Kurt Angle has claimed that modern wrestling has lost some of it’s psychology, leaving matches lacking good storytelling.
After a career that spanned multiple promotions, acclaimed matches and numerous World Championship’s, Kurt Angle hung up his boots with his legacy secure as one of the all-time greats of the industry.
Even during his career, the in-ring aspects of wrestling evolved considerably, and that has continued since he wound down his run in the ring.
Speaking during a new appearance with SHAK Wrestling, Kurt Angle addressed the current in-ring style. The WWE Hall of Famer explained that he has seen a decrease in psychology, with an increase in fast paced spots that don’t really make any sense.
“It’s receded because a lot of these athletes now just do a bunch of spots,” Angle said. “Nothing really makes sense. It’s more of a spot fest. They go out there and do these impressive things, a couple flips over the top rope onto the floor, you know? Things that don’t tell a story, you know? Psychology is the most important thing in wrestling and you want to have great psychology and a good storyline. A good story is babyface versus heel.
“The babyface shines on the heel, the heel sells, the heel cheats, gets the babyface face down, gets heat on the heel, or the heel gets heat on the babyface. The babyface makes a big comeback, you have the false finishes, and then the finish. So if you have that certain psychology in wrestling, you’re going to get it right every time as long as you do that. But a lot of these matches now, there’s no baby and no heel. It’s just two athletes going at it and I think that’s where we lost a little bit of our psychology.”
However, Angle also admitted that many wrestling moves have never made any sense, and wouldn’t be any use in a real fight.
“There are a lot of moves that don’t really hurt,” Angle said. “I mean the most popular finish of all time, the Stone Cold Stunner, it doesn’t knock you out. Honestly, there are a lot of moves that if you’re a real fighter, a real MMA fighter and you’ve never watched pro wrestling and you start watching it, you’re going to go ‘what the hell is this?’
“I’ll give you an example. When the heel gets the babyface down, the heels get heat on the face, makes a comeback, starts fighting, making a comeback, and then he stops, runs the other way, hits the ropes, and comes back to the heel. Why would you run away from the heel when you’re beating him up already? So there are a lot of things in pro wrestling that if you’re a real MMA fighter and you never saw pro wrestling, you’re not going to understand. You’re going to think it’s stupid.”
Expanding further, Kurt Angle said there was one spot that always annoyed him, despite being a wrestling staple for a number of decades.
“A spot where somebody is running ropes and someone leapfrogs,” Angle said. “Why would you, if you leapfrog somebody, somebody steps over, you’re going to stop and catch them and slam them. But there are things in pro wrestling when I first started, I didn’t understand. I was like ‘that makes no sense. I don’t understand why they would do a leapfrog or, if you tackled somebody and you got him down and then the guy hits the ropes and it allows you to get back up again.’ I didn’t understand that. It just didn’t make any sense to me.”
Kurt Angle hasn’t wrestled since being defeated by Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. Despite this, he has refused to rule out a return to the ring, previously revealing that he has been approached by AEW since retiring.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.