew going into it, I was going to win.
Five days before (the event), Vince gives me a call and says ‘I really want to give it to Jericho. I really think he could benefit from it.’ I agreed. If anybody needs it and can run with it, it would be Chris Jericho. I was very honored that Vince had enough respect for me to tell me about the switch. For Jericho, it benefited him. It put him in that title picture and main event. Chris was always up there. He was such an important factor in the company because he could make anyone look good. He was one of our supported assets. I have more respect for him today than I ever did before. I can’t believe the things he can do now.