Source: The Void
Mike Shaw has a great interview on The-Void.co.uk with Kurt Angle. In the interview, he claimed that he almost fought Kimbo Slice in the UFC and more. Here are some highlights:
The TNA brand change: "I love the change in brand. I went to Dixie Carter about a year ago and said "We've got to change some things. We're starting to do too much talking and not enough wrestling on TV." Also there are a lot of difficulties in our matches, because many of them didn't have finishes – there was always a DQ or a run-in. I told her, 'If you want to get the viewers watching and you want to get our numbers up, then we need great matches with great finishes.'
"It was like the only time we had finishes were at the pay-per-views, they were always protecting the wrestlers by not having a finish, but in wrestling, anyone can beat anybody on any given day, so why not have finishes on TV? People want to see the finish of the match. They don't want to see matches get DQd because someone ran in or someone used a chair. That was an issue I had, they started cleaning that up and started having finishes and ratings went up, thank God. Now we're doing more wrestling, less talk and delivering great matches.
"We are wrestling. Wrestling matters. We even changed our name to Impact Wrestling. We went the opposite way to the WWE. They said 'We're entertainment,' but the thing is, you can't take the wrestling out of pro-wrestling because no matter what angle, what storyline, or what beef you have with your opponent, you always end up in the ring. That's the climax – you end up in the ring at a pay-per-view."
On sports entertainers: "I find it offensive when (WWE chairman & CEO) Vince McMahon makes everybody use that term. We train to wrestle. Sure it would be nice to have great actors on TV for the storylines, but wrestling has to come first. The acting comes second. You need to be able to cut a good promo, you need to be able to have a good character with charisma, you need to be able to act fairly well, but most importantly you need to be a great wrestler.
"I've seen guys who've made a great living from wrestling alone, who don't even talk… like The Undertaker. All he says is 'You. Me. Summerslam.' And there you go, that's your match. You can do all the acting and all the entertaining you want, but at the end, you've gotta wrestle."
On his future: "The future at TNA is wrestling, wrestling, wrestling, wrestling," said Angle. "I've signed a new three year deal with TNA. The rumour was I was going back to WWE, but that's not happening. I'm staying here until I retire.
"A lot of people say 'Why don't you go back to WrestleMania and retire there?' and that's not a bad idea. But I look at it and think 'I want to stay in TNA for the rest of my life.' I'm always going to have a job there. Either as an ambassador, talent relations, a writer, a booker, maybe office personnel, I'm always going to have a job there. Why walk away from that just to have a retirement match at WrestleMania? It is a big deal – I think WrestleMania is the grandpa of them all and it'd be a great way to go out, but it's not worth it to me to risk my lifetime job at TNA."