Kurt Angle is widely regarded as one of the greatest pro wrestlers to ever get inside a ring. However, he admits that he missed a big opportunity during his career.
Merchandise is a big part of pro wrestling with WWE selling everything from t-shirts to baseball caps, foam fingers, replica belts, and everything in between.
Speaking on his podcast, Angle admitted that he missed out on merchandising opportunities because he didn’t have “a business mind” when he first started out in the company.
This was in stark contrast to others like Steve Austin and John Cena who had mountains of merchandise for sale over the course of their careers.
“I just never thought of it. You know, John Cena did, Stone Cold Steve Austin did. I never did, and I could have had a really cool Olympic belt. I believe Vince would have bought into it, and he would have followed through.
“I wasn’t a merchandise guy. I wish I was. I wish I would have pushed the merchandise harder. You know, early on, I just didn’t have a business mind when I got into business.”
Angle says that while Austin and Cena had ideas from the beginning, he didn’t really think about it until five years into his time in WWE.
“I was an amateur wrestler and didn’t really market myself. You know, John Cena came in fully prepared. Stone Cold Steve Austin, same with him. They had ideas for merchandise before they even started, and they continued to have ideas for merchandise during their careers.”
“I didn’t start [having merchandise ideas] until, like, my fifth year in the business. Then, I was like, ‘Okay, I need to start making merchandise,’ and it was just horrible that I didn’t have a business mind at that time.”
Kurt Angle gives his opinion on John Cena’s spinner belt
Cena’s merchandise has included replicas of his “spinner” belt, the WWE Championship design that was used throughout his tenure at the top.
Angle believes that was a good move for the 16-Time World Champion, but “kind of odd” for anyone else carrying it.
“It was good for Cena. Having someone else carrying that belt, it’s kind of odd, because Cena’s the one that came up with the idea and the concept, and he made a lot of money on merchandise with it.
“If Cena was going to carry the title that was great for him, but I’m more of a traditional guy. I like the old title, the eagle title. I also love the World Championship, but the spinner belt was cool. I just think it was cool for John.”
While Angle and Cena met in the ring on multiple occasions, the Hall of Famer was never able to defeat him for the spinner title.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.