On the latest episode of The Kurt Angle Podcast, the Olympic Gold Medalist spoke about his time in WWE doing comedic segments like singing with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, wearing a tiny cowboy hat with Vince McMahon and Austin, and mocking both Shawn Michaels and John Cena.

Around the time of his WrestleMania 21 match with Shawn Michaels, “The Wrestling Machine” Kurt Angle was born and the former Olympian ditched the comedy and took on a more serious persona. Angle spoke about doing comedy throughout his career and why it stopped.

“I loved doing the comedy stuff,” Angle said. “I would’ve done it my whole entire career. If it was my choice, I would’ve stuck with it. Vince McMahon decided he wanted me to be taken more seriously, due to [the fact that] I was an Olympic Gold Medalist and a real life badass.

“He decided that my hair vs. hair match with Edge, that would be the transition, even though I wore a wig for a couple weeks after that and still did some comedy stuff. That was the end of it, the very end of my comedy acts with the WWE. When Edge shaved my head and that transition, I went from Kurt Angle to dork, the comedy guy to Kurt Angle the wrestling machine. That’s the direction that Vince wanted me in.”

Angle said Vince saw him in his role “The Wrestling Machine” as the next Bret Hart, who Angle was very complimentary of on a previous podcast. He believes Vince was also planning to push Angle as the company’s top star. Of course that never happened due to Angle leaving the company in 2006, citing all the injuries he had suffered as to the reason for his departure.

“Yes, I think that was the whole idea,” Angle said. “He saw an Olympic Gold Medalist. I stayed out of trouble at the time, at that particular time I didn’t stay out of trouble for good and that’s what got me. [That’s] why the interest strayed away from me in WWE, is when I started getting the injuries and the painkiller problem. I started getting less interest from the big guy and John Cena started to transpire and he kind of took over my spot which I don’t blame the company for.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.