The Delco Elbow Drop

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Exclusive Ring Rust Radio interview with former WWE Superstar Kurt Angle as he prepares to retire from TNA

The 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.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring Rust Radio: Who do you think will win the World Title Series in Bethlehem?

Kurt Angle: 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 favorite.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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 gone.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring 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 to fruition?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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 about it.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

Ring 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?

Kurt Angle: 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.

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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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