Kurt Angle, the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, conducted an interview with the website NZPWI.co.nz to promote this upcoming Sunday’s TNA Bound for Glory pay-per-view, where he talked his match with Bobby Roode, what will be the main event of the show, training for the Olympics, and his future in TNA Wrestling. Below are a few highlights:
On Bobby Roode: “You know what? I have had 5 star matches my whole career, and what I see in Bobby Roode is a talent that can go as far as he wants to go. I’m talking about Shawn Michaels. I’m talking about Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Triple H. Bobby has something about him that could make him a huge superstar. Now, at Bound For Glory, that doesn’t mean he’s going to win. I can guarantee the match won’t be short. And I can guarantee that it will be very competitive.”
On Sting vs Hulk Hogan: “Hulk Hogan’s wrestled Sting so many times already. It’ll help the pay-per-view, but fans are more interested in what’s going to happen between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode. I hope that we go on last, because it won’t be good for them if they have to follow us. Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode will be putting on a hell of a performance.”
Trying out for the 2012 Olympics: “Honey, listen. I’m trying out for the Olympics next year. The pressure is nothing compared to trying out for the Olympic team at 43 years of age. I’ve lost 30 pounds. I’ve gone from 245lb down to 215lb. A lot of people will say I look smaller than the referee, which is kind of degrading, but it’s funny too. I am in the best shape of my life. Thank God TNA gave me a lot of time off to train. I have been home for three weeks now, training solely for the Olympics. I’ll be at my best when the Olympic trials come around. I feel good. I’m healthy, there’s nothing that’s going to hold me back. I know there’s one guy in my weight class that I have to beat – the #1 guy – his name is Jake Varner, he’s a world silver medallist. But I’m very serious about making the Olympic team. I love professional wrestling, I love TNA, but I’ve always wanted to do something that no-one’s ever done, and to win an Olympic medal at the age of 43 is far beyond anything anyone’s done before.”
Staying with TNA forever: “The best development is that we’ve got a lot of our own homegrown talent. The worst is that we’re not growing them fast enough, or pushing them hard enough. You’ve got Samoa Joe. He had been undefeated. I walked in and beat him on my first match. I didn’t like that. Then I had AJ Styles, and he went to main event status. Then they backed off from him. Then we’ve got Beer Money – James Storm and Robert Roode deserve to be main event status. We have Crimson and Amazing Red – we have all this talent, that’s never been touched. We need to elevate that talent. And you know who can do it? Me. And the other older talent. I’m not going to lie to you – I’m only going to be wrestling for 3 more years. Then I’m retiring. My job is to get this young talent to replace Kurt Angle.
“I’m going to be with TNA forever. I won’t be wrestling, but I will be there. I will be involved in the creative direction, training and development. And I want TNA to understand that we have a lot of homegrown talent that I think is better than the talent over in WWE. So why aren’t we using these guys, when they’re that good? The older guys – Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Kurt Angle – the list goes on. Guys in their 40’s, 50’s and 60s. It’s time to let the younger talent shine through. If we do that, then we’re a new company. We’ll get higher ratings, and we can compete with the monster, WWE.”