Kurt Angle discusses a variety of topics ahead of WWE Crown Jewel.
Angle's WWE comeback has been one of the bigger stories in wrestling over the last two years. Angle was originally brought back to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but was quickly moved into the Raw General Manager spot after Mick Foley was fired on-screen. Most surprisingly, Angle returned to the ring in October 2017 at WWE's TLC event. Since then, Angle has only worked multi-man matches, but that changes at WWE Crown Jewel when he participates in the WWE World Cup.
While in Saudi Arabia, Angle sat down with William Mullally of Al Arabiya to discuss his comeback and how he originally saw it going.
"It’s nice that Vince wanted to give me this opportunity. I’ve only done tag matches ever since I came back. I did want to come back and wrestle first, and then do the GM spot and then get inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Vince did it in the opposite way. He inducted me first, then gave me the GM role, and then has me wrestle now," said Angle. "I think the reason he did that, this is my guess, is that there was a whole new generation of fans that missed Kurt Angle, from 2007 to 2017. He wanted to introduce me to them, or them to me. The best way he knew how was induct me to the Hall of Fame, and let them get educated on the WWE Network. It actually worked out. It did work out. Usually you get inducted in the Hall of Fame when you’re done with your career, and I told Vince I wasn’t done. He said, that’s ok, we’re going to induct you anyways."
Continuing the conversation, Angle discussed his relationship with Vince McMahon. The two parties had a falling out in 2006 over health concerns. Angle left the company in the summer of 2006, signing with TNA in the fall.
"We had a terrible parting. A lot of it was my fault, but we didn’t speak for a long time. Coming back was—we both wanted it, but the timing wasn’t right until it happened when it did. Vince was always a father figure to me, so I always look to him as a father. He never stopped being that. When I came back, he hugged me, said welcome back, you’re part of the family, and let’s forget what happened," revealed Angle. "We had a horrible day on the day that I got released—the day I asked for my release. It was a horrible day. Vince and I didn’t talk after that. It’s nice to have mended up, to have realized that we’re both bigger than that. We can move on. Vince has always been good to me, and he continues to be that to this day."
Angle's return to WWE was officially announced on January 16, 2017, over 11 years after he left.
Now that he's back in WWE and increasing his wrestling workload, Angle has his eyes set on many members of the roster to have a match against. When asked about potential dream matches, Angle said, "Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Cesaro, Sheamus, and I want AJ Styles in WWE, not TNA. I did wrestle Shinsuke Nakamura in Japan, but I’d love to hit him in WWE too. There’s a lot of talent out there right now. I haven’t been a talent pool this deep ever. These guys are animals now. It’s a whole new breed. It’s good, and nice to know that I can still go toe to toe with them. These guys are wrestling with the intensity that I wrestled in 2006, and nobody matched my intensity back then except Chris Benoit. These guys are doing it at my intensity now, all of them are doing it. It’s pretty amazing how these guys have stepped up their athletic ability."
Angle will get a chance to wrestle Dolph Ziggler at WWE Crown Jewel as the two men meet in the first round of the WWE World Cup.
Fightful will provide live coverage of WWE Crown Jewel beginning at 11 a.m. ET.