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WWE legend Kurt Perspective opens up about adventure to superstardom, combat with habit: ‘I wish to assist others’


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Kurt Perspective has been thru all of it — from the highs of successful an Olympic gold medal and a WWE championship to the lows of drug habit and the perils the impediment brings.

It’s why Perspective selected to begin telling his tale now.

“I went thru numerous turmoil in my lifestyles and I wish to assist others,” Perspective informed Fox Information Virtual in a contemporary interview. “Having an issue with habit and being in restoration for the ultimate 9 years, I used to be informed within the restoration middle to inform your tale, and I’ve been beautiful open about my tale. And I sought after this documentary to return out to assist anyone. Any one that’s in bother. Any one that’s coping with habit. Any one that’s making an attempt to conquer stumbling blocks. … It’s extra about redemption and overcoming.”

“Biography: WWE Legends” will function Perspective’s lifestyles from rising up as a highschool wrestling phenom, to his days as an Olympic champion and WWE megastar, and to his struggles with painkillers. His episode will air Sunday on A&E at 8 p.m. ET.


Perspective received a gold medal for Group USA on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and labored his butt off to get to that time. Whilst coping with a damaged neck, he ended up beating Iranian Abbas Jadidi in a victory via issues for the gold within the males’s freestyle 100 kg class.

Kurt Perspective of the US holds the American flag on the free-style wrestling pageant right through the Summer season Olympics on the Georgia Global Congress Heart in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Getty Photographs)

It was once one in all 44 gold medals the US took house in 1996. Perspective received the development simply days after a pipe bomb was once detonated at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, killing two and injuring greater than 100 others.

“I’d hope it was once a proud second for everyone,” Perspective mentioned about successful the gold right through that point. “It was once the proudest second of my lifestyles but even so having youngsters and getting married. , you’re by no means assured any roughly good fortune in lifestyles, and whilst you win an Olympic gold medal, you’re the most efficient in the entire complete international. And that sends a message to everyone that you simply’re very particular, that you simply stand out.

“I feel in that specific time, the bombing took place and folks wanted one thing to cheer about. And you understand Kerri Strug did the dismount and landed it completely and received for Group USA Gymnastics. That was once an ideal second, my second was once nice. There have been numerous nice moments within the Olympics in 1996 that america needed to be very happy with.”


After some skepticism about becoming a member of the professional wrestling ranks, Perspective signed with WWE (then referred to as the Global Wrestling Federation) in 1998 and started working coaching in a little of a distinct manner than he was once used to. Perspective informed Fox Information Virtual he skilled for approximately 8 months sooner than he made his debut.

Perspective’s gimmick was once that of an Olympic hero. He was once a milk-drinking athlete who made transparent to everybody within the target market simply how a lot onerous paintings he put into his craft — even with a “damaged freaking neck.” He started to tout the 3 I’s that made him this kind of good fortune in lifestyles: “Depth, integrity and intelligence.”

Kurt Angle on WWE 'SmackDown.'

Kurt Perspective on WWE ‘SmackDown.’

Perspective mentioned it was once Vince McMahon’s thought at the 3 I’s after listening to it on a TV display.

“He concept it was once very best for me to be an Olympic gold medalist. He sought after me to be this clean-cut Olympian that preached the 3 I’s and motivated lovers. And in fact, he knew it will backfire,” Perspective informed Fox Information Virtual. “He was once pretending to push me as a toddler face understanding that the lovers would crap far and wide me as a result of I used to be so clear minimize, it was once like, give me a damage, this man can’t be that just right.

“It labored extraordinarily smartly and it grew to become me heel. Despite the fact that I’d hold forth the 3 I’s, I’d nonetheless cheat and win. That still gave me numerous warmth.”

Perspective joined WWE within the throes of the corporate’s so-called Monday Evening Wars with Global Championship Wrestling. He mentioned he talked to pro wrestling icon Ric Flair about becoming a member of the rival corporate and “The Nature Boy” threw him off that trail.

“I met Ric Aptitude sooner than I signed with WWE and I mentioned, ‘Whats up, Ric, do you assume I must cross to WWE or WCW?’ Ric was once in WCW on the time. He mentioned, ‘Don’t come to WCW. They’ll annihilate you. They’ll overwhelm you. Cross to WWE as a result of Vince McMahon would care for you.’ And he was once completely proper. That’s what Vince McMahon did, he took care of me.”

Perspective speaks glowingly of McMahon within the episode. He informed Fox Information Virtual he was once “unhappy” to be informed of McMahon’s retirement amid misconduct allegations.


“I’m unhappy as a result of Vince was once the Achilles heel of WWE. He’s what made it roll, he’s what made it occur. If it weren’t for Vince, the WWE would now not exist,” Perspective mentioned. “I’m now not announcing he’s very best. He didn’t do the entirety completely. He made only a few errors from a industry point of view.”

Perspective went directly to change into a four-time WWE champion, the 2000 King of the Ring winner, and had improbable feuds with John Cena, “Stone Chilly” Steve Austin, The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero, to call a couple of. He additionally had some iconic WWE moments, together with bringing a milk truck out and spraying superstars in a WWE ring with it.

Kurt Angle puts Eddie Guerrero in the ankle lock.

Kurt Perspective places Eddie Guerrero within the ankle lock.

However a number of neck accidents took their toll at the WWE celebrity.

Perspective wrote on his website online that he turned into hooked on painkillers in 2003 after he was once prescribed them when he broke his neck. On the peak of his habit, he admitted to taking 65 Vicodin in keeping with day. He wrote how the ache of dropping his sister to a drug overdose additionally contributed to his ache.

Through the center of 2006, he was once launched via WWE. He would carry out in Overall Nonstop Motion wrestling for approximately 10 years and change into a six-time heavyweight champion in that corporate. He was once arrested a couple of instances between 2007 and 2013, and via his ultimate time he had determined to go into a rehab middle.

Perspective informed Fox Information Virtual it was once his circle of relatives — his spouse, Giovanna, and their youngsters — that helped him damage the cycle of taking painkillers.

“It got here right down to this: my spouse was once going to depart me if I didn’t cross to rehab. And he or she’s the entirety to me and so are my youngsters,” he mentioned. “And understanding I may just [lose] them, it was once extra necessary to me to eliminate my habit and keep clear and be with my spouse and children than it was once for me to proceed to be addicted.”

Kurt Angle takes on Kane in a WWE match.

Kurt Perspective takes on Kane in a WWE fit.

When WWE lovers song into the episode on Sunday night time, Perspective mentioned he was hoping his tale may just encourage others.


“I would like them to understand that this documentary is set overcoming the entirety — all stumbling blocks, habit, accidents, loss of life of members of the family, private issues for your lives. It’s about redemption and gaining again your recognition after you misplaced it,” he mentioned. “And I would like everyone to understand that it’s imaginable. Even on the worst level for your lifestyles, you’ll want to nonetheless pop out of it and are available out shining.”

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