15 YRS AGO – Interview Highlights: Kurt Angle talks about his future in WWE, “You suck” chant, prospects off Lesnar match and Olympics return, his brother in developmental

Kurt Angle undergoes knee surgery
Kurt Angle (art credit Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


The following interview summary of Kurt Angle’s appearance on WWE’s “Byte This” internet talk show, written by By Michael KopStick for PWTorch, was published 15 years ago this week on PWTorch.com.

WWE Byte This review
December 13, 2002
What: Weekly Internet Talk Show at WWE.com
Hosts: Kevin Kelly and Dr Tom Prichard
Regular: Droz
Guests: “Chief” Sean Morley and Kurt Angle

They begin the show by recapping the Torrie/Dawn Marie angle, showing us all the necessary clips that involved the two divas, and then Kevin and Dr Tom welcome everyone to Byte This, sitting in front of a scenic backdrop of, what they claim to be, Stamford, Connecticut. They are also sans headsets, which is a nice improvement.

They hype Armageddon, as this show was taped Friday (but hasn’t been posted until today). Droz calls in to continue the hype for a bit, and then says adios.

Mike Sparks and Brian Hebner were the ones who got the privilege of holding Torrie back from fighting Dawn Marie on Smackdown. Dr Tom noticed that Sparks was holding his arm a little to close to Torrie’s chestal area. Kevin jokingly figures that it is because they are part of the Earl Hebner Virginia clan.

They play the clip of Sean Morley and Eric Bischoff in the middle of the ring at Raw interviewing Shawn Michaels and Triple-H before the pay-per-view, and then Morley is welcomed to the show.

Chief Morley says that he is enjoying his job very much. Kevin asks him how it feels working with Eric Bischoff, a man who was trying to put him out of business a few years ago. He replies that you can’t really hold it against him, because business is business. And the competition is good for the business, and good for Vince McMahon because he needs competition or else he won’t work as good.

He had a great time playing the Big Valboski, but the character overshadowed his ability in the ring, and he wants to get away from the character and eventually get back in the ring and let his wrestling speak for itself. Kevin adds that he never really pictured anyone saying “WWE Champion Val Venis,” whereas he wouldn’t think it odd to hear “WWE Champion Sean Morley.”

A few weeks ago, Bull Buchanan, B2, was on the show and reminisced about being in Right To Censor, saying that he missed it. Sean Morley also recalls those days with fondness, as it was a time when “we absorbed a lot of heat. It was an incredible feeling. We were doing our jobs as heels, we got the heat, but it seemed to die down quick. It seemed like the rug pulled from under us, so to speak. One thing I can say about it, though, that I did not like about Right To Censor, was wearing those ridiculous clothes; especially myself because I sweat like a pig out there. It stuck to me, I couldn’t breath, it was working in those clothes.” Dr Tom quips that it was probably because he wasn’t used to it since, in his previous identity, he wouldn’t be wearing any clothes.

Remember choppee choppee pee-pee? “I felt a little worried. I was hoping that Yamaguchi-san would be pretty accurate with that sword and miss me, and he did, and that was a good thing.”

“I think the main ingredient to the success of Val Venis was the controversy that came along with the character,” he suggests.

He admits that he’ll miss a few things from Smackdown, like wrestling with incredible competitors like Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Edge. But he likes Raw because he gets to have a new type of power that he’s never had before.

Kevin gives him space to shill his political views and plug his libertarian views. He reports that the libertarian party is the third largest party in the US. There are two similar parties in Canada. Their basic objective is to “shrink the government down.” He finds Canada’s system of health care terrible because the government is responsible for the citizens, whereas he believes that the people should be responsible for themselves.

Sean has no plans to run for any government office at the present time as he is purely focused on his wrestling duties. When he gets older and is all banged up then maybe he will go on a political journey, he surmises.

Val goes and they play the main event match from Smackdown this past Thursday.

Kurt Angle, before he wins the WWE Championship at Armageddon, is the guest on Byte This. He is calling from home where he gets to be with his new apple of his eye, his newly born daughter. Thankfully his good wife Karen allows him to sleep at night and takes that shift to care for the child.

They talk about his upcoming (at the time) match with the Big Show, and the “strategy” that Kurt is going to employ to defeat the seven-footer. Trivia note: He says that he has never beaten the Big Show.

Hey, Kurt you’re the best! And you suck! “At first, it kind of got to me and I would think ‘ok, maybe these fans really do think I suck,’ but I started thinking and after a while I noticed the respect that I started receiving from the fans and because of that respect I think that’s why they’re just singing along now. It’s kind of an identifiable thing for me. Now when I come out the fans chant ‘You Suck’ out of respect, and I find that utterly amazing that when they like me, they’re chanting ‘You Suck.'”

He says that he might enjoy wrestling pro more than amateur because, with the latter, he would put too much pressure on himself. With Sports Entertainment, he is just learning and having a blast with it.

They discuss the incredible prospects coming out of Ohio Valley Wrestling, which Kurt compliments as future superstars. His brother, Eric, also down in OVW, is out with an injury that Kurt says is due to the wear and tear from wrestling amateur, which he is still in the process of getting out of his system. Although Kurt admits that his brother hasn’t been picking up things very quickly, he is still a hard worker and is “improving solidly” and he is hoping to see him on TV in about a year.

For someone who would like to get stronger, Kurt doesn’t suggest bodybuilding but rather football training, since bodybuilding only builds you up but doesn’t make you more powerful in strength.

Does he think that he currently has a legitimate shot at the Olympics? “Not really, not right now. Would I? If I stepped in there in January and basically trained for the next 18 months, I would have a chance. No one has gone away from the sport for eight years and come back for 18 months and has won a gold medal. The percentage is zero, my shot is very small. But what I want to do, if I do go back, and I’ll have to decide within the next four to six weeks, is I want to go back and I have to do my best. And I’m going to have to take each match and each tournament one at a time. If I enter my first tournament and I place six, then that’s fine with me as long as in the next tournament I pace a little higher. What it comes down to is getting ready for the Nationals in 2004, the Olympic tryouts in 2004, and the Olympics in 2004. And if I go to the Olympics and make the Olympic team but I don’t medal, it won’t ruin my experience because even making the Olympic team is a dream come true and it’s a one in a million shot. Anything I can do, any impact I can make, I’ve already won a gold medal, no one can take that away from me. From here on in it’s basically gravy.

Kurt believes that he and Brock Lesnar will have a great and intense match one day down the line. He just has to “get by the Big Show” to get to him.

He claims that he doesn’t use the moonsault anymore because, as a former amateur wrestler, it doesn’t fit his repertoire. He also points out that it is very risky to do and, although, he is already risking his health each time he steps in the ring, he wants to minimize this risk and ensure that he is able to perform at the best of his ability come the pay-per-views. He also admits to attaining a leg injury once, a year and a half ago, because of using the move (however he doesn’t mention the fact that he felt terrible about putting Bob Holly on the shelf for about a year because of the moonsault and that this was the main reason he decided to curtail the maneuver). So it is basically a health thing, he assures us.

If there was anyone on the Raw roster that he could choose to wrestle he would pick Shawn Michaels.

About his new daughter, “That little girl means more to me than the Olympics, or anything I’ve ever done. I’ll never trade anything in the world. She’s changed my priorities.”

He has four dogs and three cats and they’re learning to accept baby Kira. They are vying for attention but they have been good about it.

After Kurt goes, Josh Mathews, Smackdown’s new announcer joins the show, looking a lot more comfortable than he was the last time he was on as a host. He discusses Tough Enough and talks about one of the competitors, Jonah, learning how to respect wrestling.

He says he was only ribbed a little bit so far, for example when the techies in the truck asked him to sit down and the seat was soaking wet. Dr Tom was also the recipient of this prank once even though he has been in this business for 27 years, but who’s counting.

They hype the pay-per-view and Kevin mentions that Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit have only wrestled against each other in singles competition twice before in WWE, which was twice on Raw in 2001.

After hyping the pay-per-view some more, Dr Tom asks him if he misses being in the ring. Inhale and exhale leads to “Sometimes. Like when I’m watching.” But then he realizes that “longevity-wise I can do this longer, unless they fire me.” But he admits he does like doing what he does now.

Joshy says bye-bye and Kevin hypes next week’s last Byte This of 2002 which will feature many surprise guests including one huge surprise (I’m guessing Mick Foley) that he won’t even tell Dr Tom about.

They sign off by bantering about drugs in Canada and the show ends with an Anthology clip.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT FLASHBACK: 20 YEARS AGO: Bischoff takes digs at “poor little Vince McMahon,” the “dismal failure” of Jim Ross WCW track record, and Cornette who “industry has passed by”

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