TNA News TNA News: Extensive Angle interview - new TNA contract, near-death in match last year, why his UFC deal fell apart, Twitter battle with Orton, TNA schedule during Olympics training
Jun 4, 2011 - 7:02:29 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
TNA wrestler Kurt Angle covered several TNA, WWE, UFC, and Olympics subjects in a 36-minute interview with The Mirror newspaper while on his U.K. promotional tour. The following are highlights of Angle's interview.
-- Angle said he signed a new three-year contract with TNA last week. Angle emphasized his commitment to TNA, saying he's "here for the long haul," but TNA's three-year contracts have an out clause, so Angle could get out if he wants to.
-- Angle re-told the story about nearly quitting TNA and returning to WWE or going to UFC two years ago when the drama with Jeff and Karen Jarrett happened. He said he's glad he didn't leave TNA because he would have been "right back to working the grind in WWE, which is the last thing I want to do."
-- Angle said he recently came to a realization after eleven years in pro wrestling that he has to stop bumping like a madman in front of smaller audiences, which has put his health at risk. "In this past year, I'm like, 'Why am I doing this in front of these little house shows with 1,200 people when all they want to see is me; they just want to see me hit the Angle Slam?'"
As a result, Angle said he would want to wrestle Jeff Jarrett every night because he hasn't taken one bump during their house show matches the past four months with Jarrett doing his heel work to stretch out a 15-minute match.
-- Angle, who is prone to embellishment in interviews, said he "could have died" after Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb on the floor at the No Surrender PPV in September 2010. "I thought my stomach actually exploded," Angle said.
"You learn sometimes things are too dangerous. That was stupid, on both of our parts," he said. "If he would have missed me, he probably would have broken his tailbone. Him hitting me, if my stomach would have exploded, I would have died. The doctor told me right there, 'If your stomach exploded, you would have been dead.'"
Then, at the Lockdown PPV in April, Angle went for the top-of-the-cage moonsault on Jeff Jarrett that Angle chuckled at when the interviewer brought it up. Regarding the scarier spot where Jarrett dropped Angle on his head from the top rope, Angle said it was "an accident."
"I won't take anything on my head even though Jeff Jarrett dropped me on my head at Lockdown. That was an accident. You learn there are certain things you can't do."
-- Angle said it was his idea to incorporate the outside-the-ring drama with Jeff and Karen into TNA storylines. Angle said he proposed it to the writers because the "story had to be told."
Angle noted Karen was the most hesitant about the storyline. He said Karen wanted to get back on TV, but she wasn't sure this was the way to go.
-- Regarding the back-and-forth with Randy Orton on Twitter, Angle recapped the conversation he had with Orton after Orton used the Angle Slam at WrestleMania. Angle also noted he told Orton ahead of time he would use the RKO at Lockdown in response.
Angle said what upset him about Orton using the Angle Slam and Jack Swagger being built as the next Angle is that he's not retired. Angle said he used Ken Shamrock's anklelock when Shamrock retired from wrestling.
"That's got to be tough for him," Angle said about Swagger's role in WWE. "I know it's not him that thought about doing it. I know it's Vince McMahon saying, 'Let's build another Kurt Angle and pretend Kurt Angle doesn't exist.' Well, I do exist. I'm in Impact Wrestling. It's not like the company is not succeeding."
-- Angle talked in-depth about his aspirations for the 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London. Angle said he plans to "represent TNA" at the Olympics and TNA will be working with him on a part-time schedule.
"This brings my competitive spirit back in, and at the same time, I can pro wrestle. TNA is giving me all the time I need to train. They're giving me 25-20 days a month off," Angle said. "What better opportunity than to stick with pro wrestling, make the money I make in TNA, and represent TNA at the Olympic games?"
Angle contrasted that to his claimed opportunity with UFC two years ago. He said he couldn't come terms with UFC president Dana White, whereas he controls the terms of his Olympics quest.
"A couple years ago, when I had the personal problems in my marriage, I decided to call Dana White at that time. He offered me another extensive contract and I was getting ready to go - I took the UFC physical and passed it. I was getting ready to fight and we were getting determining starting dates. Unfortunately, Dana wanted me to get ready in four-and-a-half weeks, which just wasn't enough time. So, again, I backed out," Angle said.
"Then, I started getting backlash from the Internet and dirt sheets saying, 'Well, Kurt is full of it. He always says he's going to fight and doesn't fight.' That's because there were terms that weren't agreed upon. Now, I'm trying out for the Olympics and it's under my terms."
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