Kurt Angle Talks TNA Name Change, Chyna's Debut, TNA Being 'WWE-Lite' & More
Source: Busted OpenKurt Angle conducted an exclusive hour-long interview with Busted Open, which will air this Monday, May 16th, starting at 2pm ET on Sirius 92 and XM 207. Doug Mortman, Dave LaGreca and Angle talk about Chyna's debut, the TNA name change, his new contract, the state of pro wrestling, and so much more in a candid and revealing sit-down.
Here are some excerpts of what you'll hear Monday:
On the name change to Impact Wrestling. Is TNA gone? "Gone, yeah. Impact Wrestling is the new name of the company. I personally believe in it because when it comes down to it, you can't take the word wrestling out of pro wrestling. Any storyline, or any feud...when you do that, it's entertainment and you're doing the storylines, but where does it ultimately end up? In the wrestling ring. At the PPV, the payoff. So how can you take wrestling out of pro wrestling….you can't. That's what they (the fans) buy tickets for. They buy tickets to watch guys wrestle. Not to be actors and entertain us. They pay to watch great wrestling."
On Vince McMahon disagreeing with Angle's opinion: "Hey, you know what, it's a boost for us. If he wants to go that way, we'll go the other way."
On Hulk Hogan and the perception that TNA has become 'WWE-lite': "Yes, I believe when we brought in Hulk Hogan, and I will say this from the bottom of my heart, I love Hulk Hogan. He is a great addition to our company. But he too realizes that it can't be 'total nonstop talk'. We have a lot of characters on the show that don't wrestle. Some that wrestle every once in awhile, but really ultimately you're talking about Dixie Carter being on the show sometimes. You got Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Mick Foley. I mean I'm just naming a few that don't wrestle and they're on the show all the time. You start seeing a little too much talking and not enough wrestling. We are now in the process of going to more wrestling.
"Beer Money matches with Motor City Machine Guns. You couldn't beat that. My matches with A.J. Styles….you can't beat that. Those are the kinds of things I've talked to Dixie Carter personally about. I said I would rather give the fans great matches on TV, incredible five stars matches, right now, even if our pay-per-views suffer. I rather do that now and get our ratings up, and then work on our pay-per-views, then try to get pay-per-views now and have our ratings stay down. It's better to have wrestling on the shows because it's different. It's not like the other company."
On Chyna's debut: "She looked good. She looked healthy too. You know what, even though we only had 1,400 people there, the response that just came from those fans sent a big message to Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter, and myself as well, that Chyna will always be a huge name. It was cool because when they introduced her…people were like 'holy, no way. Chyna. She's coming. Oh my God,' and then she came out and she looked good. It was like, she is back. It was one of the feel-good moments for Impact Wrestling.
"I mean, Chyna is going to cause a ruckus in Impact Wrestling. I hope they have her wrestle the guys. Impact Wrestling is very pro-women as far as women wresting women. I remember when Awesome Kong (Kharma) came in and I told Jeff Jarrett I want to wrestle her right now. Let me put me over. He's like 'no, she's going with women'. I believe Chyna should go with the guys eventually."
Once again, you can hear the entire hour-long conversation Monday at 2pm ET on Sirius 92 and XM 207.