As WrestleMania 33 edges closer, it also means that it’s almost time for the annual Hall of Fame ceremony and the class of 2017 will be headlined by none other than Kurt Angle.
The Olympic gold medallist makes his highly anticipated return to the company after an 11-year stint in TNA, and although an in-ring return doesn’t seem likely, fans are just as excited to hear his iconic music play so he can walk on the stage and take his ring to officially become a Hall of Famer and join very good company.
Angle spoke to FOX Sports on numerous subjects over the weekend, ranging from John Cena being the greatest WWE superstar of all time, to his time away from the company.
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One of the reasons he considers Cena as the greatest is because of his longevity, and his ability to capture 16 world titles all in the WWE, whereas Ric Flair – who also has 16 – didn’t win every single one of them in Vince McMahon’s organisation.
He said: “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.”
25 TIME WORLD CHAMPION?
Angle then jokingly went on to claim that had he stuck around the WWE for two more years, he would have taken a part-time deal and it could have helped him become a 25-time world champion, eclipsing Cena’s 16 title reigns.
He added: “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. At the time, unfortunately, it wasn’t an option to be a part-timer, and I do understand it, because I was only in the business at that point for six and a half years.
"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. It kind of sucked [laughs]. I missed that moment where I could have stayed, and I could have been a 25-time World Champion!”
How many world title reigns do you think Kurt Angle could have had if he remained in WWE? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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