Kurt Angle has opened up about working with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, revealing that he made him cut one particular line from his Hall of Fame speech
In 2017 Kurt Angle returned to WWE for the first time in more than a decade, being inducted into the Hall of Fame in April. After the induction, Angle returned to WWE television the night after WrestleMania 33, where he was installed as the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw by Vince McMahon.
Speaking on a recent episode if his podcast, The Kurt Angle Show, available via AdFreeShows, Angle reflected on what it was like working with “Mr McMahon” as an on-screen character. The Olympic gold medallist also revealed that McMahon made him edit his Hall of Fame speech, removing a section where he thanked the Chairman and the company.
“I had, ‘I want to thank Vince McMahon for everything he did for me,’ and he said, ‘Kurt, take that out,’ Angle mentioned. “He said, ‘I don’t want anybody thanking me, I do not want a thank you. I don’t even want you to thank the company. I want you to thank the fans and whoever else you want, but do not thank me or the company. Leave my name out of it.’ That’s how Vince is, he never wants the credit for anything.”
During the conversation Angle also discussed McMahon’s move from company owner to on-screen character and back again. The former World Champion said that he didn’t believe that McMahon ever intended to become a recurring character on television, but embraced it after getting favourable reactions from fans.
“I think the reason Vince McMahon did this is because he actually became a WWE superstar,” Angle said. “The fans wanted to see him, they demanded him. I don’t think Vince wanted to step in there and do it, I think he did it because he had to because of the fans. They reacted to Vince like no other, he was the guy, man. He was entertaining, he was funny, he pissed people off, he had a lot of ammo. He was one of the biggest stars in the company at this particular time and I think Vince finally smartened up and said I need to back off, stay away from TV and let these wrestlers become the bigger stars.”
During his career Kurt Angle appeared in numerous fondly remembered segments with McMahon, some of which are still talked about to this day. Angle went on to lift the lid on what it was like to share the screen with the boss.
“It’s a quick walkthrough, it lasts one minute,” Angle said. “Vince brings you to his office, he says ‘Listen, we’re going to do this promo. I say this, you say that, I’ll say this, we’ll be done.’ You go out there and you basically don’t go by the script, you have to improvise because we didn’t rehearse it enough to go by the script. Vince McMahon is more of an improv guy and he’s the best at it. The only other person that I know that’s just as good is Stone Cold, he was also a great improviser.”
Kurt Angle retired from in-ring competition after defeat to Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon has recently returned to WWE television, acting as something of a mentor to Austin Theory.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.