Kurt Angle has been widely regarded as one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time, but he is also known for being a great entertainer. Angle has been a part of some classic skits like “Milk-o-Mania” and “Sexy Kurt”.
During a recent episode of his podcast, The Kurt Angle Show, Angle talked about performing memorable skits and the feeling he got when they were a hit. The former Olympic gold medalist noted that when he nailed it, it’s something that made him happier than actually wrestling.
“It’s like hitting a grand slamming, it’s like winning the Super Bowl, it’s like winning an Olympic gold medal,” Angle said. “When you nail it, and you know you did, you can’t be happier. I enjoyed doing that more than wrestling and you know how much I love getting in the ring and wrestling. Being entertaining was the most important thing to me and I got away from it for a while and got into the more intense, wrestling machine Kurt Angle and that’s because Vince McMahon wanted me to start portraying myself as more serious.
“I loved making an ass out of myself and throwing myself out there, that’s the biggest test to show your confidence. If you can go out there and perform and do stuff you’re not doing, and you can do it pretty well, that’s a sign of somebody who has talent.”
Angle discussed Vince McMahon finding out that he had an entertaining side to him on top of him being a fantastic in-ring wrestler. He said once McMahon found that out about him, he was ready to push Kurt to the moon.
“Vince McMahon, when I started he didn’t know the talent that I had,” Angle said. “He thought I was just going to be a technical wrestler but when I proved myself that I could be entertaining, that’s when the lightning bolt went off in his head and he said I have someone special right here, I’m going to continue to use him and push him very hard.
“Me showing I was just as good an entertainer as I was a technical wrestler gave Vince the confidence to start utilizing me on more entertaining segments. It was a huge compliment from Vince but he did the right thing. I was pretty good at it, it was a lot of fun and I had fun doing it.”
Angle talked about getting labeled by some as a wrestler who worked stiff. He said the only time he ever worked stiff was during “The Kurt Angle Invitational” with enhancement talent, which was used to build towards his WrestleMania 21 match with Shawn Michaels.
“I did when I did the Kurt Angle invitationals,” Angle said. “Vince McMahon wanted me to be really stiff, he wanted me to lay in. I laid into these guys, it was a bully technique and Vince wanted me to bully everybody during the invitational and I did that. That’s the only time I ever laid into talent.”
Prior to the match at WrestleMania 21, Angle said Shawn Michaels approached him and told him he wasn’t afraid of him and would fight him for real if he had too. Kurt said he was in shock to hear Michaels say that and doesn’t really know why he made sure to come up to him and tell him that.
“I was in shock,” Angle said. “The last time I really spoke to Shawn before that was Survivor Series where I told him ‘Hey, you’re pretty good.’ I didn’t know Shawn, he was out when I started with injury and he didn’t come back till a couple years after. The next time I see him he knows he’s wrestling me and decides to come up and I guess he just wanted to tell me he’s not afraid of me.
“He said ‘Listen, I’m not scared of you. If it goes down, it goes down. I’m not afraid to fight you.’ I was like okay, I don’t know why you’re saying this but alright I respect that. I guess because I was a shooter and I had a little bit of a reputation of being stiff in the ring so I think that might have added to it. I respected that, I was shocked because I’ve been professional up until then, I was in the company for 5 years and never did anybody wrong and not sure why he said it. It was the shock factor, it was really crazy that he said this to me, it blew my mind.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.