Kurt Angle: ‘TNA Monitors Me; I Wouldn’t Be Alive Today’

Ryan Clark

The Times and Democrat has an interview up with TNA World Champion Kurt Angle where he comments for the first time on the Chris Benoit tragedy, TNA’s schedule vs. WWE’s schedule and more. Here are some highlights:

On wrestling companies looking at their wrestlers:

“Well, I think the one thing WWE and TNA needs to do is step back and take a look and listen to the wrestlers. This is not WWEâ<80><99>s fault and this is not Vince McMahonâ<80><99>s fault. Chris Benoit was responsible for his own actions. Chris chose his own career. He chose to stick with the WWE when I am sure he could have went anywhere else, whether it be in Japan or TNA. But, Chris stuck to go with the grind.”

On leaving WWE and getting off a full-time schedule:

“I chose to quit WWE. Vince McMahon wanted me to go full time, and we were butting heads. I felt I put in enough time and all the effort I could to wrestle 250 or 300 days per year, and I felt like I couldnâ<80><99>t do that any longer. Vince, on the other hand, with the amount of money (I was the highest paid individual last year) said I should go full-time. He needed me for all the house shows, TV — everything.”

On his jump to TNA and a smaller schedule:

“I just did not have enough in me to continue to go 300 days per year. I felt it would have gotten to the point where I would have gotten exhausted, and I probably wouldnâ<80><99>t be alive today. I decided to go with TNA, and they monitor me with doctors and keep me in 10 or less matches per month. So, they are keeping me alive and well and wrestling, and I appreciate that.”

On how grueling a wrestling schedule can be:

“There is no sport more brutal. It is a year-round sport, and not even MMA is like that. Heck, those guys fight two or three times per year, and they get their downtime. There is nothing more grueling, and it comes to a point, for me it took six and a half years before I said, â<80>~Okay, Iâ<80><99>m done.â<80><99> I felt like I wanted to be a part of a program where someone actually cared about my health.”

On the last time he spoke with Chris Benoit:

“I talked to Chris, and he did not want to continue to wrestle 250 days per year. He wanted to wrestle a lot less. He was getting beat up, and I think in the end that started to get to him.”

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