Kurt Angle Talks Addiction, Why He Left WWE, Future Opponents, Wanting to Wrestle Finn Balor & More!

Kurt Angle, WWE Hall of Famer and current Raw General Manager, was recently interviewed by Metro UK. During the interview, Angle talks about his history with addiction, recovering from these problems, his dream opponents now that he’s back in the WWE, and knowing Finn Balor from Japan.

Angle mentioned how his addiction problems were so bad, that he came close to death a couple times. When asked whether this was intentional or accidental, Angle said the following:

“It was all accidental. You have to remember I was fortunate, I had money and I had a family. There are a lot of people who lose everything, and they become not only depressed, but that they don’t have anything to live for. I didn’t get to that point, and the reason is because I was still able to function with my job, and still able to do the things I had to do to provide for my family. There was a point when TNA should have fired me, but they didn’t, so I continued on with my habits because I didn’t get reprimanded.

Angle went on to talk about how when he was in WWE, he broke his neck four times within two and a half years. However, they were not four different injuries. It was the same injury that was reactivated four times because Angle refused to give himself time to fully recover. WWE was different in the early to mid-2000s in that they did not have their own doctors that did the clearing. Instead, the wrestlers just needed to be cleared by their own doctors. Angle mentioned that he would say he was fine when he really wasn’t, and admitted to kind of bullying his doctor into giving him clearance to wrestle.

Angle talked about his departure from WWE and how it had to do with this string of consecutive neck injuries.

“The fourth time I broke my neck in 2006 was when Vince McMahon told me not only he wanted me to take time off, but he wanted me to go to rehab because he knew something was going on. I was hiding the situation from WWE and he could tell there was a difference in me. That’s when he gave me the ultimatum to take some time off and go to rehab. I said no, and that I wanted to quit because I didn’t want to stop taking the drugs.”

“Vince McMahon did not want to fire me or let me go by any means, but at the same time I didn’t want to end my addiction, and I knew that’s what he wanted. He gave me the release after I told him I wanted out of the company.”

Angle was abusing painkillers for many years and mentioned that they are just a more expensive form of heroin.

“Painkillers are the same thing as heroin. The only reason I didn’t take heroin is because I had money. If I had lost all my money, heroin is a hell of a lot cheaper than painkillers. I’m no different to any heroin addict.”

Angle said that the fear of losing his family and his job woke him up in terms of helping to clean up his act, eliminate the drugs and get better. Angle noted that he has his own app out now called Angle Strong that is designed to help keep people accountable and give them an orderly schedule once they leave rehab. Angle mentioned how the biggest problem with rehab is leaving it because you’re so use to a particular regiment, and once you leave you’re back in the real world with the same temptations. Angle’s app is designed to help solve this issue.

When asked about which wrestlers he would like to face in the future, now that he’s back in a regular on-screen role with the company, Angle stated names like Brock Lesnar, Triple H, John Cena, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Sheamus, Rusev and Finn Balor.

“I’m not here to do a one-off and ride off into the sunset, I’m here to help contribute to the company, whether it be one, two or five years.”

After mentioning Balor as a potential future opponent, he was asked what it is about Balor that intrigues Angle to want to wrestle him. Angle said:

“I’ve known Finn for ten years because I was wrestling over in Japan when he was there. I remember him as this young kid with a Justin Bieber style haircut with the hair spinning all over his head. When I came back to WWE, I didn’t even know he was the same person. He said hi to me a couple of months ago and I just said hi back and walked past him. He was like ‘you don’t remember me do you?’ and I was like you’re the kid from Japan!”

“I know that he was main eventing a lot of shows in Japan before he came to the United States, and he went through the Dojo camp over there. Wrestling Japanese style which is very stiff and he was able to survive it. He’s on top of the world, one of the top three guys right now and he’s just started. Being able to do a program with him would be awesome. I’m sure he dreamed of wrestling me back then, now I’m dreaming of wrestling him.”

If you’d like to read Angle’s interview with Metro UK in its entirety, you can click right here.

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