TNA star Kurt Angle says Jeff Hardy has been clean for a month, comments on his own Olympic aspirations and his passion for pro wrestling
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Please note that this interview was pretaped before the announcement of TNA Impact becoming Impact Wrestling, and before the news that Brock Lesnar had to pull out of his upcoming UFC fight because of his condition.
Angle on his Olympic comeback: "I started training two weeks ago. I’m not allowed to really talk about but I’m gonna make a formal press conference in August. I will be training with my nephew who’s never tried out and it’s gonna give him that opportunity to realize his dream….to not say ‘What if? Why didn’t I try?’ So him and I had a long two hour conversation one night and we were very serious about it. I mentioned it on WTAE in Pittsburgh and it just went out like wildfire. I’m very serious about it. I am going to do it and I believe I have a very good shot."
Angle on whether he still have the passion for wrestling: "I love wrestling. I will always love wrestling, but now for me, it’s a job. My responsibility is to have the best match on the card every time I go out there and I usually do. That’s my job, and I get paid very well to do it, and I don’t want to quit wrestling because that’s getting me to where I can get my Angle Foods where I need it to go. It’s also getting me so I can train for the Olympics. TNA is going to give me time off to train. If I make the Olympic Team, obviously I’ll have to leave for 3 months to train in Europe. So TNA has been a blessing for me to be able to do this. I don’t think I could have done it in the other company."
Angle on whether he's still the best in the business and whether he still loves pro wrestling: "I could retire. I made enough money to sit back the rest of my life and retire, but I do love it. I know that if I left now, I would miss it significantly. I am signing a new deal with TNA right as we speak. It’s another three and a half year deal. It will be part time, I’ll be doing very few house shows, I’ll be doing a number of TVs and I promised I’ll do all the pay-per-views. My wrestling will calm down. I’ve been more of a TV/PPV schedule and a lot less of the house shows. I’d rather wrestle six days a month than doing what I’m doing right now which is 18. With WWE, I was probably doing 18-24 so I’m almost as busy as I was then and I went to TNA to back off so we came to an agreement that I should definitely be taking off house shows and be able to rest and recuperate.”
Angle on the Jeff Hardy incident at the end of the Victory Road PPV: "That was an unfortunate situation where I think Jeff realizes it now. Whatever he did...this is something that’s been talked about many times. Jeff made a mistake. If he was going to take any form of, let’s say, sleep medication... he probably should’ve waited an hour before he did that. Jeff made a bad decision and he’s learned from it.
"Jeff has been clean for the last month and he wants to come back and he’s ready to come back and I believe that he won’t make that mistake it again. But it did happen. I felt really bad. I felt bad for TNA, I felt bad for Jeff, I felt bad for the company. Jeff Hardy is an amazing wrestler. I have nothing bad to say about him, actually I love the kid. I wrestled Jeff at his best and I wrestled Jeff at his worst, and it’s night and day."
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