On the debut edition of The Kurt Angle Show, Kurt Angle discussed his first meeting with Vince McMahon, his match with Owen Hart in 1999, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Kurt Angle on his first meeting with Vince McMahon in 1996: “I didn’t know what I was getting into. Going up there and them giving me the whole limo treatment and first-class airfare and treating me like an important person – it was pretty cool. They show up and going into Vince’s office and talking to him was a bit overwhelming. I knew of him and knew he was and what’s he accomplished, and to meet with him, he straight up gave me a 10-year deal. This is what it is, and this is what you’re gonna get. Take it or leave it. I asked him if I could talk to my agent first before I decided, and Vince said that’s fine. The meeting wasn’t that long, but I told him I was interested. I didn’t know if I was gonna sign or not.”
On how watching RAW changed his attitude towards pro wrestling: “When I got to WWE, my attitude changed. I started getting what it’s all about and understanding it. It was actually in early 1998, I started watching it on TV. I started watching Monday Night RAW. What caught me was Austin, Rock, Undertaker, Triple H – it was a fun show to watch, and they were very athletic. I was really surprised at their athleticism. Seeing them go through the ring, the issue was, I still thought it was a bunch of stunts. I didn’t know there was psychology and storytelling involved. So, I just thought I was gonna go back to WWE eventually, do my job and do my stunts, and go home. That’s what I thought – pro wrestlers were Hollywood stuntmen. I didn’t understand there was some wrestling involved in pro wrestling. It was an eye-opening experience for me.”
On learning from Christian: “Christian was vital for me because he was also very knowledgable. He was a young guy that I could grow a relationship with and have a strong relationship with him and learn more from him. He and I had a tryout match – that match I had with him was only my second month….it was Christian’s tryout match for TV, and it was against me. I didn’t know what I was doing. Christian had to rely on me, but because he couldn’t rely on me, he had to rely doubly on himself. He had to carry me through the match and it was his tryout match to get on TV, which didn’t make any sense. I didn’t know why it was me. We ended up having a great match. He talked me through the whole thing. When I started out, I was a great listener, and in order to be great leader, you need to be a great follower. You have to learn how to listen, keep your mouth shut, listen to the advice, and take it as it is. I was really good at that, so I became a great leader a couple of years later, and Christian taught me that.”
On his match with Owen Hart in 1999 and his pick for the best in-ring worker that he worked with: “The match was incredible. Owen carried me through the whole thing. He came up with some great ideas, and the crazy thing was, he would audible during the match. He would switch moves around and let me know ahead of time what we were doing, but he would adjust. He’s the first person I ever went in the ring with that would change the match and adjust just because of the fan reaction. The other person was Stone Cold Steve Austin. He could adjust to anything. He was the best in-ring worker I ever worked with. He’s very underrated in the ring, but Owen was one of the best too. He was a great in-ring worker, and he could call the matches in the ring. He could plan then beforehand. He was so versatile, and he could wrestle any style. That’s what made him so valuable.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.