Angle Says AEW Appearance Is “Off The Table”, Talks McMahon Choosing His Final Opponent
Wrestling Inc. – Kurt Angle Interview
Conducted by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman
Audio Link – https://audioboom.com/posts/7676612-wwe-s-third-party-crackdown-matt-hardy-aew-all-out-controversy-feat-kurt-angle
On if he watches AEW and what he thinks of its success:
Every once in a while. I’m a big fan of Jericho and Cody Rhodes. I love watching those guys work. So I turn it on here and there. I bounce back between NXT and AEW whenever I have time. A lot of times I’m working at my supplement company until late hours, so some weeks, I don’t get to see it, but AEW’s done really well. I said last year, don’t expect this company to be number one. It never will be.
Be happy with number two, and I also said I don’t know if they’ll stay in business only because of what we’ve seen in history. WCW [and] TNA had a good run, and they dropped. They’re working their way back. Even Ring of Honor had a pretty good run. They’re not getting as huge now as they did when they peaked. All these companies, they put a lot of money into their product, and they don’t have a lot to show for it.
WWE’s just a money machine no matter what happens. Regardless of how many tickets they sell, their TV deals alone are worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. You got a billion dollar deal with FOX. You got a billion dollar deal with USA Network. That alone, NXT, RAW and SmackDown, you’re doing about $450 million a year in revenue for TV, just those three. Then they have the other International TV deals and everything else. So it’s a money machine. I think AEW’s going to need to pick up more TV deals as long as they’re making money, they’ll survive, but I don’t, I don’t know if Tony Khan wants to continue to throw millions of dollars when there’s not going to be anything coming back, but I’m changing my mind now.
I think they got a little momentum, and I think they’re gonna survive at least for several years. So they’ve done a great job, and they continue to climb little by little in ratings. I heard they beat NXT so something’s going on. Jericho and Cody and all the other guys, they’re doing something over there, and I also know it’s a little more laid back there. You get your own creativity and do your own things. So it’s a little different than WWE, but I think they’ll have a good run. I don’t know how long it will be, but hopefully, it’ll be a long time because it’s great for all the wrestlers, but WWE is number one. I don’t see it ever going number two.
On if he could appear or even compete for AEW:
Right now, I would say it’s off the table. I’m OK where I am. The thing is, when I came back to WWE, I wasn’t expecting what I got, and I was very grateful. I got the Hall of Fame. I wanted the Hall of Fame, but I didn’t want it first. I wanted it last, and I wanted to wrestle first. I took a year off from TNA. I was wrestling Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, Joe Coffey from the UK, Zack Saber Jr. [and] a lot of great athletes, and I was ready.
When I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, that night Vince McMahon told me I was going to be the general manager, and I was like, ‘aw man, I wanted to wrestle. Now they’re going to have me inactive, and I was inactive. I only probably wrestled three matches in the next year and a half. So being inactive and not bumping in the ring and not really training, my body got arthritic, and by the time I was wrestling for Vince, for WWE, I looked like an old man.
On why he looked liked “an old man” when he wrestled during his last WWE matches:
It just caught up to me, the inactivity. Believe it or not, everybody thinks that wrestling is the best thing for you, but that’s not always the case, especially in professional wrestling. If you’re not active in the ring every week, at least every week or every night, then you’re going to go stale, your body’s going to become stiff and arthritic, especially when you’re in as long as I was. The opportunity passed by and I decided that I was going to retire. I wasn’t supposed to retire when I did, but I told Vince I don’t want to do it anymore, and that’s when I said, I’d like to wrestle Cena.
He said I can’t give him to you this year because you had a program with Corbin the last eight months, you got to finish it up. And Vince was right. So I did it, and he said if you want Cena next year, we could talk about it. And I said no, I’m done this year. So that was my choice. And I’m glad I stuck to it. I didn’t like the way I looked, and it was a little embarrassing.