The Kurt Angle ESPN Sportcenter interview that was announced earlier this week aired Wednesday night, and Angle took the opportunity to discuss a number of topics, including headlining the WWE Hall of Fame 2017 class, his relationship with key WWE higher-ups such as Vince McMahon, and once again wrestling for the company where he made his name.
Angle told Sportcenter anchor and former WWE colleague Jonathan Coachman on the weekly "Off The Top Rope" segment that Triple H called last week to tell him he would headline this year's Hall of Fame. He claimed that he was honored and surprised that he will lead the class of inductees.Kurt Angle claimed that after he moved on from WWE in 2006, he and WWE chairman Vince McMahon did not talk for years, though they have a great relationship now. He told Coach he left the company because his body was banged up and he was dealing with his painkiller addiction. Angle suggested that he needed to leave because he felt like he was a liability to Vince McMahon and the company, and that the departure was mutual.The Kurt Angle ESPN interview also covered the subject of him wrestling again in WWE. He claimed that he missed the company, but suggested it was too early to say whether or not he will compete on Raw, SmackDown or pay-per-view for WWE again, though he'd like to. While he is not planning on retiring and does not know if he is or not as yet, the WWE Hall of Fame induction is first and foremost on his mind at present.
Coach asked Kurt Angle about the more than a decade that he's been away from WWE, in which time he has wrestled for a range of promotions, including TNA and New Japan Pro Wrestling, and what was the biggest change for him as a performer since leaving WWE. According to Wrestling Inc, Angle claimed he grew more and became a better wrestler. In fact, he said he was in his prime over the last 10 years and it would have been nice to perform in front of WWE crowds during that time, though he couldn't complain about the WWE career he did have.The Kurt Angle ESPN interview also covered a deeper topic -- his addiction to painkillers. When Coach asked how the addiction had changed him, Angle said it ended up making him a better father, husband, and man. He claimed that after regaining control of life after a dark period, one's priorities change, and one places love, family, and God above money and fame. Angle told Coach he was proud of his achievements and hopes to help others struggling with addiction through his #AngleStrong program. It appears as though Angle will still be involved with WWE in storylines after his Hall of Fame induction, even if he is not actually wrestling. Rumors suggest that Angle is pegged for an on-screen role in one form or another, perhaps on SmackDown Live.
Many fans have been clamoring for him to take on a mentorship role with American Alpha, the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions, akin to his leadership of Team Angle, which had similar athletic and amateur-wrestling chops in Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Failing that, Angle has experience in the general manager role, and could easily slot into that position again should one open up on SmackDown or Raw.
At the very least, the Kurt Angle ESPN interview indicated that the wrestling legend is more than happy to be once again involved with WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]