Kurt Angle is a genuine legend of wrestling. The
former Olympic gold medallist won every title going at WWE, and
has won the lot at TNA. He talks to Hayden Meikle.
TNA Impact Wrestling star Kurt Angle. Photo supplied.
Q) Hi Kurt, what's up?
A) We just finished a live taping of TNA Impact here
in Orlando. I've rushed to the phone and given you a call.
Q) Orlando? Very nice.
A) Yeah, we do about 80% of our shows in Florida at
the moment. I'm a family man so for me, I can bring the kids
down to Disney World. It's a nice treat.
Q) How many children do you have?
A) I have three, and one more coming in two months.
Q) Do they enjoy watching Dad in action or do they cover
A) I've had my daughter cry when Daddy gets beat up.
But I've sat down and told them that it's fine, that what
they're seeing is fake, even though it's not fake. You just
tell them that it's all pretend, and it doesn't hurt.
Meanwhile, it hurts like a son of a gun. My son, he's 6, and
he knows every finish move from every wrestler. He's
unbelievable. I think he might want to be a pro wrestler. I
don't want him to be, but he's passionate about it.
Q) Have you ever been to New Zealand?
A) I've been there once. I did a trip there for
WWE. I can't quite remember when. Beautiful. I loved
it. And I know you don't want to hear this, but I love
Australia, too. I feel like both countries are real similar
to the States. I don't know how you feel about that. But I
like going to countries where I feel secure and comfortable.
Q) Any chance you will come back here?
A) Oh, I hope so. I'd love to come back there with
Q) People my age grew up watching WWF, now
WWE. You guys, TNA, still seem the new kids on
the block. How do you go about getting people to change
A) It's hard, I'm not going to lie to you. WWE
is a monster. It's hard to make a loyal WWE fan say,
hey, I'm going to turn over to TNA because of Kurt
Angle. But we have our own loyal fans. And we have fans who
watch both. Are our ratings comparable?
No. But our product is getting better. Our roster is better
than WWE's. We have a great mixture of talent.
Q) No regrets about leaving WWE?
A) No. Impact Wrestling has treated me very well. They
gave me time off when I needed it, and they paid me a lot of
money to come here. Do I miss the Wrestlemania crowds and the
Royal Rumble crowds?
Yes, I do. It was hard to walk away from that. I felt, for my
family and for my health at the time, I had to seek a reduced
schedule. I had a painkiller problem, and problems with my
marriage, and I kind of took it out on Vince McMahon
[WWE owner]. He was trying to make me the guy, before
John Cena came along. I just didn't do the right things. I
blame myself for that. You live and you learn, and I'm happy
• TNA Impact Wrestling screens Saturdays at 10.30pm
on The Box.