Kurt Angle is one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of all time. He is the current reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion and thankfully for us, he agreed to sit down and talk at length about his career and more. Parts one and two of our interview trilogy were revealing and this third instalment proved no different. You can see the icon in person when he lands on these shores for TNA's UK tour in January 2016. Tickets will go on sale on May 29th (available here).
Do you have the WWE network?
Not at the moment. I had it for a while but I was gone all the time so I kind of just let it go but it's so brilliant what they did with that. It just gives all the wrestlers the ability to be shown in people's homes. It gives people the access to so much wrestling footage. It's the most brilliant idea I've ever heard of since the beginning of TV. I just think they're doing it the right way. I know they had a rocky start but I believe that this will be a big sell for fans worldwide. For 9.99 a month, what you get is incredible. Why not get it? I think it's going to catch on.
You've dabbled with acting, do you have plans to do more?
I just signed with a very good agency - APA. I've had many reads but you know when you get into the acting industry, it's going to take a little bit of time. The more these casting agencies get to see and know you, the more familiar you are and the more they want to hire you. So it's going to take some time but I've been seriously getting into that. I've started to take acting classes since I have the free time to do it. I've had a lot of fun with it. I've been in some movies in the past, not enough to become a full time actor but that's the direction I'm going and I'm excited about it.
What's the best rib [practical joke] that's been played on you?
Oh gosh! You know what - I haven't been ribbed that often. Maybe because of who I am? So I don't have a lot of stories. I've taken the theory that the Undertaker always took and he taught me this when I was right at the start. He said, "I don't rib and I don't like to be ribbed". You know, hearing that from him... you know you don't want to mess with him! I started using that and the guys have been pretty cool about not ribbing. There's a lot of ribbing in this business but I've never gotten it and I think it's been the respect of the wrestlers of who I am. So that's kind of cool but I've never ribbed anybody either because I don't want them to turn round and rib me back.
Do you worry about Wrestling's place in the Olympics?
I think it's here to stay. You have wrestling which is a very, very popular sport worldwide but the problem was that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) didn't have much control over it and because of that, wrestling didn't listen to them much and became kind of a rebel. Track and field is such a revenue sport that they can do whatever they want and it won't matter. Wrestling, well now we have to play by the rules and to do what they IOC tells us. It was more of a threat, "if you don't behave we're going to drop you". It was the number one sport to get voted back and they knew it was going to happen. So I don't think that it's really going to be a problem in the future. I just think that wrestling needs to listen to the IOC, find a way to have more viewers, female viewers and make it simpler to understand. That's the problem. Every Olympics, every four years the rules change. They need to keep it the same because the more people watch the more they understand because the rules never change. Wrestling has changed so much - I don't even know the rules anymore! So as long as they keep the rules the same and make it easy to understand, I think wrestling is here to stay.
Is the new promotion GFW a threat to TNA?
I don't know. Obviously the founder of GFW is the same founder of TNA. It's a tough time for wrestling but also an exciting time. You look at AAA and Lucha Underground, New Japan, Ring of Honour, they all have TV programming here in the United States and they're all doing OK. I don't think GFW will be any different. I think they'll do alright. It's hard. One things for sure, no one's going to catch up with WWE. The difficulty is who's going to be Number 2. I think that TNA is and I think it's going to be very difficult for any other company to step up and take that place. TNA has been around for a long time. They've taken their bumps but they've also had a lot of success. They were never close to WWE as far as revenue but they were nipping at the heels making a little bit of noise at one point and that shows a lot of promise. That shows that TNA has adapted, they've learned what they have to do to make a success of it - and they're doing the right things no. I think GFW will do alright. You never know. It might take the number 2 spot but I think TNA has it secure.
In a recent tweet you suggested you wouldn't want your kids to take up wrestling. Do you worry they will?
Once my kids become grown people, I could never tell them what they can and cannot do, as long as it's ethical - and if they want to become wrestlers I'll support them. Do I want them to be? No. No I don't. It's too gruelling. It's too much travel, too much brutality on the body. I know how I feel and I don't want them to feel that way when they get into their 40s. But my son Kody, I think he will be a pro-wrestler. It's only a matter of time. So that's one I'm going to have to give up to pro-wrestling but my daughter Kyra and my two younger ones Sophia and Giuliana, no, I don't think I want them to do it and I hope they don't. What I would like is for my youngest Sophia to be an Olympic female wrestler. She has the toughness. She's only 2 and a half but she's a tough little girl. I'll be the right coach for her!
Coach, Father, Champion, Olympian, Icon, Superstar. Kurt Angle has a very fine legacy indeed. Make sure to see him develop it, in person when TNA hit the UK in January 2016...