Bruce Prichard Recalls His First Meeting With Kurt Angle

– On a recent edition of his podcast (via, Bruce Prichard spoke about is first meeting with Kurt Angle, Angle’s first WWE contract, Vince McMahon’s hand in producing Angle’s vignettes, and more. Here are the highlights

On His First Meeting With Angle: “I met Kurt when he came in. First, he met with Vince. They all went in and met with Vince alone. Afterwards, Vince sent him into my office to talk to him a little bit more about the [professional wrestling] business and get a feel for what Kurt’s desires were, what he was really looking for, what he knew about the business, and what have you. And in that meeting, there was a comment made by Kurt that I kind of just ended the meeting because Kurt made it very clear that being an Olympic gold medalist that he couldn’t possibly ever lose a match. He’s the best there is and no one could ever beat him. No one would ever believe that he could lose a match. So I thanked Kurt for his time and I wished him very well with his gold medal and moved on.”

On Angles Attitude Changing: “I want to say Kurt reached out to the WWF at this point. I believe J.R. reached kind of extended the olive branch a little bit after Kurt had not been setting the world on fire with his sportscasting and pizza sales. So, ‘hey kid, if you’re still interested, we can come back and talk, come back to the table, maybe it ain’t so bad.’ And Vince, J.R., spoke with him and Kurt’s attitude had changed quite a bit.”

On Signing Angle to an 8-Year Deal: “This was more of a developmental deal as J.R. and I were posed with talent relations, we also were posed with the very real problem of ‘where in the hell is talent going to come from in the future?’, so we had to create our own talent and Kurt was a great first candidate for that because he had the pedigree, he had the gold medal, so bring Kurt into the developmental territory that we had, train him, and, hopefully, create our own star in Kurt Angle.” Prichard explained, “we didn’t want to train him, spend three years training him, put him on, let’s call it a three or four year deal. The first few years of that is training and that’s what it was. The first couple of years with Kurt, we got him in the ring, we sent him to Power Pro Wrestling in Memphis [Tennessee], but there was time that we had to teach him the business, so that was an investment. He was a big investment, an investment that paid off greatly.”

On Angles Real Athlete Tagline Upsetting Some of the Roster: “Emphasis on the word ‘real’, implying that every other athlete in the WWE is less than real, so it got the ire of quite a few people in the back, like, ‘what the f–k? Is he talking to me? Hell, I’m a real athlete. I’m a real wrestler. I mean, Steve Austin for one, looking at him like, ‘well, Goddamn, is this guy saying I ain’t real?’, so sure, everybody was, even The Undertaker felt it was demeaning and didn’t like the tone of the vignettes. Like, come on guys, it’s a work! But if you can get the talent upset about it and the talent feeling that, then you’ve got the audience.”

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