This was filmed on September 25th, 2016
Timothy Embler is your host
It runs at two hours and two minutes long
The interview starts off with Angle being asked about his amateur wrestling days and if he ever had his eye on professional wrestling. Angle said he was told while training to not pay any attention to pro wrestling and mentioned that it was looked down upon. Angle said he did not even know who Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were until going to the WWE.
On whether or not he thought the WWE brought him in to bring some sort of legitimacy to the company, Angle said Vince met with him for an hour and said he could make him a rich man then took the contract. Angle then said his agent tossed the contract in the trash and took a job in Pittsburgh as a sportscaster. Angle said he hated that job then called up the WWE several months later to see if the offer was still on the table but Jim Ross said it was not but he could try out and get a deal that way.
Angle talks about Vince writing his very first promo and how Vince said it to him a few times before he actually went out and did it in front of a live crowd.
He talks about the training and how it was just five days a month but Angle said that was not enough so he went down to Memphis and got some more experience.
Embler asks Angle if MMA was as popular now than it was when he signed with the WWE would he have signed with UFC, Angle said he was offered a ten-fight deal for about $15,000 per fight and he declined. He also talks about Dana White offering him a contract right after he signed with TNA but White would not let him wrestle too and Angle did not want to leave TNA and look like an idiot because he had just signed with them. Angle then said White offered him a fight with Kimbo Slice in 2010 but felt White was setting him up to fail and passed.
Angle talks about Brock Lesnar and said he is a “super human” who can succeed at whatever he does and is also very intelligent. He says that Vince and Brock have a great relationship at that is why he allowed him to do the fight in UFC.
He learned the most from Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H, Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit and credits them for making him successful as Angle said he had no clue what he was doing until 2001. Angle added that Benoit pushed him more than anyone else and the office paired them up a lot due to the fact they had great chemistry. Angle talks about Eddie being in constant pain and wishes he got the chance to wrestle him prior to his car accident in 2000.
He tells a story of wrestling Shawn Michaels on RAW before he went over to Smackdown. Michaels had the flu and was sore and told Angle he was too aggressive as Angle understood and apologized because Michaels took some huge bumps in the match.
Angle said that Vince hated when guys put holds on him, even when he was a babyface, as Vince only wanted him to put guys in holds because he was an Olympic Gold Medalist and no one should be able to hold him down.
When asked about wrestling Shane McMahon, Angle said he was not a pro wrestler but was a great athlete and is a crazy guy who is able to entertain. Angle said he is not a “gimmick” guy though and disliked their match as he did not want to put guys through glass and tables. He added that they both had a lot of stitches and that he even ended up in the hospital with a broken tailbone. They prepared for the match once a week for a month too then credits Al Snow for structuring the match.
Angle talks about toning down his style when he went to TNA then talks about going all out in thirty minute house show matches with Benoit back in the WWE.
He talks about The Undertaker approaching him to have a “five star” match at WrestleMania 22 when he was the champion. Undertaker had no problem losing and they ran it by Vince, who shot it down and had them wrestle at No Way Out instead. Angle said Undertaker should have always been undefeated at WrestleMania and that Lesnar was already a monster and did not need beating the Undertaker to make him a bigger deal.
On Lesnar, Angle said Lesnar likes to be alone and comes off as arrogant. Angle said word got to him that Lesnar said he would kill him in a wrestling match so they had a match in the ring where Angle said he beat him. Angle said he knew how to position himself and they went fifteen minutes. Angle says his Iron Match against Lesnar on Smackdown was one of his favorite matches.
Angle talks about wrestling John Cena in his debut. Bob Holly, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero asked him to “blow” Cena up and even embarrass him but Angle said Cena kept up with him the entire time and after that he gained a lot of respect for Cena. Angle added he did not try to embarrass him but did go all out to see if Cena could keep up the pace.
He talks about getting into painkillers back in 2002. Angle said at one point he’d take up to twenty at a time. When Vince found out, they wanted him to rehab at home for a few weeks where the doctor put him on a small dose. He talks about feeling like a liability to Vince, who once told him he could not be a superstar if hurt all of the time, and could not get a part-time deal. Angle also says this was his fault, not Vince’s, and never asked for any breaks or time off when he was hurting. Angle then said that Dixie Carter in TNA knew his limitations better and would give him time off when he looked hurting.
Angle was pissed when moved to the ECW brand. Vince wanted him to be the face of the brand because he’s a wrestling machine and wanted to change the ECW brand from what it was in the past. Vince then told him he would work in smaller arenas in make less money but did take care of him on PPV’s where he paid him triple his usual amount to make up for the poor house show payoffs.
He talks about Vince watching him unravel and started to drug test him weekly. Angle said he had to stay at home on his only day off and wait all day for the tester to come because if he did not answer the door it would be considered a failure. Angle also said that he was going to be in The Marine, which was originally for Steve Austin, but Vince could not depend on him and went with Cena instead.
During his final meeting with Vince, Angle said that Vince was so angry he took off his jacket and tried to fight him as Angle apparently sent him all sorts of threatening voice mails and text messages (that Angle did not even remember making due to the drug use) about how he would kick his ass. Angle even said that Vince had three sheets of paper with all of the threats Angle had made. He even said Vince told him to take six months off and come back but Angle said at that point their relationship was ruined so he immediately called TNA for a deal, which in turned caused Vince to lose all trust. Angle puts over Vince for always looking out for his best interest.
Angle thought by joining TNA he could change the landscape of wrestling but quickly learned that was not possible. He also thought it was stupid for TNA to air Impact on Monday nights then talks about the decision to travel around all the time ate up all the companies income and the Carter family was not going to put more money into the company and at the end TNA suffered.
On whether or not Dixie was overwhelmed by the wrestling business, Angle said wrestling will overwhelm anyone and Dixie had the TV time slots changing all of the time and had to answer to her family for financial decisions. Angle credits Dixie for taking care of guys for as long as she did.
He says TNA was reaching for the stars and weere fine with what they were doing and probably would have been fine today if they stayed the course.
Angle adds that when you have AJ Styles and Samoa Joe yet focus on ex-WWE guys then you are doing something wrong. Angle goes as far as saying AJ might be the best wrestler he ever wrestled against and is not surprised that he found success in the WWE.
On the creative process in TNA, Angles says that Vince Russo was an excellent writer but that TNA changed everything he did and watered down his ideas. He says that Matt Conway and Dave Lagana are good writers but they need to bring in a few more people.
He loves the Hardy Boyz and their new characters but said having the matches filmed at their house are not going to sell tickets. Angle still loves what they are doing but unsure if its helping the business.
At the moment, Angle says a few companies have approached him, like Ring of Honor, and he spoke with the Triple H in April about being inducted into the Hall of Fame but nothing long-term and has yet to talk to them since. Angle even said the small companies are offering him more than the WWE for the most part. He has sent text messages to Vince since that meeting as Angle says there is an open line of communication between them.
When asked, Angle says he is healthy and talks about scheduling a few matches in order to stay sharp and mentally prepare himself to come back to wrestling on a more consistent basis. Angle also would not take an MMA fight, stating it would not benefit him in any way except financially and he’d likely lose.
Angle talks about AJ Styles and says even though his best days are behind him he is still one of the best and is so damn good. Angle thinks the only person that compares to him now is Seth Rollins and calls wrestling AJ a “night off.” Angle even said he would ask to wrestle AJ when injured because he’s so good and can do everything.
He is asked about whether or not he considers himself the greatest pro wrestler of all-time and Angle says yes, saying this is the first time he said that and others will not agree. The host actually agrees with Angle.
Final Thoughts: Angle was great here. He was open and candid about his problems while in the WWE, something he was more hesitant about doing in his first shoot interview with RF Video (which you can read here). Its nice to see that he seems at peace with himself now and in much better health since leaving WWE.
I also thought the host did a great job in this interview too. I was impressed with Embler as his questions were good, he let Angle speak, and knew when to ask follow up questions and keep the interview going at a nice pace. If the rest of the “Reflections” series is like this then I cannot wait to see more.
Overall, I highly recommend this interview, especially if you are a fan of Angle. This was a great listen from start to finish.
You can purchase this on DVD for $20 and view the trailer below. Next week, I will be recapping the new Simon Gotch shoot interview from RF Video.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/21/90
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 12/9/82
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/22/90
Monday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 4/23/90
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/28/90
Wednesday: EVOLVE 90 8/11/17
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Simon Gotch