The New York Post has published an interview with TNA Wrestling star Kurt Angle discussing his Olympic aspirations. The interview includes discussion of his professional wrestling career, and he explains how he made the transition between the professional and amateur ranks.
“It was a complete career adaptation. It wasn’t a step above, going from amateur wrestling to pro wrestling, it was going from real wrestling to sports entertainment,” Angle said. “A lot of people put me up there as far as saying he’s one of the best ever. And I’ve only been wrestling for 11 and a half years. I think that Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, guys who have put 30 years into it deserve it. Me getting that praise after only 11 years—it’s not fair.”
Though Kurt Angle has not competed inside a WWE ring in over five years, his impact is still seen today. The Olympic Gold Medalist, however, does not appreciate his moves and style being replicated.
“When Jack Swagger copies my ankle lock and Randy Orton does my Angle Slam, it’s disrespectful,” Angle said. “I didn’t come up with the Ankle Lock, Ken Shamrock came up with the Ankle Lock but I waited until he retired to do the Ankle Lock. That company has no respect for me.”
Despite his displeasure with WWE grapplers using his moves, Angle is grateful that he has been able to parlay Vince McMahon’s vision for him into a successful career in both WWE and TNA Wrerstling.
“I love Vince McMahon. He came up with the Kurt Angle character,” Angle said. “He ran with it and then I was able to run with it. I thank him for the opportunity he gave me. Vince McMahon was one of my best friends, period. Now I’m loyal to Dixie Carter.”