WWE Hall of Famer and one of pro wrestling’s all-time greats “The Olympic Gold Medalists” Kurt Angle was recently a guest on the Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast to talk about a number of topics, including whether or not he watches All Elite Wrestling and if he considers AEW as a legitimate competitive threat to WWE and possibly jumping ship from WWE to AEW.
Below are the highlights:
On whether or not he watches All Elite Wrestling and if he considers AEW as a legitimate competitive threat to WWE:
“Every once in a while. I’m a big fan of [Chris] Jericho and Cody Rhodes. I love watching those guys work. So I turn it on here and there. I bounce back between NXT and AEW whenever I have time. A lot of times I’m working at my supplement company until late hours, so some weeks, I don’t get to see it, but AEW’s done really well. I said last year, don’t expect this company to be number one. It never will be.”
On the history of other promotions such as WCW, IMPACT Wrestling and Ring Of Honor not faring well as competitors to WWE:
“Be happy with number two, and I also said I don’t know if they’ll stay in business only because of what we’ve seen in history. WCW [and] TNA had a good run, and they dropped. They’re working their way back. Even Ring of Honor had a pretty good run. They’re not getting as huge now as they did when they peaked. All these companies, they put a lot of money into their product, and they don’t have a lot to show for it.”
On WWE being a “money-machine” and having such an overwhelming financial lead ahead of all other pro wrestling companies largely due to their many lucrative television deals:
“WWE’s just a money machine no matter what happens. Regardless of how many tickets they sell, their TV deals alone are worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. You got a billion dollar deal with FOX. You got a billion dollar deal with USA Network. That alone, NXT, RAW and SmackDown, you’re doing about $450 million a year in revenue for TV, just those three.
Then they have the other International TV deals and everything else. So it’s a money machine. I think AEW’s going to need to pick up more TV deals as long as they’re making money, they’ll survive, but I don’t I don’t know if Tony Khan wants to continue to throw millions of dollars when there’s not going to be anything coming back, but I’m changing my mind now.”
On AEW having “a little momentum” and the Wednesday Night Wars over television ratings between AEW Dynamite and NXT On USA:
“I think they got a little momentum, and I think they’re gonna survive at least for several years. So they’ve done a great job, and they continue to climb little by little in ratings. I heard they beat NXT so something’s going on. Jericho and Cody and all the other guys, they’re doing something over there, and I also know it’s a little more laid back there. You get your own creativity and do your own things.
So it’s a little different than WWE, but I think they’ll have a good run. I don’t know how long will it be, but hopefully, it’ll be a long time because it’s great for all the wrestlers, but WWE is number one. I don’t see it ever going number two.”
On possibly jumping ship from WWE to AEW:
“Right now, I would say it’s off the table. I’m OK where I am. The thing is, when I came back to WWE, I wasn’t expecting what I got, and I was very grateful. I got the Hall of Fame. I wanted the Hall of Fame, but I didn’t want it first. I wanted it last, and I wanted to wrestle first. I took a year off from TNA. I was wrestling Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, Joe Coffey from the UK, Zack Saber Jr. [and] a lot of great athletes, and I was ready.
When I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, that night Vince McMahon told me I was going to be the general manager, and I was like, ‘aw man, I wanted to wrestle. Now they’re going to have me inactive, and I was in active. I only probably wrestled three matches in the next year and a half. So being inactive and not bumping in the ring and not really training, my body got arthritic, and by the time I was wrestling for Vince, for WWE, I looked like an old man.”
You can check out Kurt Angle’s comments in the video below: