On a recent episode of The Kurt Angle Show Podcast, the former Olympic Gold Medalist spoke about being drafted to ECW in 2006 when WWE decided to revive the company.
At the draft, Angle was chosen as the second wrestler for the revived brand behind Rob Van Dam. Angle spoke about why he believes Vince McMahon chose him to be one of the faces of ECW and talked about the comparisons he wanted to draw to the original ECW of the 90s.
“I believe that he picked me because ECW in the 90s had their top shooter in the company was the name and face of the company and that was Taz,” Angle said. “Vince saw me as the top shooter in the company in 2006 and I know he couldn’t do the things quite as risky and extreme as they did in the 90s so Vince wanted to at least do something that was identical to the company back then. I think he wanted to be as identical as he could up to a certain degree.”
On a previous podcast, Angle spoke about how Vince was able to convince him to join ECW by telling him that he would be the face of the company and make the same amount of money as if he were on RAW or SmackDown. Angle spoke about joining ECW as “The Wrestling Machine” character and not being a comedy act, saying it was his favorite character because it resembled his true self.
“The wrestling machine was my favorite character,” Angle said. “I actually liked it more than my Olympic hero character where I did a lot of comedy and I was kind of corny and an idiot. I really enjoyed doing that stuff but the wrestling machine was more me. That’s who I am and that’s what I was. I loved performing in those matches because it was all technical and that’s what I was all about. I wanted to portray myself as a wrestling machine. A wrestler in the ring that was the best wrestler in the world and I think I did a pretty good job of that. That’s what my ECW character was about, the wrestling machine.”
Unfortunately for Angle and the WWE, 2006 would be the last time Kurt would show his face in the WWE until his return in 2017 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and be RAW’s General Manager. Angle spoke about his time as a dark one in his life, saying he was dealing with his painkiller issue which caused him to send Vince nasty text messages while he was in ECW.
“Up until 2006 we were pretty close but my behavior became erratic,” Angle said. “I started behaving out of control, sending Vince text messages threatening to beat him up. I had the painkiller problem that nobody knew about, I was injured so much and I couldn’t take any time off because a lot of the other talent were injured, a lot of the top guys. I was kind of there to keep the product intact and mentally I was just losing it. I was texting Vince more and more and he wouldn’t respond and that pissed me off even more. After I joined ECW it got even worse.”
“[I sent those texts] because he wouldn’t get back to me. I understand why now, I wasn’t making any sense. When I went to a meeting with Vince after I decided to leave after ECW 2006, he had a whole list of text messages and I’m reading these saying ‘Gosh, I don’t remember texting this.’ It was really graphic, ‘I’m going to beat the sh** out of you.’ Some of the texts didn’t make sense, I was probably high on painkillers when I was sending them, it was just ridiculous. I was in awe, I remember looking at these texts going holy crap, I don’t remember saying any of this stuff. It was just a bad situation.”
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.