Thanks to the good people over at WrestlingObserver and PWTorch for details on today’s news…
TNA Conference Call:
– Angle said TNA had far better athletes and he had an unlimited supply of future opponents to have five-star matches with, whereas in WWE there were only a few. He continually portrayed himself as the best wrestler in the world, which some would take as arrogance, but you have to have confidence/arrogance to be on top in this business, and the guys who don’t show it that are on top are also working in the other direction.
– He was very negative toward Vince McMahon. He said his doctor told him he needed to take three months off for rehab three years ago due to a painkiller problem but Vince refused to give him the time off, saying you’re an Olympic gold medalist and suck it up. He categorized the time period as when he was working with John Cena and the people were turning him. He said he went cold turkey and takes no pain pills, which is the opposite of what he said when he was released.
– He was strong in claiming he called the meeting with Vince and his goal was to be released. He behaved erratic at the meeting and broke down and cried as a way to get released, although he said at the time he thought he was going to MMA and not TNA.
– He didn’t say he got a $30 million five year offer from Pride, but said the word had gotten around to Vince that he did. See Bubba The Love Sponge recap for more on that offer.
– He claimed his health was close to 100% and his agreement is that he will work when he can perform at 100% and when he can’t he’ll take time off. He said any time he needs time off to heal he will get it, unlike in WWE.
– He claimed whenever he asked for time off from WWE, somebody would get hurt and he’d be pressed into service and never got the time off. He praised some people, notably Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco for teaching him and Chris Benoit as his favorite opponent, but felt after Austin and Rock were gone that it was his turn to be the focal point of the company and couldn’t understand why Triple H and Shawn Michaels were pushed ahead of him. (Hevia Note: Take a guess why they were pushed…)
– Said he was interested in MMA, but didn’t really talk about any definite plans other than his contract gives him time off to train if he wants it. He said many companies have offered him “retirement money” for just one fight. He did say he was offered a New Year’s Eve match with Brock Lesnar by K-1 and didn’t say he wasn’t doing it, but you could tell he wasn’t because he said he needed six months of training before fighting.
– He praised Dana White, but said he reminded him of Vince McMahon in that White only wanted him to do one fight, but sign an exclusive deal and work with the company as a goodwill ambassador. He didn’t even want to say the name of his opponent, and actually cut a tremendous pro wrestling promo on the guy, and recounted the Tough Enough situation.
– He claimed he was 208, with a broken neck and no feeling in his hands when the deal happened and Puder got him in a hammerlock, but ripped on Puder, saying he wasn’t a good athlete and that today he’s at full strength and would demolish him in 40 seconds. He said White told him because of the back story it would be the biggest buy rate in UFC history if they had that match, and Angle agreed, but said it would all be due to him.
– He seemed to genuinely be pissed off about Puder’s T-shirts and all the pub he got, basically claiming he’s tried to make himself a name at his expense. He did say if it came up in TNA to do an angle with Puder he would, but said he can’t wrestle at the level of the TNA guys.
– He made it clear he hated being in ECW, that he had nobody to work with (although he praised RVD a lot and said he felt RVD should be champion and should have been champ a long time ago, and also praised Sabu). He said he didn’t fit in with the chairs and barbed wire. He also claimed he was an agent in ECW but when he was giving pointers on working to guys with more experience, they resented him for it and complained about it.
– He plans on working for Dixie Carter for the next 30 years, whether it be p.r., writing, or being an agent after his wrestling days are over.
– Put over Samoa Joe big, and said he loved his new ring entrance music and entrance that will be on the PPV
– In regards to his neck injury, he said Dr. Jho saved his career and that the fusion surgery that so many (Edge, Benoit, Lita, Bob Holly, Steve Austin, Rhino, etc.) had was prehistorical and all are suffering neck problems because of it. Said he told Vince for people to do it in the future with Dr. Jho, but that because he got hurt again, nobody has and they don’t belive it.
– Said he had not taken a painkiller in three years. Quit cold turkey while on the road, even though his doctor told him it was impossible, because Vince said he couldn’t give him three months off for rehab
EDITORS NOTE: UPDATE
Kurt Angle issues correction to his press conference:
After the completion of today’s call, Kurt Angle called us to correct an error he made in answering one of the questions. Kurt was asked by King Jordan of the NY Daily News about injuries he had incurred while working for his former employer. In answering the question, Kurt stated that he had not taken any painkillers in three years. He realized, after the fact, that he began using painkillers three years ago, and has been clean, rather, for eighteen months since the Cena PPV match he referenced (Feb 2005).
Sorry for any confusion this causes, Kurt felt it important to set the record straight.
– Was very positive regarding fans who were concerned and felt he shouldn’t wrestle, but said his brain says he can go, his heart says he can go, and doctors and God have told him he can go and there is no reason not to wrestle.
– Said when he got to the meeting with Vince, he was attacked (verbally) and he was the one who asked for the release, and Vince asked him if they could say it was a mutual deal to save face.
– He had never spoken to anyone from TNA until after the meeting where he was released (I believe that, but he also would have to say it due to tampering laws even if not true)
– When it was brought up that Dana White said he didn’t want an actor, he said White offered him a ton of money and he thought he was going to go there but the exclusive nature of the contract bothered him as he didn’t want to be owned. White didn’t want him doing both, but very much wanted him in UFC. I think there should be no misunderstanding there.
– Blamed Eddy Guerrero’s death as being due to exhaustion and not applicable to him. Also said Eddy Guerrero was clean and his death wasn’t drug related saying he died an honorable death. When asked about the angles exploiting Guerrero’s death, he didn’t really give an answer, saying Vince is supporting the family but also felt Vince should have given all the money made from Guerrero merchandise directly to the family and guaranteed that wasn’t the case.
– Said he didn’t expect to work for WWE again, and then said “Never say never,” but then you could tell his wife was listening and said something to him. He then intimated his wife was a better judge of character than he was, and she told him that he should never work for Vince McMahon again.
– Ripped on kissing ass segments and live sex deal and said TNA was going to have two hour TV shows that would give 30 minutes to the main event. Then later said TNA has the best wrestling writer in the world in Vince Russo and the best wrestler in the world in him.
– He said before he left that he asked to be put back on Raw or Smackdown, was told by Vince he was the face of ECW but then said that was a lie as he wasn’t the face of ECW. Asked why the best wrestler in the company wasn’t booked on SummerSlam (He was booked, but pulled off due to concern over his well being.)
From Bubba The Love Sponge (No relation to SpongeBob Squarepants):
– Kurt Angle starts off by saying he really wasn’t treated right in WWE. Vince overworked him to a breaking point with house shows and appearances. When Heidenreich failed a medical exam due to high blood pressure, Vince had Angle replace him.
– Angle’s wife is pregnant with their second child and is expected to give birth within the next month or two.
– Angle told Vince that he had a serious pain pill addiction and needed to enter rehab, and Vince wouldn’t let him. He told Vince, “I’m Gonna Die.” Vince told him to figure out his problems on the road. He said Vince needed Angle to help put Cena over big and make him strong for his WrestleMania 21 main event match with JBL.
– Triple H is in a really bad spot because he hogs the show and is booking it at the same time.
– Angle had a lot of heat with Triple H because Triple H wouldn’t put him over. Triple tapped out to Chris Benoit because Benoit had no charisma. Triple H tapped out to John Cena because Cena can’t wrestle that well. Triple H wouldn’t tap out to Angle because Angle was the true total package who had charisma and could wrestle.
– Angle doesn’t respect Triple H as a person. Triple H was against Angle getting the belt a few years back because Angle was too small. When Jerry Brisco suggested Triple H do a shoot fight with Angle to see how much Angle’s size really mattered, Triple H backed down on Angle not getting the belt.
– Angle was very close to signing a big contract with the K-1 MMA company to fight Brock Lesnar.
– Angle says Big Show could be making huge money in Japan for working very few dates. He said Big Show would be a major attraction there and was one of his best friends in WWE. He talked about Big Show having a huge penis.
– Angle said that Vince McMahon would tell his wife Karen that she was better looking than any of the WWE divas. He gave the impression that he wasn’t pleased with the attention Vince would give his wife.
– Angle was very close to signing a contract with UFC after he won his Gold Medal in 1996, but when UFC had their problems with getting banned in many states, that deal fell through.
– Angle feels he’s got one shoot fight left in him.
– Angle said Tito Ortiz only has a few fights left in him too, and that Angle could beat him with six months of training.
– When asked about the most money he ever made with Vince in a single year, Angle laughed at the host’s guess that it was near $5 million. Angle said the most he ever made in a year was $2.5 Million. He had major heat with Vince because Vince wouldn’t let Angle do any merchandising. Angle would come to Vince with great ideas for merchandise and Vince would say, “You’re going to make your money in the ring.”
– They talked about Angle’s drug problems. The hosts tried to guess how much Angle was taking at the height of his addiction. They guessed that he was taking up to 15 [Vicodin] pills a day. Angle said “more than four times that.” Later into the interview he confirmed he was up to around 65-70 pills a day. He said that he’s very lucky to be alive – and that after many tests, doctors told him they were very surprised at how little damage he had done to his body. Angle said, “If your urine looks like Coca Cola, that means you’ve done permanent damage to your liver – and my urine is red, white, and blue.” He clarified that he was joking about his patriotic pee.
– Angle is back with his wife and they are doing well.
– During their match at No Way Out 2005 talked about earlier, Angle said he went very rough on Cena in an effort to make him fight back and draw some emotion out of Cena.
– Angle hyped his move to TNA being as big as when Hulk Hogan jumped to WCW in 1993.
– When he wrestled Hulk Hogan, Hogan told Angle to slow down his pace and not to wrestle so stiff. He said Hogan told him, “Easy brother – they’re already here, they’ve already paid to see you.” Angle said he almost always calls [the spots in] his matches, but Hogan called the match when they fought.
– Angle said WWE badly misused Andrew “Test” Martin in his first run with the company and is glad to see him getting some TV time in ECW.
– Angle said Chris Jericho isn’t a great singer and that wrestling is in his blood.
– Pride Fighting Championship offered Kurt $30 million for a five year contract. This would have included $2 million per fight, 3 fights a year, for 5 years.
– Angle predicts TNA’s prime time ratings will be 2-3 times what they are doing now.
– Angle said that his deal with TNA is NOT exclusive and that TNA was encouraging Angle to pursue shoot fighting in UFC. It’s actually UFC that told Angle he needs to be exclusive to them. UFC offered Angle a five-year multi-million dollar deal to do nothing more than “a fight or two” and to appear in the crowd at all UFC events, which he declined.
Credit: WrestlingObserver.com, PWTorch.com