As noted, Kurt Angle made an appearance at iPlay America in Freehold, New Jersey this weekend and took part in a Q&A session during the event. You can read a few excerpts (transcription credit: Bill Pritchard for Wrestlezone.com) below:
I left WWE in 2006 and I went to another company for about 11 years, Impact Wrestling. I was there until 2016, and then I took a year off. I did take some matches on the independent circuit; one was Rey Mysterio, I wrestled Cody Rhodes three times. I wrestled [Alberto El Patron] and he’s phenomenal, a great ring general. He’s better than you think.
I did that because I wanted to stay fresh for when WWE brought me back. The reason it took me so long to get back to WWE was because… I was trying to get back since 2013, but Vince McMahon wasn’t real happy with my drug problem. I had to prove to him that I could stay clean for a lengthy period of time, and I guess it took four years.
When they brought me back, they wanted to make sure… I’m 49 years old, I’ve had five broken necks, so Vince McMahon wasn’t going to bring me back right away to wrestle. He wanted to see if I could pass the drug tests, he wanted to see if I could pass the physicals, he wanted to see if I could stay clean. He brought me in just for the Hall Of Fame, and then a month later he asked me to be an ambassador for the company, then I started doing appearances. A month later he wanted me to be the GM of RAW, and I have done that for the past six months. Now he’s asked me to wrestle.
He wanted me to ease into the company. He didn’t want to push me too hard, he wanted to make sure that I stayed clean for that period of time. Why am I at this point? It’s because Vince was very cautious, and I don’t blame him for that.
Will I be wrestling more? More on than off in the future? Probably. Right now I’m doing a little bit of both, the GM and wrestling here and there. I’m sure that I’ll be wrestling much more in the future, it just took a little bit of time. I don’t blame the company for what they did, I would have done the same thing. I’m glad Vince McMahon did that because I did want to prove to him that I could do what I did the last year, year and a half. So I’m happy to be able to start wrestling, and when I did take the physical, the doctor did tell me ‘You aren’t going to wrestling full-time. They don’t expect you to.’
I think they’re going to put me in different programs, with different athletes at different periods of time. At my age, I’m glad to do that. I don’t expect to be wrestling like Seth Rollins or AJ Styles where they’re wrestling four or five days a week. I did that. With the injuries and doing that, that’s the reason I left the company in the first place, so I’m glad to be able to do it more part-time than full-time.