Part two of Jim Ross' interview with Kurt Angle is now available (you can listen to it here) and the Olympic Gold Medalist speaks very candidly about both his struggle with drugs and alcohol and his desire to finish his career with WWE.
Expanding on his decision to not sign an offered contract extension from TNA, Angle says that he's in a difficult situation for a few reasons. One, Dixie Carter and her family have been very good to him and he very much wants to help TNA. But he wants to finish his career in WWE. The second issue is contractual, as he says his current deal prohibits him from negotiating with Vince McMahon and team about a return. Because of that, he doesn't know what WWE's interest level is in his return, and he's concerned that waiting until his current contract expires could jeopardize his spot in TNA.
It's admirable that Kurt is honoring his contract to the extent of not talking details with the McMahons, but I'm sure he could get a sense of if they're interested or not in bringing him back without doing anything illegal. While letting his deal expire might reduce the amount TNA offers him on a new contract, it probably isn't likely that they wouldn't welcome him back if he couldn't make a WWE deal happen.
JR brings up the WWE's wellness policy, and Angle says that a year ago he would have failed due to his abuse of painkillers, alcohol and anti-anxiety medication. But he reiterates that he's been clean for almost a year, and denies reports that his neck or knee injuries would cause him problems with the standard physical.
In a promising sign for his recovery, the TNA Hall of Famer is taking responsibility for the collapse of his run with WWE. Angle says that because of his substance abuse issues, Vince could never trust him as the face of the company. He used to hold a grudge against McMahon for that, but now blames himself. He's motivated to return in part to show those in charge that he's a changed man.
In the event that he winds up back with the sports entertainment juggernaught, Angle would like to work with Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Roman Reigns, Rusev and Brock Lesnar. He also mentioned CM Punk, saying that he respected his decision to leave but hoped he doesn't burn any bridges. Kurt said that he could see Punk returning in the future for a limited schedule like Lesnar or The Rock.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Should WWE give Kurt Angle one last run? Will they? Does anything from his conversations with Ross or the other news of the past week change your mind?