This week, WrestlingINC President Raj Giri caught up with WWE Hall Of Famer and Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. Among other things, Angle talked about things being different in WWE now, whether his current general manager role is preventing his in-ring return, and the AngleStrong app.
"Things are different today. I mean, I think that the WWE runs a wholly, a completely different program. I like the fact that they are more of a PG show. I think it helps from being a publicly traded company to selling merchandise to children, to being family oriented, and I love the fact that they've really got their stuff together with the Wellness Policy, the drug policy. It's a lot better atmosphere for the athletes and the WWE has been catering to the athletes in the past 10 years better than they ever did."
According to Angle, he does not expect to be performing in a WWE ring until the end of the year and that happening hinges on the outcome of a physical examination.
"I don't know about 'soon'. I think that the general manager role is going to last a little while. I don't think they want me to go any step further than that, but you do have to keep in mind that until I take the physical [no in-ring return will happen]." Angle continued, "I don't know when it's going to occur, but I'd say it'd most likely occur. But, I'd say probably near the end of the year is what I'm guessing and I really don't know."
Angle noted that he has not yet taken a physical to return to the ring. In Angle's estimation, WWE officials want to see how 'The American Hero' does for a little bit before letting him back into the squared circle as a competitor.
"I did hint to Triple H at the very beginning of our talks that I did want to wrestle again and he said, 'we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. You're going to have to take a physical and you're going to have to pass.' So he said, 'let's just take it one step at a time.' I really believe, and this was not mentioned by anybody, and this is my own belief, I really believe they want to see how I do. They want to see if I really am the person I say I am, that I've been staying clean for four years, that I've got my life together, that I have everything on track. It's a bit of a longer process, but you've got to earn back the trust."
With respect to the AngleStrong app, 'Mr. Intensity, Integrity, & Intelligence' recalled that he had the idea for an app that helps people in recovery connect with support around the clock for a few years before meeting counsellor, Dr. Harold Jonas, who already had the finished product.
"When you're in rehab, it's easy to stay clean no matter what anyone tells you. You go through detox. Once you go through detox, you're on a nice regimented diet, you're on a fitness program, you're going class, you learn about your disease, you go to sleep, you get eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. If you go to bed early, if you want to go a little later, but you're going to get your eight hours. It was the healthiest point in my life I've ever been and because there is structure. Once you're done, there's no structure in the real world and now you're in chaos again. And you're asking these people, recovering addicts, to stay clean once they've had one month, two months, three months of peace and structure. And now, you're telling them to go into an unstructured world and stay clean. That's why 95% of them, even more, 98% of them, relapse. It's just a fact of life. There's no aftercare. You have AA meetings and if you want to pay for a counsellor or a psychiatrist, which can be pretty costly, but if you're a father of five, and you're married, and you have a job, and you're working quite a bit, and you're active, it's hard to get to AA meetings every single day. I do highly condone AA meetings, but, at the same time, I don't believe it's enough structure for people to stay clean. So I thought about making it an app and having a program on a website that people can follow in initiative. So I looked for an app for a couple of years and I wanted to start creating my own and I ran into a gentleman called Jonas, Harold Jonas, from Tampa, I believe he is from Tampa Bay, Florida. And he already had the app. It was HIPAA-approved. It was an award-winning app. It did everything that I wanted the app to do and we decided to team up together, so we created the AngleStrong app and we brought it to the public in January."
We will have more from the interview this week. You can listen to the first part in the video above or the audio player below. The ANGLESTRONG App is $29.99 per month. Visit ANGLESTRONG.com for more information about the app, Kurt Angle and Sober Network Inc.
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