In an interview with WrestleShark.com, 2004′s Tough Enough winner Daniel Puder talked about his most infamous moment of the contest, when he almost broke Kurt Angle’s arm with a legitimate keylock submission on an episode of Smackdown in 2004.
On the unscripted Kimura Lock
“It’s funny, before that entire thing they made us run sprints to start the day, then they brought us in for a pasta eating contest. Two guys puked from it. I’m sitting there, and I knew they were gonna run us again…they had us in the ring doing an up down competition…they told the ref to get the blond guy out of the ring. Chris and I were both blond. So Kurt Angle wrestled him, broke three of his ribs, he rolled out and Kurt came over and said who wants a chance, I raised my hand as fast as I could. Just because, I knew that I wrestled, my old coach was Danny Shay…Danny only lost to him in the Olympic trials by a couple of points, so I knew I had trained with guys that are as good as him. I wasn’t really scared of him, plus I had the MMA stuff and I knew he wasn’t really into that as much. So I got in there, they said the rules were no striking…and I caught him in a key lock…he’s a strong guy. He’s freakin’ strong. So I caught him in a key lock, pulled him into a Kamura and tried to snap his arm off. It nearly worked, you guys can see how close it was…I’m guessing it was five seconds away from snapping.”
On Angle’s reaction
“Oh Kurt was very very upset, [laughs] yeah he doesn’t like me too much for some reason. But he’s a wimp you know. If the guy was really tough he’d say like ‘OK lets have a fight’, you know. Even Dana White offered him $2-3 million dollars to fight me and he turned it down. I’m pretty sure you guys would fight me for $2-3 million dollars [laughs] that’s a lot of money.
“He yelled at me, he got pretty upset. I said ‘hey, I’m playing by the rules, they told me no striking’. I was being respectful, you know, because I was in his world. But you know, if he came to my gym and did something dumb, outside the rules, I probably would have broken him right there. I would have knocked him out, made him cry like a girl.”
Daniel Puder now operates MyLifePower, a charity organization for kids and teenagers.