The One Sided Ring Podcast
Kurt Angle has vowed NOT to follow in the footsteps of fellow wrestling legends The Rock and Steve Austin — by insisting he’ll never return to the WWE.
Instead, in another exclusive SunSport interview, Kurt has pledged his future to TNA.
Although the Olympic gold medallist — who has been with Dixie Carter’s company for four-and-a-half years — did admit he may well scale down his level of involvement in wrestling.
Angle, 42, told us: “My contract comes up in August/September. I’m going to re-evaluate.
“But I am NOT going anywhere else. I will stay in TNA, I just need to see how much I’m going to be wresting for them, whether part time or whatever amount of time, but I’m very happy in TNA.
“A lot of my fans have been asking ‘When are you going back to WWE?’ but I will retire here.
“I’m very excited about the product, the company keeps growing and I like to think I’ve been a small part of it. I’m going to stick around and hopefully I’ll do something part time when my contract is up.
“I think Dixie Carter and myself need to sit down and work it out. I’m not against even working every PPV.
“I just know that I can’t continuously go on the road and wrestle hundreds of days a year. I’m not able to any more. Not if I’m to be able to perform the way they want me to.”
Angle will be appearing at TNA’s huge Lockdown event, which the company have released exclusive UK travel packages for including flights, accommodation and even breakfast with the wrestlers.
He is also a very busy man outside of the wrestling ring. His fiancé recently gave birth to their first daughter prematurely, causing Angle to dash home from the TNA European tour to be by her side.
He also runs a health food provider and has a 30 per cent share in a film production company, North Shore Pictures.
North Shore’s latest offering, River of Darkness, sees Angle play a small town sheriff investigating a series of grisly murders, and also stars Kevin Nash and Sid “Vicious” Eudy.
Kurt is clearly relishing being an actor, but in typical Angle fashion, he isn’t content with simply reading his lines.
He said: “We’re going to do two films a year — and I’ll star in all of them, of course!
“We’re thinking about getting TNA involved, so we might have a TNA wrestler starring in it as a supporting actor, but we don’t want it to be just wrestlers. We want actors who are non-wrestlers too.
“I’m very serious about our company. I’m a 30 per cent owner so I have a vested interest in making sure we do the right things.
“But I’d like to build the wrestlers on a different platform by giving them an opportunity to be in the movies which they wouldn’t normally be, and show their skills in other forms.
“I love wrestling, I really do, but as much as I love wrestling I love acting even more, and I just want to make sure this company does the right thing.
“I also have my food company, Angle Foods, and I’ve been really busy mixing the wrestling with the movies and the food company. My head’s been spinning, and now I have a new little baby girl.
“My life has changed dramatically, but for the better. I have to say I’m a lot busier, but at least I’m not taking as many bumps!”
Wrestlers turning to acting is a topical issue. WWE is abuzz from the return of The Rock in an angle with John Cena — a feud which has joint origins of WrestleCast and Hollywood.
Angle — who stays in contact with Dwayne Johnson — is happy to see his former colleague back involved in wrestling.
He told us: “I think it’s great. I honestly believe that Rock misses wrestling. He loves the fans. He comes back partially to promote his movies, but the other part is his passion for the fans. He loves being out there and doing things live.
“He actually performs better when he is out in front of a crowd live. That’s The Rock. I heard he cut a promo on Cena and I texted him saying I heard about it, and heard it was great. He’s always been the best promo guy I’ve ever known.”
Of late, Angle has been embroiled in a feud with Jeff Jarrett in which art is imitating real-life.
Off-screen Jarrett is married to Angle’s ex-wife Karen, and the whole situation has proved irresistible to TNA writers, who have transitioned the drama to the screen and the ring.
Some have suggested the angle is in bad taste, others find it compelling. But how does the man at the centre of it all feel about working with Jarrett?
Angle admitted: “From a professional standpoint I think Jeff is one of the better wrestlers in TNA.
“But I’m not going to lie, we’ve had our personal differences. At one point I asked for a release here. Basically the choice was it would be me or Jeff, but they pulled Jeff off the air for a while and kept me on.
“As time went on and everybody’s wounds healed, I was fine with Jeff coming back and my life seemed to be better.
“I found a woman I truly love and want to spend the rest of my life with. Jeff also found a woman — you know who it is — so it actually worked out for the better in the long run.
“I have mixed feelings. For me I don’t have any pride as a character. I might give a little bit too much of myself to make the other wrestler look better. I wasn’t worried it damaging my character as a wrestler.
“A lot of fans are upset and against what is going on — but they are watching.
“As much as I respect Jeff as a wrestler, as a person it’s kind of hard to get close to him. When something like that happens, you start to question them. Do you trust them? That was the hardest part.
“How do I trust somebody that ended up with my former wife?”