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Kurt Angle Reveals Why He Didn’t Initially Sign With WWE, & More

During a recent interview with PWInsider, Kurt Angle revealed why he didn’t initially sign with WWE, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On why he didn’t sign with WWE at first: “Well I wanted to sign, my agent wouldn’t let me. My agent was an NFL agent, his name is Ralph Cindrich and he repped a lot of the really big NFL athletes, so he was like, “You’re not doing this crap. FOX wants you to do a sportscasting job for FOX Pittsburgh, let’s get you that instead.” I wanted to sign a WWE deal because it was, you know, it was a really nice deal. For me, I never had money, you know, they’re giving me this multi-million dollar deal for 10 years and I thought it was a great opportunity but my agent said “No it’s crap – you’re real, they’re fake, don’t sign it,” and I sat on it, and after a couple of years I turned on RAW and I was glued to the TV. I loved the entertainment, the wrestling, the athleticism, you know, Stone Cold, Rock, Triple H, Undertaker, all those guys were doing their thing and I really, really enjoyed watching The Rock and Steve Austin and I decided I’m going to go in there and try to portray those two and ironically, you know, when I signed I didn’t train that long and I was on TV and my first two world titles were against both of them so you know, I went up the ladder pretty quickly. So long story short, you know, I didn’t take the deal back in ’96, the problem is when I took the deal in ’98, the money wasn’t there anymore, they gave me a $50,000 guarantee … They told me I’d have to earn it. I told them “I will earn it, don’t worry about that.” I told Vince I would be his top guy in a matter of two years and the rest was history.”

On how he was able to take to the business as quickly as he did: “You know what? I don’t know how or why, it just happened, um…I can tell you this – WWE right now, the way they train the wrestlers, they get them ready, I mean NXT is a great training now, it’s actually its own brand now but it’s a great training ground, they give you character development, promo skills, pre-tape skills, mat skills…we didn’t have that back then. We had the Dory Funk Dojo, it was 5 days a month and the rest of the month you were on your own, and that just wasn’t enough for me. I did that for I think 2 or 3 months and uh, so I told WWE “I need more practice, I don’t have a ring at home,” so they sent me to Memphis for about 5 or 6 months and while I was in Memphis I would do an opening card match down there, then I would fly up to RAW and Smackdown and do dark matches for WWE, so I did that for probably about 4 months and then they started me on TV.

The thing is, they never taught me anything with promo skills or pre-tapes or anything like that, it was just all wrestling, so I thought I was just going to be one of those guys who was on Main Event and you know, cause I was a very exceptional pro wrestler even the day I started, it just came real quick. My 3rd day I had a match and the match was pretty good, it was so good WWE was considering putting me on a pay per view that year. It was September when I had the match, the pay per view was in December, I think Steve Williams got hurt or something and they were considering using me against Stone Cold that early … and I was like “Whoa, I’m not ready. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, I’m picking up the technique and everything, the selling and the bumping and everything but I don’t know how to structure a match, I don’t know how to improvise, I don’t know anything”, and they said, “Well just listen to your partner.” So I listened to my partners the whole time, and when I became a good listener it made me a good leader, so you know I followed, followed, followed and then after a year on TV I was leading the matches, so it came really, really fast. To me it didn’t seem that fast but uh, when you look back you say wow, usually you don’t get to that level unless you’re in it for about 6 to 8 years, so I kind of caught on, for whatever reason I don’t know but it just happened.”


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