“He was mad” – The Rock’s reaction to referee botching finish of WWE title-winning match finally revealed


The latest episode of ‘The Kurt Angle Show’ was all about ‘No Way Out 2001’. In case you don’t remember, the Olympic gold medalist dropped the WWE Championship to The Rock in the main event of the PPV.

Kurt Angle and The Rock put on an excellent match to close the show, but the match’s finish almost threatened to mar the contest’s overall quality.

The original finish was for Kurt Angle to get pinned after the second Rock Bottom. Angle did his job of not kicking out, but referee Earl Hebner mistook it to be the first Rock Bottom of the match and broke the count.

The odd part about it all was Kurt Angle’s lack of effort in getting his legs or shoulders up. The replays showed that Angle had not fought out of the pinfall, and Hebner had randomly broken his count. While the commentators did their job to sell the story of Angle kicking out, something was clearly amiss.

The Rock would go on to execute another Rock Bottom to win the match and the WWE title. Angle spoke about the botched finish during the latest episode of his podcast on AdFreeShows.

Kurt Angle explained that he had bumped for a Rock Bottom earlier on in the match that Earl Hebner had unfortunately forgotten. Hebner felt that the second Rock Bottom was the first, and he visibly hesitated to complete the count.

“Well, you know, I distinctly remember Earl probably thought that was the first Rock Bottom. I believe we had a Rock Bottom earlier in the match, and Earl forgot. So, the finish was supposed to be the second Rock Bottom, and Earl thought the second one was the first. So that’s why he hesitated on the count.”

We all make mistakes: Kurt Angle on The Rock’s reaction to the botch

Angle noted that The Rock was livid over the misstep, and The Great One even screamed at Earl Hebner to make the count after delivering the third Rock Bottom of the match.

The Rock would eventually calm down following the match, and Hebner was spared backstage.

“Dwayne, The Rock was pissed. He picked me up, Rock Bottomed me, and told Earl, looked him in the eye, and said, ‘Count the m*********ing finish!’ (laughs). He is pissed! Earl is going to get it when we get back to Gorilla. But Dwayne, he was mad at the time, and when he got backstage, he cooled down. He didn’t yell or anything. We all make mistakes.”

While mistakes happen in wrestling, Kurt Angle praised The Rock for showing the presence of mind to take the initiative after the botch. Rock wasted no time in delivering another Rock Bottom to end the match, and that, according to Angle, was an example of Rock’s experience as a performer.

“Things like these happen. You just have to move forward and continue on with the match, and that’s what Rock did; he took the initiative to Rock Bottom me again and, you know, get the win. So, you know, that’s an experienced wrestler.”

Kurt Angle also revealed why The Rock oversells his matches on the most recent installment of ‘The Kurt Angle Show.’

If any quotes are used from this article, please credit ‘The Kurt Angle Show’ and give a H/T to SK Wrestling

Published 27 Feb 2021, 12:30 IST


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