Pro Wrestling Podcast Review: Kurt Angle discusses his interest in returning to WWE, whether he would he pass the WWE medical and drug testing, recent changes in TNA
By Haydn Gleed
The Ross Report with guest Kurt Angle (part two)
Host: Jim Ross
Release date: July 16, 2014
Available at PodcastOne.com
Would Angle be interested in returning to the WWE? "Without a doubt, it's hard in the business now, you really want security, not that I'm hurting financially, TNA has treated me well, but nobody is allowed to talk. I can't approach WWE right now, not under my contract, I believe there was a lawsuit a couple of years ago. I can't really go there and meet with Vince or Triple H or Stephanie, it's almost like if I wait out my contract and talk to them then, do I know if they are interested? They really haven't told me, can I call somebody to ask somebody, I'm not going to get a complete 100 percent answer. So, are they interested? If they are, how do I find out? I don't know. So do I sign with TNA? I could sign tomorrow."
On how things have been in TNA recently and the impact of John Gaburick: "This past year has been a really tough roller coaster ride for me. Six months ago I would have told you, yes, I'm going back to WWE, I'm tired of this crap. I didn't like the way I was being booked. A guy named John Gaburick came into TNA and he's been doing things a lot better, it's hard for him as he has a lot hats right now. He is a hard worker and he knows what he's doing, and I have a great relationship with him. I have a great relationship with Dixie (Carter), from financial points to communication, but at the same time I got tired of the way I was being booked and I just wanted out. This past six months I kinda looked at it and said it's not so bad, let me see if I can really help this company."
Would the WWE medical testing be an issue: "Not at this point. A year ago, yes. I was under a lot of doctor prescription, but still, I was taking pain killers, I was taking Xanax, and drinking alcohol - not that that's illegal, but I got myself into a lot of trouble. It was time for me to go clean, it wasn't just for me but for my family, it was about my career, I've been clean and sober for 11 months now, and I enjoy it. I have a better time with my family, I'm more clear minded, I'm listening to my body. As for the physical, I've seen and heard rumors - Kurt Angle can't pass the physical, gosh dang, I don't have a problem passing the physical. My neck has no issues. Yeah, my knee I've just had it done, but I'm going bounce back. I already know right now with my progression, I'm going to be just fine. There isn't a physical I won't pass. I will pass it. The drug testing? I'm clean, I'm not taking anything, so I don't really have anything to be afraid of."
What he believes led to the Benoit family tragedy: "It's hard, you try to think about it, you try to think how was his marriage, was he really that affected by his wrestling? I didn't see it, and for WWE to have take any kind of blame for Chris's decision, for whatever reason he did it, I think that's a shame. I don't think WWE is at fault. I believe that, whatever Chris did, whatever issues he had, I believe it was from relationship standards. I'm not saying that, I would never even thought that Chris would have think about doing something like that. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a professional, I don't know why he did it. Whether he had head trauma or whatever it is, all I know Chris seemed to be okay. He didn't have any health issues that you could see."
Angle addressed a lot of topics in this hour long interview including why he was bitter when he left WWE, the challenges he faces in staying sober, what he has lost, and also how he would book himself if he returned to the WWE. He also discusses his thoughts on AJ Styles, The Undertaker's streak ending, CM Punk, Shane McMahon, and reveals who came up with the idea for Brock Lesnar to attempt the shooting star press at WrestleMania 19.
Gleed's Ramblings: Usually when I review podcasts, I only want to pick out the newsworthy items to quote in full. Sometimes there are not many news items, and sometimes they stick out. With this Kurt Angle interview, I literally could have quoted the whole show. In nearly every segment of the podcast was something of interest for wrestling fans, some of which I knew and some of which I did not. Even with the things he spoke about that I knew there was more wrinkles added to it that I was not aware of beforehand.
Angle's language was interesting throughout. For example, when he was talking about the medical he said stuff such as "I will pass it," as opposed to stressing I will pass it if I take it. I also found it interesting that despite it not being asked, he felt the need to stress that the WWE shouldn't be blamed in anyway for the Benoit tragedy. It felt odd and wasn't even something that would have crossed anyone's mind giving the way the question was framed by JR, but it was interesting that Kurt felt the need to stick up for the WWE.
This is a brilliant podcast interview. Ross was tremendous at keeping the topics flowing, but Kurt seemed to be very truthful in his approach and it made for an entertaining two-part show. I highly recommend this interview.
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