WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle Talks Team Angle With Shelton Benjamin

Though they weren't together for a long time, Team Angle, the three-man stable featuring Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin, and Charlie Haas, made an impact upon first forming in late 2002. Over the next several months, the trio would dominate "SmackDown" to the point that it looked like they'd become the brand's number one faction, with Angle holding the WWE Championship, while Haas and Benjamin would win the WWE Tag Team Championships in February.

On the latest episode of "The Kurt Angle Show," Benjamin stopped by to chat with Angle about their time together in Team Angle. Benjamin heaped praise on Angle for mentoring him and Haas during their time together, while still being open-minded regarding suggestions from the duo.

"Kurt was...he was our captain, he was our leader," Benjamin said. "But he made us feel like we mattered. We were part of a team. It was Team Angle, but it was...Kurt was like a brother. He's our big brother. He's not treating us like his lackeys or anything like that. Kurt is treating us like equals, and I think that played into why things worked so well between us. Like, we all just got along. 

"And one of the biggest honors that I personally had that early on was at one point, I remember Kurt, you had asked us, me and Charlie, 'Hey, how do you do something like that?' So it's like...in my head, he's already phenomenal, but he's asking for my advice or our advice. So it wasn't just 'Hey, follow my lead.' It's like 'Hey guys, what do you guys think?' So it was so much fun, and like I said, Kurt was...we couldn't have had a better guy at the helm. He was awesome."

Kurt Angle Blames Himself For Team Angle's Breakup

Despite the early success Team Angle would break up in June 2003, a little more than half a year after forming. The decision to break up Team Angle remains a sore spot for both Angle and Benjamin, who feel there was more for the unit to do. But while Benjamin remains unsure of who decided to disband the stable, Angle blames himself for it, believing the time he missed following WrestleMania recovering from a neck injury was the catalyst for the group's demise.

"It was my fault," Angle said. "I broke my neck, and when I came back, they were like 'Hey, we need to change stuff up. We're going to have you face Charlie and Shelton,' and it was like 'Wait a minute. We just started this.' We only went about six months...before they kind of split us up, maybe seven months? It wasn't long at all. We were really, really good. We could've been one of the greatest factions in history. We had something special, we had something really cool going on. And it just sucks that I got injured, and that's the reason why."

"It was disappointing for us too," Benjamin said. "Like I said, we were having so much fun with it. The fans loved it, we loved it. And honestly, I felt like we still had so much more to learn from Kurt. Just being under his tutelage. But...things happen, and whoever made the decisions, they weren't budging on it. I think we're all...I think I speak for Charlie when we all feel like 'Yeah, they broke us up way too soon."

If you use quotes in this article, please credit "The Kurt Angle Show" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription