KURT ANGLE has revealed who would make his Mount Rushmore of wrestling – but there would be no room for WWE champion Brock Lesnar.
The hall of famer joined two-time Divas title holder Paige, ex-UFC king Cain Velasquez and current US champ Andrade at Sun Sport’s London HQ on Wednesday to celebrate WWE’s move to BT Sport.
And the 51-year-old, who won Olympic Gold for USA’s wrestling team “with a broken freaking neck” in 1996, was only too happy to sit down and answer questions sent in from our readers.
Angle, widely-regarded as one of the all-time greats himself, has known Lesnar since they first working together in the early 2000s.
And he insists that the bad ass, loner persona you see from “The Beast” on-screen is exactly the type of man he is away from the screen.
Speaking exclusively to Sun Sport, Angle said: “Brock, is a tough dude in every aspect. He’s a man’s man and one of those guys who doesn’t like people.
“He likes to fish and hunt and to be left alone.
“There are very few people on this earth that are like Brock.
“He’s a very, very tough individual and he grew up that way.
“You see him in the ring how he dominates and in the UFC how he dominates, he’s a rare individual.”
He’s a man’s man and one of those guys who doesn’t like people. He likes to fish and hunt and to be left alone.
Kurt Angle on Brock Lesnar
The duo headlined WrestleMania 19 while battling for the WWE title, a match “The Beast” won before later heading off to UFC to become heavyweight champion and then returning to dominate wrestling again in 2012.
Since then Lesnar has held the Universal Title three times and is a five-time WWE champ as well as ending The Undertaker’s undefeated ‘Mania streak.
However, despite his huge accomplishments, most fans look past the 42-year-old when naming their Mount Rushmore of wrestling greats.
Angle admitted the icon would not make his either and explained the reasons why.
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“With Brock, in most cases they would pass him up,” Angle said. “I think it’s because he’s not a guy… he’s a man of very few words.
“He goes in that ring and performs as good, if not better, than anyone in the world but in sports entertainment you have got to have something behind that.
“So if you are talking about the Mount Rushmore then you are talking about the overall entertainment – how people get wowed and what they say to people and to the fans and how they pertain themselves in their character.
“A guy like Shawn Michaels would be on the Mount Rushmore, Ric Flair would be on Mount Rushmore… I don’t see Brock as an overall athlete that would be up there.
“But don’t get me wrong, what he does in the ring, no-one does better.”
So there would be no room for Lesnar alongside “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair on Angle’s own Mount Rushmore.
But would he choose himself when pressed on who would fill the other two spots?
He said: “Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. I would never put myself up there, it’s just not who I am. I imagine some people do but when I think about Mount Rushmore I don’t think of myself.”
Angle added: “I can’t give impressions, I wish I could, but my two are Stone Cold and The Rock.
“They are my two biggest influences and to hear their catchphrases, ‘That’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so’ and ‘If you can smell what The Rock is cooking’ – those guys are what drew me to the business in 1998.
“I didn’t watch wrestling as a kid so I just started in 1998 watching Raw and I specifically watched Stone Cold and what he did and how he did it.
“Him and Dwayne, The Rock, were my influences when I joined and why I wanted to be with the company and a professional wrestler and sport entertainer. Those guys were the best of the best and I learned from them.”
Check out Kurt Angle’s answers in full on the video at the top of the page.
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