WWE Hall of Fame 2017 inductee Kurt Angle recently commented on John Cena being the chosen one to perform the honorable duties, along with some other topics such as what he could have accomplished if he had never left the company. Check out some interesting comments below in the interview conducted by Fox Sports.
On Cena Inducting him:
“John, you know, I was his first match when he started in WWE, and I knew right then that he was very special. I also knew that this kid was going to give me a rough time being the top guy in the company. Because at the time I was one of the top guys, I would say myself and Triple H, and to have this young kid come up and the company asked me to help teach him a little bit. It was like… ‘wait a minute, I’m teaching this kid to take my spot?! But John was really good. He was a great student, great learner. I mean, look what he’s done. I can’t even take any credit for it. John is a 16-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, no one’s ever done that. Ric Flair has 16 world titles, but they’re not all in WWE.”
Reflecting On Lost WWE Time:
“Now back in 2006, they weren’t handing out part-time contracts at the time. I mean, I wish they would have, but they weren’t. Very few wrestlers had them, like a Shawn Michaels or an Undertaker, so it wasn’t an option back then. What’s crazy is two years after I left, they started doing that. It was like ‘damnit! I just missed it by two years.’ I would have stayed in WWE. I went to rehab back in 2006 and I got myself straight, took Vince McMahon’s advice, and I would have stayed. I wanted to stay, I just knew I couldn’t do that schedule. At the time, unfortunately, it wasn’t an option to be a part-timer, and I do understand it, because I was only in the business at that point for six and a half years. Part-timers usually have to put in that 20 or so years. So I understood that, but two or three years later they started doing that. It kind of sucked [laughs]. I missed that moment where I could have stayed, and I could have been a 25-time World Champion!”
Being Backstage at Smackdown Recently in Pittsburgh:
“It was nice. A lot of things have changed. They are much more organized now. They have better facilities they bring in for the wrestlers. In other words, the food’s better, the place where you warm up is better, the equipment.
Vince McMahon has done a stellar job with the WWE in so many different ways, and it’s made everything more accessible for the athletes. And also the drug policy, the Wellness Policy, is incredible now. They have doctors, if you’re not cleared by them – not your own doctor, because I had my own doctor clear me many times. They have their doctors that you need to be cleared [by].
You’re not seeing wrestlers doing any types of drugs, and if they do, and there’s only a very small percentage that get caught, they get suspended or fired. You know, it’s a no-tolerance policy. The drug policy and the Wellness Policy about being healthy and not wrestling injured is very strict, and that does a lot of good for the athletes. It seems like Vince McMahon is catering more to the athletes and making sure they’re going to be OK.”
I can definitely see why he approves of Cena inducting him into the Hall of Fame based on their past history together. If he had actually enjoyed talking, another good choice would have been Brock Lesnar as they consistently brought out the best in one another.
It is also unfortunate that Kurt never got that part-time contract, as while he definitely had some memorable moments in TNA, there definitely was a lot left on the table and so much more he could have accomplished in WWE. Nevertheless, despite how unlikely it is, I am hopeful that Kurt will get the chance to have a few more matches in the company. In my dream world, both Kurt and Daniel Bryan are cleared by nervous doctors to have the greatest WrestleMania match of all time. I would also settle for Kurt against AJ Styles, which would absolutely tear the building apart. As it stands, Kurt does actually have my favorite WrestleMania match of all time against Shawn Michaels. Those two are also my favorite wrestlers of all time, so go figure.
Watch the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, airing live on WWE Network Friday, March 31st, 2017 at 8 ET/5 PT. As for Kurt Angle’s inevitable return to WWE television, the most likely scenario as of right now is him taking over GM duties for Mick Foley, possibly on the episode of Raw following WrestleMania considering that the company traditionally loves running a hot angle during that timeframe.