Kurt Angle was not a fan of the original promo packages designed to introduce him to the WWF audience, though he didn’t understand Vince McMahon’s goals for him at the time.
When Angle first signed with the WWF in the late 1990s, the company aired vignettes of him talking about the three I’s and being an Olympic gold medalist. To Angle, he didn’t like that he was being portrayed as this cheesy babyface, thinking that people would hate him. Unbeknownst to him, McMahon planned for people to turn on Angle from the very beginning.
Angle spoke with Steve Austin on a recent edition of “Broken Skull Sessions” and said he disagreed with what he thought was McMahon’s vision of him at the time, saying he wanted to come in and be cool like Austin. In the end, Angle learned that McMahon was actually using the promo packages to build him up as a heel and not a babyface.
“[They were] so cheesy. [I worked with] Vince and I disagreed with him 100 percent. I got into the business because of [Austin]. I wanted to be [Austin]. Vince was taking me out of the way. [Austin] was cool, broke the rules, drank the beers, rode the trucks. I’m talking about the Olympics and the three I’s and being dedicated. It was one of those things that people saw and thought, ‘Oh man, I want to throw up listening to this guy.’ I didn’t understand why he was doing it, but what he was doing was building a heel. I thought he was trying to build a babyface, an Olympic hero. He was trying to do the opposite. I kept asking him why are we doing this, like this is not cool. This is cheesy and people don’t buy this stuff. I never expected to work the way it did,” Angle said.
Speaking of promos. Angle remembered the first night he cut a promo in Pittsburgh on Raw. Before appearing on television, Angle said McMahon gave him a chat on the promo and that Angle did maybe about 70 percent of what was planned. However, that was enough to convince McMahon that Angle was going to be a star.
“I do remember the first night I had to cut a promo. Vince wants me to cut this promo on my first night in Pittsburgh and he didn’t give me the verbiage. He talked to me for five minutes and said, ‘You’re going to do this.’ I told Vince I didn’t hear a word he said and can he explain it again. He did and I probably delivered about 70 percent of it and thought, ‘He got this,’” Angle said.
You can check out the full episode on the WWE Network.