Former WWE Champion Kurt Angle recently talked to Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard website. The Extra Mustard branch of Sports Illustrated is described as the place “where culture meets sports.” The 1996 Olympic gold medalist spoke about various topics including his status with WWE, his relationship with Vince McMahon and his addiction to drinking and pills.
Angle’s comments about his future with WWE.
“I had a talk with WWE. It’s confidential. I will not be returning for the draft. Possibly in the future, most likely next year, but that is not a guarantee. It was a loose conversation, but I will be in touch with Triple H [Paul Levesque] in the future.”
On some ugly side effects he experienced during the end of his WWE run and through a lot of his time in TNA.
“I had some bad luck. In a two-and-a-half year span, I broke my neck four times. I haven’t had a problem with it since, and it’s been ten years. But I was rushing myself back so fast that I didn’t let my neck heal. That bit me in the ass. That, along with the 300 days a year of travel, wasn’t helping. When it comes down to it, that’s my fault. I did it myself. I encouraged my doctors to release me as soon as possible. It was my fault.”
On his relationship with Vince McMahon and how he always tried to convince him that he was strong enough to snap his addiction problem.
“Vince always cared about me. He’s a good guy, and he felt like he was my father figure. I admired Vince’s work ethic and drive. He was a machine. He was willing to sacrifice so much to be a success, and he was one of those guys who I feared and looked up to. I feared him the same way I feared my father. I was right – he was a good guy. He would tell me when I screwed up, and he’d tell me how to fix it. He basically said, ‘Listen, you won an Olympic gold medal. Very few people on this planet have ever done that. You’re special, you can kick this thing.’ But I fell back into it.”
On his time in TNA causing him to sleep into deeper addiction and how Dixie Carter helped him realize he needed to be going to rehab.
“I was at a company where everybody was drinking, and you were encouraged to drink with them. That’s where the alcohol came in. I didn’t go crazy with it, but when you mix it with pills, it can make you do some really crazy things. It can make you careless. When I traveled, I was drinking and driving, and I got nailed a bunch of times. I couldn’t believe TNA kept me after the second and third DUI. I continued to go with that behavior, and I was lucky to either get a reduced charge or have it thrown out.
“[TNA owner] Dixie Carter played a big role in me going to rehab. She called me and said, ‘You need to go.’ I didn’t want to go, but when I got there, I realized I had a serious problem and I needed to fix this. Dixie made the right call, and I cleaned my ass up and I’ve been clean and sober for three years now.”
If you would like to read Angle’s interview with Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard branch in its entirety, you can click right here.
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.