During a special Q&A episode of The Kurt Angle Podcast, the WWE Hall of Famer spoke about Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson and his potential with the company. We saw Steveson get put on RAW during the WWE Draft but has yet to make a major impact with the company. Steveson was also in attendance for this past weekend’s WWE Day One pay per view along with his brother Damon Kemp.
Kurt Angle talked about the pressure Steveson will have on him once he starts his career off, given the hype surrounding him. He also mentioned why he sees Gable having tons of success with the company given he’s able to figure out the character side of things.
“Gable Steveson is a phenomenal athlete, especially for his size,” Angle said. “The kid is a super athlete, I think he’s going to adapt well to pro wrestling. The only issue is I don’t know his personality. I don’t know how open he is, if he’s able to come up with a great character that people will relate to or that people will absolutely hate.
“You can be a great wrestler but if you don’t have the character and the promo skills, you’re going to be stuck in the mud. Someone like Gable Steveson, who is an Olympic Gold Medalist, they’re going to bring him in larger than life. A lot of pressure is going to be put on him just like it was for me. I think Gable is going to do a good job, I think he’s going to adapt very well and I think he’s going to have a lot of success in WWE.”
The comparisons between Steveson and Angle are clearly there, given their amateur wrestling backgrounds and Olympic Gold Medal success. Though many have made that comparison, Gable took to Twitter to say he’s “Not the next Kurt Angle,” while Angle sees Steveson being the next Brock Lesnar if he’s able to pick it up as well as the former UFC Champion did.
The 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist continued to talk about his time in TNA and one of his favorite opponents in Nigel McGuiness. Angle mentioned why Nigel could’ve been a WWE Champion had injuries not derailed his career, and revealed why he would’ve loved to face him at a WrestleMania.
“Nigel was so talented, it was endless what success he would have,” Angle said. “This kid just had some really bad luck. He had something wrong with him, a certain disease and that’s what held him back. I know before he went to TNA, WWE was going to sign him and he ended up blowing out his shoulder so they held off on signing him and he ended up going from ROH to TNA. He did phenomenally, I loved working with him. The problem was he was so damn good and aggressive that he didn’t know how to give back. He would take my arm and crank it and put it behind my back but he’d put me in a hold where I couldn’t reverse him. I taught him a few things on how to open up for counters so people can get their offense in but Nigel was incredible.
“We had an awesome match, our three matches were incredible and it was one of my favorite programs I worked in TNA or even in WWE. I wish that my match with him would’ve been on the biggest stage at WrestleMania. That’s how good Nigel McGuiness was. I have a lot of respect for the kid and I think his future, if he didn’t have that disease, he would’ve gone on and become WWE Champion. He really would have, he had all the tools. He could talk, he could cut promos, his in-ring skills were phenomenal and I absolutely love the kid.”
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.
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