Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle spoke with Fox Sports to discuss his legacy, his upcoming WWE Hall of Fame induction and promote his appearance at Comic Con in Cleveland over the weekend.
Angle recently sat down for an interview with Corey Graves, which will air in its entirety on the WWE Network in the coming weeks. Angle spoke about the importance of his legacy and wanting to be the greatest of all time, not just somebody who had that potential but squandered it due to personal issues. Fox asked Angle if he considers himself to be in that top tier. Angle believes he’s the greatest technical wrestler of all time, but admits that he didn’t have a long enough run in WWE to be the greatest Superstar of all time.
“You know what, to be honest with you… I haven’t been there in 11 years. You can only have so much impact when you’re in a company for six and a half years [and] you’re injured for a year and a half of it, so really five years…
Would I put myself in the history books as the greatest wrestler of all time? Yes. But not ‘WWE Superstar’. I was only there six and a half years. I also had a pro career in TNA for 11. You can’t combine them together unless you’re talking from a non-WWE standpoint. And the WWE is the monster, it’s everything. The longer you’re in there and the more successful you are, the more accolades you should have. I wasn’t John Cena, I couldn’t stay on top for 14 years. I tried. Very few individuals could do that.”
Angle used Steve Austin as an example. He believes Stone Cold is the greatest of all time and his star burned as bright as anybody in history. However, Austin’s run was only about five years and some of that time was plagued by a neck injury. Nobody has the consistency of John Cena and you need that staying power to be considered the greatest. Angle says he had a consistent run with TNA, but he needed a very reduced schedule to stay healthy.
In recent years, we’ve seen guys like The Rock, The Undertaker, Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg work part-time schedules. This luxury has extended their careers and allowed them to work big WrestleMania matches many years past their primes. Angle wonders how things would have been different if he could have worked a part time schedule after he left WWE back in 2006.
“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 …
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. I missed that moment where I could have stayed, and I could have been a 25-time World Champion.”
Head over to Fox Sports to check out the full interview.