Alex Barie of WNW interviewed Kurt Angle earlier this week in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Below are the highlights:
Who convinced him to go to WWE over WCW:
Kurt Angle: WWE, F at the time, was going through the Attitude Era. I actually, thank God, met Ric Flair. I asked him about WCW and he straight up told time right to my face to not go there and go to WWE. Ric pretty much scared me off. WCW would do nothing with you. Vince McMahon would make you a star. Ric was right. I am very grateful what Vince did to me. He utilized me the right way. I believe if I would have went to WCW, it would have taken a heck of a lot longer to get to where I am now.
The program that “put him on the map”:
Kurt Angle: My favorite was Triple H and Stephanie. That is what really put me on the map. That was my first year wrestling. Triple H, God bless him, is a great leader . Talk about getting in the ring with somebody and just carried you through everything. I had a concussion at Summerslam that first year and I don’t even remember what I was doing. I don’t even remember the match, but I know watching it over again Triple H, Dawyne, The Rock, just kept telling what to do and carried me through it. When I was suppose to duck out of the way, they literally pulled my head down themselves to miss and hit the other guy. You can just tell if you look back that I literally knew nothing what I was doing. I learned a lot that year. But that storyline with Triple H and Stephanie was my favorite. That or the comedy I did with Stone Cold. That was different. We were both injured and Vince McMahon wanted both of us on TV. We just had great chemistry. One of those two.
Would you ever believe you’d be working with Eric Bischoff?
Kurt Angle: No. At first I didn’t like Eric Bischoff. I didn’t think he would do anything to help the company. Hulk Hogan…..I always liked Terry. I didn’t have a problem with him. I thought he had one of the top three minds in the business because he was around Vince McMahon so much and when you are around Vince McMahon so much, you learn a lot! Thank God.
…Him, Bruce Prichard, and Hulk Hogan are going to take TNA to the next level. Have they yet? No, but it always takes time. Everybody is always expecting overnight result. It doesn’t happen like that.
Will you ever return to WWE?
I can’t answer that (he smiles). I will say that I signed a three year deal with TNA recently. They want to extend the deal. I probably will. But anything is possible. A lot of wrestlers like to retire at Mania. They like to go out with 80,000-100,000 fans watching you. I’m no different, but I like the way TNA treats me. I like the money they pay me. Put it this way, my schedule, which is a part-time schedule, Thank God, I’m making the same money in TNA, maybe more, than what I would make in WWE if I was on the same schedule, so why would I want to leave? It doesn’t make any sense.