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Kurt Angle: “Steve Austin is the reason I got into the wrestling business…I wanted to be him”

Kurt Angle and Conrad Thompson covered WrestleMania 17 on a recent episode of “The Kurt Angle Show” on Mania 17 is considered by many to be the best WrestleMania in the history of the company and the show happened a week after WCW was purchased.

Kurt Angle was asked if there were any angles he was asked to do that he turned down because they were “over the line”

“No. They didn’t really have me do anything too crazy, but my angle with Booker T and Sharmell, I wasn’t comfortable with.  I still did it because they wanted me to, but I actually wished I wouldn’t have.  I didn’t think it did anything for my character.  It might have drew a little bit of heat, but it wasn’t good heat.  It was pretty bad heat. Other than that, I didn’t regret anything else I did.”

Angle talking about Steve Austin:

“Austin is the reason I got into the business. I fell in love with him in 1998. I wanted to be him. I wanted to be like him. I loved his character. When I decided to join WWE, my idea was being another Stone Cold Steve Austin. Little did I know I was going to be the complete opposite. I was going to be a nerdy heel, Olympic gold medalist that talked about the three I’s and stupid s**t. It was a dream come true to actually wrestle Austin for the first time. It was a very little time into my career that I actually got to wrestle him. I didn’t expect to wrestle him this quickly, but it was awesome. I really enjoyed it.  He’s an excellent worker. His character is so strong that people under appreciate his in-ring ability. Austin is the beer drinker, flip off your boss, beat your boss up, rebel, and fans took to that very quickly, but his in-ring skills were just as good.”

Angle telling us why he was booked against Benoit at WrestleMania 17:

“I don’t think the company knew what they wanted to do with me or Benoit and I think that’s the reason they put us together. I was in the program with Rock and Austin jumping back and forth wrestling them every single week, so there was no real time for me to have a program with Benoit. I’m not sure they even thought of it until a week or two before WrestleMania. Benoit and I got put together because we were both top performers in the company and neither one of us had a match. I think the company said, “Well, let’s put the two best technicians in a match together.  They are going to have an incredible match. We don’t need much of a buildup, so let’s just throw it on the card.”  So, we were more of a mid-card feature match for WrestleMania, which is fine with me. If I can wrestle Benoit at WrestleMania, I would do it every year.  He was an incredible performer.”

Angle went on to say, “I was really excited about this match. I didn’t know how good it was until I watched it back and I was like, ‘Holy crap.’  This was the best match I’ve ever wrestled in, and to this day, it still rings true.’ Angle continued talking about Benoit:  “If you’re talking about just in ring, performing, as a technician, a wrestler, a performer, Chris Benoit is the top.  He’s number one on the chart.  Always will be.  I’ve never faced a guy that intense, that technically sound, and that explosive in my life.  He is, without a doubt, the best in ring performer I’ve ever been in the ring with.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “The Kurt Angle Show on” with a h/t to for the transcription.

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