Exclusive Ring Rust Radio interview with former WWE Superstar Kurt Angle as he prepares to retire from TNA
hosts of Ring Rust Radio – Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin –
recently had the chance to speak with Olympic gold medalist and former WWE and
TNA Superstar, Kurt Angle. In addition to getting Angle’s thoughts on TNA’s
move to Pop TV, RRR asks Angle about his upcoming retirement from Impact
Wrestling, possibly returning to WWE or NXT, his dream matches in pro
wrestling, and more. You can listen to this entire interview on the YouTube
link below or continue past to read the interview here.
Rust Radio: TNA has been making headlines with the move of Impact Wrestling to
Pop TV and a new set of tapings at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
What do you think of Impact’s move to Pop TV?
This is all new territory for us. Getting into another network, this will
be our third in three years. Hopefully it works out and it builds
something long term. It is a new network and we are excited for it. I want
to be able to sit back and see how it goes.
Rust Radio: Who do you think will win the World Title Series in Bethlehem?
I think it will be Bobby Lashley. As far as pro wrestler and fighter goes,
he is a beast. He has just a little bit better everything than anyone
else. He really is a super athlete, so I always pick him to be the
Rust Radio: You recently announced your retirement from Impact Wrestling
following the company’s tour in the United Kingdom this January. What went into
your decision and why did you feel like now was the right time to step away?
It was just the best time for me to step away. With me being able to be
home a lot more this past year it helped me see what was more important to me,
and that’s family. I thought it was a good move on both parts and we are both
comfortable with each other.
Rust Radio: You’ve pretty much seen and done it all over the course of your
career, but is there anything that you still want to accomplish as a
professional wrestler, or do you have any regrets or anything you would have
done differently in your career?
As far as my wrestling career, I would say no. I did everything I wanted
to and it was a fun ride. I never knew how good I was going to become or
the status I would achieve, it didn’t really matter to me and I just enjoyed
it. It was a fun ride with no regrets and was as good as it could have
Rust Radio: You've recently mentioned that you consider your TNA run better
than your WWE run. I respectfully disagree and a much reason for that is
because of the entertaining moments you brought outside of the ring early in
your career. I was a huge fan of the work you did with Taz, Chris Jericho and
Bob Backlund to name a few. I still think it was Essa Rios that ran down Stone
Cold. When you were first starting out, do you recall thinking or knowing you
would be able to nail that aspect of being a pro wrestler?
No, it wasn’t like I was being trained to become that super pro wrestler. I
never went over promos or practiced them, it was one of those things that you
either have it or you don’t. If you have it, you’re going to be able to do
that more often and be a more character driven wrestler than an actual
wrestling wrestler. When you have that it’s a positive for sure. Pro wrestling
is real difficult, so anyone that knows how to be a decent pro wrestler, they
get that other aspect of wrestling like promo skills and stuff. Then they
combine that with their athletic ability and they can go really far.
Rust Radio: You have confirmed in past interviews there were discussions with
WWE about a possible return, but things fell through. Why do you think the two
parties couldn’t come to an agreement and would you be open in the future to a
part-time run in WWE?
Right now, I am not thinking that far into it. If I feel good after I take
my time off, I might want to continue wrestling. That’s why I didn’t say I
was retiring from wrestling for good. It was just the last matches I had under
contract with TNA. It’s more of a TNA retirement thing rather than anything
else. I’m enjoying everything about retirement right now.
Rust Radio: During your recent Q&A tour you mentioned potentially competing
at WrestleMania 33, but are you optimistic that another WrestleMania match is a
legitimate possibility? How likely do you think it is that it ultimately comes
I don’t know to be honest. It all depends on how I feel about the
situation. Is there a possibility that there will be a meeting in the
future? Yes, I’m not counting it out. I think anybody in pro
wrestling wouldn’t mind their last match being at WrestleMania.
Rust Radio: A lot of former TNA talent has turned up in NXT as of late such as
Samoa Joe and James Storm. If there was no interest on WWE’s part in a
main-roster run, but they offered you a spot in NXT, how would you react to
that? Is it something that would interest you?
No. With all due respect, the talent on the NXT roster is phenomenal. They
are doing something right down there as far as getting talent ready. I
just don’t think it would be worth it for either side to have me go down there
and work on NXT. Not saying I wouldn’t do it, but it is considered the WWE
minor league. With that in mind, I think anybody would feel the same way
Rust Radio: If WWE doesn't bring you in for WrestleMania 33 or another run in
general, do you think there will be a void left in your career by not coming
back full circle?
No, absolutely not. I have done it all from WWE to TNA to stuff over in
Japan. I enjoyed it and every aspect of my career. It’s just the way the
cards fell and right now I needed to get out for my own health. I don’t
regret it because I had a lot of fun in TNA and both companies had been really
great to me.
Rust Radio: Daniel Bryan is a guy who you’ve mentioned wanting to work with
before your career officially comes to a close. Why is that such an attractive
matchup to you, and who are some others that you wouldn’t mind competing with
before it’s all said and done?
Daniel has the rare gift of not just being an incredible wrestler and underdog,
but fans flock to him very quickly. It is all about the wrestling ability
and he is the very best today. It’s what he brings to the table and that’s
a lot of fans. You want a match like that when it attracts a lot of
interest and excitement and makes fans choose one way or another.
Rust Radio: Daniel Bryan is certainly the ultimate dream match from today's
current wrestlers, but my all-time dream match would be to see you against Bret
Hart. Is there somebody in history you've never wrestled, but wish you could?
You said his name. We were so close to doing it. We had talked about his
return in WWE, but ultimately we just couldn’t make it happen. I
understand why Bret took the match the following year with Vince at
WrestleMania. I was a little bit offended, but when I talked to him he
told me, “Kurt, I didn’t wrestle Vince that night. If I can’t go out there
and put on the Bret Hart performance that I know I can, then I’m just not going
to do it.” I respected his decision for not wanting to after that. It made me
understand that he had been through hell from the head injury to the stroke, he
just can’t do it anymore the way he wants to do it. If he can’t be at that
Bret level, he just isn’t going to do it.