Kurt Angle Celebrates All He’s Done for Real Wrestling

Kurt Angle grew up a high school football and wrestling star in Western Pennsylvania who dreamed of playing linebacker or safety for Pitt or Penn State. Angle even had a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers after winning an Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling in 1996. But while the Steelers play the Chargers on Monday Night Football tonight, Angle will be starring on the WWE’s Monday Night RAW.

Do you keep in touch with people from USA Wrestling?

Oh yeah, I keep in touch with those guys, I try to promote Olympic wrestling as much as possible. Half the reason I joined WWE was to expose amateur wrestling. Every time I walk out to the ring, everybody knows who I am and where I came from. You can’t get any better exposure than that. It’s been a win-win situation for everybody, even though USA Wrestling was a little bit tentative about me joining, because they thought I was selling out. I’m in sports entertainment now, I’m not in real wrestling, but I’m exposing amateur wrestling to every single kid out there that wants to be Kurt Angle, and there’s a bunch of ’em.

So has USA Wrestling come around?

They’ve changed their mind, they said, ‘Holy smokes, this kid is actually good.’ I’m not only one of the best amateur wrestlers of all time, I’m very entertaining as well. They never saw that in me because as an amateur wrestler you’re trained to show no emotion, like a robot, like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. Go, do your job, win, raise your hand and walk off the mat. And I’m not like that. I’m an emotional person.

Did you ever bust out the “Angle Slam “during a football game?

No. I was actually a better football player than I was a wrestler, but I liked the one-on-one attention with wrestling, that’s what really got me. I was known for hitting the hell out of people and hurting people. I’d walk by my coaches and say, ‘If Ohio State stops by just tell ’em I’m in room 411.’ I’d be real arrogant about it.

Where’d you get offered scholarships?

Pitt offered me then backed out, I was really upset about that. West Virginia recruited me very hard, so did Penn State. Joe Paterno said I was too short, it made me very upset. In football they have this safety valve; pick the prototype player, 6-5, 240 pounds. If he pans out, great. If he doesn’t pan out, you say, ‘Hey, he was 6-5, 240 pounds, runs a 4.6 40, how could you go wrong? He’s just a [wimp].’ That’s where football is going wrong. They don’t get the smaller guys with heart. If they did that, they’d get a lot more guys with a lot bigger hearts, like me.

So have you followed Brock Lesnar’s attempts to make it in football?

Oh yeah. Honestly, I thought Brock would make it. I thought Brock had the ability to be a tremendous football player. I have a lot of respect for Mike Tice, but I think he’s a moron for not picking Brock. He is so agile, so quick, so smart. It doesn’t matter about all these little techniques, he could pick that up. He’s been a wrestler his whole life – technique in football is [nothing] compared to technique in wrestling. If Mike Tice had any brains in his head he’d have signed Brock Lesnar and he’d be starting this year. As far as Brock leaving our company, I have no respect for that. Brock quit on us and I don’t have any respect for Brock for doing that.

The moments before a SummerSlam or WrestleMania, does that feel anything like getting ready for a football game?

Nothing is more exciting than WrestleMania or SummerSlam. The only thing I can compare it to is the Olympics, and the only problem is with the Olympics, I can’t remember a damn thing. My mind was so focused, I can’t remember who I wrestled, I can’t remember the match, I can’t remember receiving the award. It was my dream I always wanted to come true, and when it did I was in a state of shock. It wasn’t even that I was happy – I was relieved. People don’t understand how hard amateur wrestlers work. Put it this way, if we’re ever in a bar and we’re having a few drinks, stay away from us, because amateur wrestlers are the baddest dudes on the planet. I’ve seen 118-pound wrestlers beat up pro football players. They’re just intense, mean sons of [guns]. Any pro football will tell you that amateur wrestlers are tough bastards. It’s because of their training, they’re animals. If you’re an amateur wrestler, you’re stupid enough to abuse your body. The training is not training, it’s complete and utter abuse. You train until you’re exhausted and ready to fall on your face, and that’s when the training begins. Pro football players don’t do that.

So what pro sports star would make the best pro wrestler?

You know what, Deion Sanders would be a tremendous pro wrestler, I’d love to have that son of a [gun] in our company. Charisma, I’d take any athlete with charisma. Jeremy Shockey would be one of the biggest bad guys we’ve ever had. Brian Urlacher would be a Stone Cold Steve Austin-type guy. Warren Sapp would be tremendous because of his charisma. T.O. would be awesome.

See, I think it’s T.O. I think he was masterful this summer.

He caused a negative impact on football, but what he did was he made a spotlight out of himself. That’s what wrestling’s all about. T.O. would be perfect for wrestling.

Would he be a good guy or a bad guy?

Oh gosh, he’d be a bad guy first, then he’d be a good guy, because he’s so damn arrogant. Ray Lewis would be great too. Actually, I want you to put this in your column: I would love to take on Ray Lewis at WrestleMania 22. Make sure you put the word out. Tell him I want his [hide] at WrestleMania 22. I think he’s the most dominant player in the NFL and I’m the most dominant wrestler in the WWE. I think that would draw huge, huge pay-per-view buys.

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One comment

  1. To whom it may concern,
    I am a Head Coach and instruct freestyle, greco roman, and folk style wrestling. I have my own wrestling pedigree,but it isn’t even in the same league as Kurt Angle. Thank God. Kurt Angle is a waste. What kind of role model is this clown? The kind I point out to my kids. I say, take a look at what a little bit of money and TV exposure can do for you. He has an audience and a platform on which he could send a positive message. Instead he chose money. He chooses to batter women,talk using profanity,and use his really past Olympic statis to promote himself. Not Amatuer wrestling. He is not the best amateur wrestler,not even in my top twenty. He could have a very large audience with other high school,and youth wrestling coaches support. I know that there are some coaches that disagree with my interpretation of Kurt Angle. But, for the most part I find support among my peers. My kids are not taught to respond to their achievements without emotion. Good or bad I want them to let it out. But,there is a time and place for everything. And that’s where manners and being a gentleman comes into play. We have enough multi-million dollar degenerates in other sports.I have high expectations for this sport.And I expect our kids NOT to act like Kurt Angle. We have one rule on our teams. “To always conduct ourselves as a Lady or Gentleman.” If they ever have a question as to what a gentleman is supposed to do, they are to ask me. All Kurt Angle has done for wrestling? You don’t get to be on TV and, “portray an idiot who can’t put a sentence together without using profanity”,and expect young kids not to associate YOU with YOUR actions.Especially when you’re a wrestler portraying a wrestler.It is a sad testament to our society when we honor those who fake it when there are REAL HERO’S who don’t.
    I guess Angle has forgotten what it was like.Money has a way of working on you that way. There’s and old Irish saying
    ” Profanity is an ignorant mans way of expressing himself.” Spend $10 out of all that money you make and buy a Thesaurus. Thank you for listening,
    Coach Mark McGowan

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