|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 3 August 2001, and I'm, uhh, I'm ...
I'm here, anyway.
On today's show, Droz sticks up for the "Tough Enough" crew, Tazz adds a new wrinkle to celebrity softball by way of the Tazzmission, and Kurt Angle proves to be one helluva role model for today's kids.
Opening credits with music by the Wacky Monochromatic Photomontage Garage Band.
Sounds like Alien Ant Farm's "Smooth Criminal" played backwards to bring out the satanic content!
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, resplendent in his Protestant Church Elder golf togs, and Howard Finkel, looking like an out-of-work porn film producer.
Kelly opens with the Big News About The Rock's Return To The WWF! In addition, the Rock will face Booker T at SummerSlam, and our guest today, Kurt Angle, gets his chance at Steve Austin's WWF World Title.
Kelly asks Fink what the atmosphere was like at the FU Center in Philadelphia last Monday Night?
"The 'WHAT' Center?!" asks Fink, chortling at Kelly's sad attempt at sophomoric humor this early in the show.
"The First Union Center, Howie," says Kelly, "What was it like?"
"Unbelievable!" says Fink, "Like Kurt Angle's appearance last week in his home town of Pittsburgh, the atmosphere was great again in Philadelphia for the Rock!"
Kelly says that the Rock's first post-suspension match will be against Shane McMahon in a (God help us!) "Street Fight" on Monday's Raw.
"Don't sell Shane short," says Kelly, "he plays dirty, and a 'Street Fight' is his element. He's always pulling rabbits out of the hat!"
Droz (Darren Drozdov) joins the show, saying that he was at the show in Philadelphia last Monday night, and has written of his experiences in his "Two Cents" column this week.
"It was great being backstage at Raw," says Droz, "but it was tough to write about because of all the great feelings I got from my 'extended family' in the WWF. I missed out on the shows the last two times the WWF was in Philly, but I wasn't missing this one!"
To Kelly's question about new faces in the WWF, Droz says that nearly all the new guys came up and said "hi" to him. "ARN ANDERSON came up to me," says Droz, awed, but pleased, "and we talked for a while. Arn's a legend in wrestling, and he took the time to talk to ME! I got to hang out with Arn! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that!"
Kelly shifts gears to the unfortunate death of the Minnesota Vikings' Korey Stringer from heat stroke this past week.
Droz, who played pro football, says that Korey was a great athlete who was cut down ahead of his time.
"Does the NFL need to change their training practices, Droz?" asks Kelly.
"I don't see how it could have been avoided," says Droz, "I heard about Korey collapsing, and then, the next day, I heard he passed away. It was a shock, an utter shock! I've been out in a football camp, in the heat, and you try to push yourself, try to get through the heat. You push yourself and push yourself, and a lot of times, you have to know when to stop. Korey forgot to stop, and he pushed his body too far. It can happen anytime, to anybody.
"I don't think the NFL needs to make any changes," Droz continues, "as an athlete, you need to watch yourself, be aware of your own limitations."
Kelly changes the topic of discussion to the rise of Kurt Angle in recent weeks.
Droz says that you can't properly describe the rise of Kurt Angle. "He was an Olympic Champion, a Gold Medalist, who turned that into the level of excellence he has in the WWF.
"Before I got hurt, Angle was working dark matches and honing his skills. With his talent in the ring, and his mic. skills, he's exceeded everyone's expectations. No one could have predicted how fast Kurt Angle's career would skyrocket!"
Fink asks Droz's thoughts on the return of the Rock.
"He was the first guy who I saw on Monday night," says Droz, "He came up and we talked. He's trimmed down a lot and looking good. I was glad to see him lay the smack down on Mr. McMahon and Shane. Although the fans were concerned when he nailed Mr. McMahon, I'm glad he's aligned with the WWF. Shane had better watch himself this coming Monday night, because the Rock is going to take out his frustrations on him. But the Rock had better remember that it is Shane he's fighting, and watch his back."
"Any prediction about the outcome (of the 'Street Fight')," asks Fink.
"The Rock is gonna take his boot," says Droz with a laugh, "turn it sideways, and stick it somewhere!"
Kelly brings up the subject of Steve and Debra Austin's domestic problems of late, all stemming from Debra's baking expertise, or lack thereof.
"You ever have a problem like that with YOUR wife, Droz?" asks Kelly with an audible smirk.
"Well," says Droz, "my wife bakes cookies, but she's never walloped me across the head with the cookie sheet!"
Droz goes on to say that he's tried Debra's cookies, and enjoyed them.
"Steve finally pushed Debra to the edge," says Droz, "and it was good to see her defend herself."
"I thought you got your "puke" gimmick from eating Debra's cookies?" says Kelly, which cracks everybody up.
Discussion turns to Droz's training days, and his association with Shawn Stasiak, which segues to Stasiak's backstage skit with Austin this past week.
"I don't think Austin even knew who Stasiak was," says Droz, "and if he did, he probably doesn't WANT to know him!"
Fink asks Droz about Thursday's episode of "Tough Enough."
"Droz," asks Fink, "you ever get a trip to the Bahamas when you were in the dojo, honing your skills? I myself didn't like that whole deal!"
Droz didn't have any problem with the trip, though he did have a problem with MTV.
"The 'Tough Enough' crew needed a break, but that trip was a little too nice!" says Droz. "Still, from a mental standpoint, it was good for them to get away. It was also tough to see that one girl have to leave because of her injury. It's always tough to see that happen to any athlete."
"Yeah, Droz," says Kelly, "but the injury doesn't mean her career is over. Her dreams of being a wrestling superstar aren't dead because of this."
Kelly thanks Droz for stopping by this week, and plugs "Droz's Two Cents" column over at WWF.com.
After Droz leaves, Fink relates how much Droz means to the WWF family. "When he arrived at the arena," says Fink; "everyone stopped in their tracks. The man is loved, and I'm glad he's part of the WWF family."
Kelly, on the other hand, treats Droz with a little less respect, and says so.
"This guy is a trickster," he says, " a real practical joker, a ribber. He was always trying to find a way to stir up trouble, and it's my job to try
and get him stirred up, too. But I think he's catching on."
It's time for "Outthink the Fink," where this week's winner will get a "SummerSlam" poster.
Oddly enough, this week's question is also related to SummerSlam, the 1990 edition to be exact:
"Who was Brother Love's "Special Guest" at SummerSlam 1990?"
And it's now time for this week's "Tales from the Hook," as Tazz is on the phone straight from the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.
(Sounds like there's a lot of kids squabbling in the background on Tazz's end of the conversation, and you can hear what has to be Miz Tazz telling them all to keep quiet! Boy, she sounds meaner than her hubby!)
Kelly asks Tazz how it feels to be back on the Smackdown announcing team with Michael Cole?
Tazz says that it feels great, and that he's got a whole different agenda now, being an Alliance member and all.
"When I was first announcing," says Tazz, "I didn't come across as a heel. I was trying to be entertaining..."
(Tazz? Trying to be 'entertaining?!')
"... But now I got an agenda. I've been working really hard at it, and have had a lot of help from the back as well."
Kelly remarks that, when two guys are commentating, and both are saying basically the same thing, it doesn't work.
"Yeah, Kevin," says Tazz, "you know that Cole and JR are both typical play-by-play guys. Though the fans may not see that, I myself am learning the difference. They do good work, but they are both still with the WWF. Now, with me on Smackdown and Paul Heyman on Raw, the Alliance has a voice at the announce table!"
Speaking of which," says Kelly, "you raised some very interesting questions on Smackdown, Tazz. Is the Alliance going after the Big Red Machine?"
"When we sit around that big bowl of Kool-Aid," says Tazz with a smirk, " there's like 30 of us, and I'm always arguing 'cause I want the Kool-Aid to be orange, while Heyman wants it to be that red fruit punch stuff!"
Dead silence from Kelly and Fink.
"C'mon, Kev," says Tazz, "put me over will you, heh, heh, heh?!"
"I wanna know if it's sugar-free?" says Fink.
"Heh, not the one Paul E. drinks, but mine is," says Tazz. "Uh, what wuz I talkin' about?"
"The Alliance going after Kane, Tazz," says Kelly, "you said on Smackdown that Kane was always on the backburner, lost in the shuffle, living in the shadow of his big brother, the Undertaker."
"Yeah, right," says Tazz, "Kane's been watching 'Taker's back, but that means he's in 'Taker's shadow, too. Now, if Kane were to join the Alliance, and I'm not saying he is, but IF he was, that would be a GREAT addition. Kane needs to rise to the occasion!"
"What about 'Tough Enough', Tazz," says Kelly, changing the subject, "Paulina's knee got injured, and she had to withdraw. And what about this trip to the Bahamas the Crew took?"
Fink chimes in, still obviously in "rubbed the wrong way" mode over the fact that the Bahamas trip was even offered, let alone taken.
"When YOU were in training, Tazz, " he wheedles nastily, " I bet YOU never got a trip to the Bahamas!"
"Well, once in a while, me and Jake the Snake would meet under the train trestle," laughs Tazz, "and we'd both go get some Sno-Kones."
"I don't know if the Bahamas trip was such a good idea," continues Tazz, "but it's a TV show MTV's doing, and it needs to be entertaining."
(Chyron shows the 'Tough Enough' crew on the boat ride in the Bahamas.)
"When they thought the whole Bahamas idea up, I don't think they meant it to be a reward. The only reward those kids should get is five years after they get the contract. They need to pay some "Old School" dues first. A lot of footage doesn't get shown, and there's plenty that the viewers never get to see. Well, that's the way it goes, sometimes. Take when Kurt Angle showed up. It was really hectic that day, there was some intense stuff going on between the trainers."
"What about Angle telling the Crew about turning down the contract Vince offered him the first time," says Kelly, "and then seeing Raw for the first time, and getting hooked?"
"When Kurt came back after he turned down Vince's deal," says Tazz, "he must have realized that he wouldn't get the same deal, the second time around. But he stuck with it, and now he's on a phenomenal roll. He's a good friend of mine, and he's just great as a babyface! He needs to dole out apple pie to everyone."
"Helluva promotional idea, Tazz," says Fink.
"Yeah," says Kelly, "we can get Debra to hand out her cookies at the same time!"
"Yeah, that'd be good!" says Tazz with a laugh.
"What about this ('Tough Enough' contestant) Chris Harvard, Tazz?"
"What a schmuck!" laughs Tazz, " he's coming across as some kind of preppy!"
"Paulina was smart to tap out," says Tazz. "She had lots of heart, very nice girl, but she just wasn't tough enough for this. She was taking a lot of injuries. Not crybaby injuries, REAL injuries, serious injuries that her body couldn't absorb."
"What's going to happen between Taylor and Nidia, Tazz? They are the only two girls left in the competition. If one girl drops, does that mean that the other gets the contract automatically? And what if they start pressuring each other to take a hike?"
"I dunno, Kev," says Tazz, "guess you'll just have to tune in and watch next Thursday."
"C'mon, how about a hint?" wheedles Kelly.
"I do know, but I can't say!" says Tazz with a snort.
"Y'know, you are not getting enough airtime, Tazz!" says Kelly.
"Cross-face somebody. PLEASE!"
More banter back and forth about what's happening in the Hook this week.
Tazz says he's grilling out this afternoon.
Kelly tells him to watch out for money laundering and stray gunfire.
Fink says he's looking forward to seeing Tazz at Monday's show.
"What?" says Tazz, "You mean you're not going out to (the house show in) San Diego?"
"No, why?" says Fink, a bit puzzled.
"How about you, Kev," asks Tazz, "you going?"
"Nope," says Kelly, "I'm not booked on the flight, anyway..."
"What's with you both ducking house shows all of a sudden?" asks Tazz, a little petulantly.
"Underlying currents, Tazz," says Fink enigmatically.
"Yeah, yeah," says Tazz.
"What's this I hear about Tazz making a triumphant return to Shea Stadium this week?" asks Fink, quickly changing the subject.
"I hear it's a charity softball game, Howie," says Kelly, sticking his oar in unbidden.
"Charity?" says Tazz, "What's 'charity? I'm getting paid!"
"Maybe you can give some pointers to the Mets, Tazz," says Kelly, " and help get 'em out of the cellar when the Cardinals come to town. How about slapping the Tazzmission on Mark McGwire?"
"Ehhhhh, McGwire's a putz!" growls Tazz, and leaves the show.
Still no winner yet in "Outthink the Fink."
Kurt Angle's talk to the 'Tough Enough' Crew gets the "Pulp Fiction" treatment this week.
Mr. Angle then joins the show, live via telephone.
Kelly asks Angle to comment on his brief reign as WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
Angle is very pleased about it, saying that it puts him in a special category of wrestlers who have held the top spot in both WCW and the WWF. And all within a year and a half of being in the business!
"It was an extraordinary thing, for the company to have as much faith in me as they did, to let me do something like that," says Angle. "To be a heel for so long, and then to step into the ring in my home town, and win the WCW World Title as a true babyface, it's something I've dreamed about ever since I got in the business. And Booker T, I can't say enough about him, how he put on an extraordinary performance in that match!"
"I don't think anyone will be able to duplicate what you've accomplished on so short a time, Kurt," says Kelly, "but, last night on 'Tough Enough', you talked about tearing up the contract Vince offered you right after you won the Olympic Gold Medal. Any regrets over doing that?"
"No regrets at all, Kevin. The second time around, I knew I would work hard in the WWF, but that's just the kind of guy I am. I didn't get the same contract the second time around, either. I got a training contract, what you are seeing right now on 'Tough Enough.' I had to start from scratch, to go back to my roots as an amateur wrestler. I started out as a nobody, and made myself a Champion. In a way, it actually worked out better this way, because I'm always trying to be the best at whatever I do, and that includes sports entertainment. It's great to work with other wrestlers who have proven themselves, and be part of such a group."
"I'd like to know where your comedic side came from in all those sketches with Edge & Christian?" says Kelly.
Wel-l-l-l, I've always been kind of a jokester," says Angle, "when I wasn't training or working out, I'd be the jokester. On the road, the other wrestlers consider me an easy target, and since it's the same character I play in the WWF, it works out real well. With sports entertainment, I'll do whatever it takes to be successful. Though I'm a team player, I want to be something different. I don't want to be like Steve Austin, or the Undertaker, and comedy allows me that difference I'm looking for. The writers and the McMahons helped me out tremendously with this, and made me successful at what I do."
What do you consider the funniest rib ever played on you?" asks Fink.
"Gee, there have been so many!" laughs Angle. "I'd say the one where HHH and I were tagging against the Rock and Stone Cold. The show ended, and we stayed in the ring to work some more performance for the fans. HHH told me we'd both go back to the ring and kick both their butts, and I said 'Yes!' So, here we go charging down the ramp, and I dive under the ropes and into the ring. But HHH, he pulls up short! So, there I am in the ring, alone with the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin! They spent the next ten minutes beating the hell out of me! Ten minutes of every finisher they had, right on me, while HHH headed for the back! When I got backstage, HHH and Vince were rolling around on the floor, laughing fit to bust! Didn't bother me a bit. If I'm the center of the joke, the cameras are on ME, and that suits me just fine!"
"Yet," says Kelly, "when the cameras are off you're a pretty serious guy, aren't you?"
"Well, a lot of guys think they can out-wrestle me, and they'll try me on to see what I have, to see what it's like to wrestle an Olympic Gold Medalist. I am VERY serious about that. If they want to wrestle me, I'll wrestle them, and kick their butts! Most of these guys have never wrestled before, so it's kind of fun to out-wrestle a lot of guys, you know, toss them around, and pin them at will!"
"Anybody on the roster able to take you?" says Kelly, who's obviously trying to stir something up.
"Well, there's one guy who thought he could," says Angle, " The Big Show. Here's a guy who's seven two, and five hundred pounds, who can pick you up, throw you clear out of the ring, and there's nothing you can do about it. I couldn't pin The Big Show, though I had him down a couple of times. It's really cool that he wanted to try me. I wouldn't want to face him in a street fight. Nobody would."
We go to the phones, and Caller One, Corey, asks if Angle's "Patriotic American" role jibes with that of Bret Hart's "Patriotic Canadian" role?
"I didn't watch much of what Bret Hart did back then," says Angle, "but what I did see impressed me. Hart did a great job. I've got a lot of respect for Bret and all of the Hart family. Playing a role like that isn't just a United States thing; it's a global thing. Back in the 80's, if you were from Russia, were honorable, and came over here, the fans would boo you out of the arena. Nowadays, if you're a good guy, and honorable about your country, people respect that. I like playing the honorable patriot; it's a good role for me."
Kelly asks about Angle's match against Lance Storm, how it turned into "USA vs. Canada", and how Angle got banged up pretty good.
Angle says that Storm is a phenomenal wrestler, with a big future in the WWF. "It was a privilege to wrestle him," says Angle, "Storm has shown that he can step up to the plate and wrestle with anyone in the WWF."
I've got to ask you, Kurt," says Kelly, "how you got banged up and bleeding in that match with Lance Storm?"
Angle laughs. "Y'know how I always wear my Gold Medal to the ring? Well, my Gold Medal is just the right size and on just the right length of ribbon that when I get hit or kicked, it pops up and hits me right in the face! Every single time! Lance Storm landed a superkick on me during the show opener, and the Gold Medal smacked me right in my right eye above the eyelid. During our match, Lance whacked me again, reopening the cut. In addition, he nailed me with an elbow drop that I wasn't expecting, and I bit my tongue real good. Actually, the blood made the match look better on TV, what with Lance beating on me pretty good, but I still got the win."
Fink asks Angle about his being inducted into the National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame, and whether or not there was any resentment among his colleagues that he came from the amateur ranks, and became as successful as he has? "Is it a case of the others not being able to attain the success that you have?" concludes Fink.
"No," says Angle, "I've gotten nothing but good feedback about what I've done. Five years ago, this wouldn't have been the case. In the past, there's been a long line of amateur wrestlers who made the move to professional wrestling, but not within the past fifteen years or so. It's been a stalemate. I feel that my good feedback means that the stalemate will be broken, and you'll begin to see a lot more amateur wrestlers crossing over to the professional ranks. It's the entertainment side of pro wrestling that the fans love so much, and that is what will keep pro wrestling growing. I guess you could call me a pioneer. In the past, it was so bad, no amateur wrestler would ever be caught dead watching a professional wrestling show."
"We've heard a lot about (NCAA champion) Brock Lesnar, Kurt," says Kelly, still trying to get a rise out of Angle, "can you tell us if there is any professional jealousy between you two?"
"No, there's a mutual respect between us," says Angle, "I see Brock as a major star in the WWF. Within the next two or three years, he will be up there with the Main Eventers. Sheldon Benjamin is another one to watch. He and Lesnar are supporting each other. It's like they know that they are carrying the torch for amateur wrestling, and hope to bring more of it into professional wrestling in the future.
Another caller, Tom, asks Angle how he's going to celebrate when he takes the Title from Steve Austin?
Angle laughs, and says that it'll be the biggest celebration the WWF has ever seen. "It would be a real feather in my cap to take the Title from Steve Austin. If I beat Stone Cold, you'll see the biggest and best celebration ever."
Kelly asks him what it's like to wrestle in such a high profile spot?
"I am honored to be a part of it," says Angle, " this is my second year in the Main Event, and SummerSlam is the second most important PPV event of the year! Plus, I'm facing Stone Cold, a guy I've never faced before in the Main Event. Austin and I have great chemistry together, so this should be the match of the year."
A dive into the ol' Email Bag asks a good question: "Which is the more difficult as far as pressure and athleticism: pro wrestling, or Olympic wrestling?"
"They are both different," says Angle.
"In professional wrestling, you tell a story along with the match, and make sure you hit all the corners. You are not just relying on instinct. You are thinking all the time about what's coming up. You play to the fans and to the guy you are wrestling. It is much more difficult than it is to compete in amateur wrestling. The difference being that, in professional wrestling, we know the finish. We just have to pull it off the right way.
"In amateur wrestling, you don't know who is going to win. It's high pressure on both sides, and for me, in either style of match, pro or amateur, my adrenaline is pumping."
(Chyron shows highlights of the match between Angle and Booker T.)
Caller Three, Mario, asks about how ECW and WCW are doing, and will they succeed, given that the old WCW didn't succeed?
"What about this, Kurt?" asks Kelly; " do you see a universe where both companies can exist?"
"Not only will they exist," says Angle, "but they will succeed. Both companies are successful now, and will become more successful as time goes on. The WWF has one product, and WCW/ECW has a completely different type of product, which will be competition for the WWF."
(Chyron shows Arn Anderson, Stacy Keibler, and Scott Hudson coming down the ramp during the abortive first "WCW Invasion." Keibler as WCW's ring announcer? What happened to that?)
"You are going to get both of these companies bidding against each other," continues Angle, "to see who is the best. Without competition, things get stale. With the competition, the ratings will, and indeed are, starting to climb. What's coming is going to be incredible. And with a McMahon owning each federation, there will be nothing but success.
"What about your performance at SummerSlam last year, Kurt?" asks Kelly.
"I'd term it bittersweet," says Angle, "because I can't remember any of it! That HHH, The Rock and Kurt Angle were in it, I remember. But that Pedigree I got from HHH onto the announce table sent my mind into another orbit! I don't remember the match, and when I watch the tape, I still don't know how I managed to get through it. The Rock and HHH and (WWF Senior Referee) Earl Hebner get all the credit. Kurt Angle may have been there physically, but I was somewhere else mentally. Still, I was still able to make the match a success, and that's what I'm most proud of. I couldn't be the popular character that I've become without the help of everyone in the WWF. It's not just me; it's everyone else there, backing me up. Without all of them, I don't know where my career would be right now."
"What's the one shining moment that stands out in your career as a professional wrestler?" asks fink.
"Winning the WWF World Title from the Rock!" says Angle without hesitation. "I really did cry that night. Many fans thought it was an act, but it was no act. I had tears in my eyes. I had wanted the WWF Title ever since I joined, and here I was, eleven months into the business with the gold around my waist!
"Next would be my series with Chris Benoit. It wasn't a Main Eventer or anything like that, but looking at the tapes, some of my best matches were with Chris Benoit. I give Chris a lot of credit, because I used a lot of my amateur wrestling moves, and he was able to counter them."
What about your training for the Ironman match with Benoit?" asks Kelly.
"Chris Benoit is a machine!" says Angle; "he is a competitive, aggressive, vicious individual. If you can't keep up with him, you wind up drowning. Chris can either make you look very bad, or very good. YOU have to keep with HIM. I trained the hardest I've ever had to for that match. I knew I had to be ready for it, because I knew that Chris Benoit would be ready for it. I can't wait for Chris to come back, so we can continue our series. I also want to tag team with him, because I think we'd make a great team."
Kelly says that his favorite match at Wrestlemania (X-7) was the Angle vs. Benoit match.
"Without a doubt," says Angle; "I had a lot of good people in my corner making it a team effort."
Kelly remarks that, If there was one member of that team that stands out, it was Gerald Briscoe.
"He's the one individual in the WWF that truly understands me," says Angle. "Jerry was an All-American in college who made the transition from amateur to pro, just like I did, so he knows what I've had to go through. Any advice I need, I ask Jerry, because he knows what I am thinking, and in what direction I need to be heading. He's like my coach, plus he's got a knack for business, as well as being an incredible wrestler, and a great friend of mine."
Fink asks how Angle got ready for his "Street Fight " match against Shane McMahon at "King of The Ring," and does a match that intense take a lot of preparation time?
"Shane gets a lot of credit," says Angle, " because, here's a guy who doesn't wrestle that often, and he put on a stellar performance. The kid trained for about six weeks straight getting ready for the match. I even had to train with him once a week on Wednesdays, after the TVs were done, so we could make it a good match that would steal the show. I think we were able to do that. It was a brutal match, but one where you can't really 'practice' any of it. The moves that we did were one-time-only moves. You can't practice a belly-to-belly through the glass. You can't practice an 'Angle Slam' from the top rope. You can't practice a 'Northern Star' onto a garbage can. Things like that, you just have to go out there and do it. We just wanted to make sure when we were going to do it, and how we were going to do it, to make sure the fans would stay in the match, and to tell a good story. We started from the beginning, and we started wrestling, and I started to out-wrestle Shane, and he took me out of my element by making me run after him, and then he ended up getting the weapons. That's when Shane gets good, when the weapons come out. But then I would start to come back and out-wrestle him, and he would stop me with garbage cans. It told a good story like, here's this animal Olympic Champion Wrestler that Shane can't stop. The only way TO stop him is with a weapon. Eventually, he and I got so fatigued, that it became an even match. I had wrestled in two other matches against Christian and Edge in the "King of the Ring" contest, so obviously I was pretty tired. This made the match even itself up so that, by the end, I don't think anybody knew who was going to win. I'm still amazed that we were able to pull it off, because we both got injured during the match."
Kelly recalls Angle's match where he did the moonsault off the top of the steel cage. "Do you think you might have gone too far with that move, Kurt?"
"Nobody told me to do that move," says Angle, "I just wanted to do something special because I was wrestling against Chris Benoit in a cage match. It's like my match with Shane at "King of The Ring." I wanted to do something special. I don't know if I will never do the moonsault again. You never say that, because it just means you probably will. In pro wrestling, you put your body at risk. The move I got injured on at "King of The Ring" was a simple suplex. I thought I'd broken my tailbone. High altitude moves, nothing. Simple moves, injury. So if the simple moves can injure you, imagine what the high-flying moves could do. We were lucky we didn't get badly injured from those spots."
Kelly winds up the interview by asking about what SummerSlam means to Kurt Angle?
"It's the beginning of a bright future in the Main Event for me," says Angle. "I've got to be on my game, and go in strong for this match. Steve Austin is the very best, and to beat the best, I am going to have to knock him off. My time is now; I can't wait any longer."
Kelly thanks Angle for being on the show, and says that they plan to have him back when Angle's book comes out in September.
After Angle leaves, Kelly and Fink discuss Angle's passion for what he is doing, and how it permeates all facets of his life.
"It's not a work,' says Kelly, "it's the way Kurt Angle is, day in and day out. It's his way of life."
Fink says that no one today could make the claim that they have done what Kurt Angle has done. "He's been a perfect fit being here," says Fink.
"Only one person comes close, and that was Bob Backlund," says Fink. "He won the WWWF Championship back in 1978, and he started slowly from his amateur wrestling background at the University of North Dakota, while Kurt Angle came in as a champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist. His rise to fame was faster than anyone else's. I'd love to have seen a match between Angle and Backlund, or even Kurt Angle and Bret Hart.
Kelly agrees, saying that a match between Bob Backlund in his prime, or Bret Hart in HIS prime against Angle would have been a whale of a match. Even Ric Flair against Kurt Angle. Kelly also says that, by winning the WCW World Heavyweight Title, his name goes on a very short list of men who have won Championship Titles from both the WWF and WCW, men like Harley Race and Ric Flair."
"No one has done as much in two years as Kurt Angle has," says Kelly, "but his biggest accomplishment will be at SummerSlam, if he can defeat Stone Cold Steve Austin."
This week's winner of the SummerSlam poster for "Outthink the Fink," is Brian Kaufman of East Chester, NY, for guessing that Brother Love's special guest was Sgt. Slaughter.
"Little did we know," says Fink, "that Sgt. Slaughter would have a lot of trouble in the ring in 1990 as a result of the ensuing Gulf War."
Next week's guest should actually be plural, as Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler, the two WCW/ECW Divas will be here to "knock us right out of the frame," says Kelly. "It may be by phone, or we will fly down and interview them. Or maybe we will interview them, and then talk about it on the following "Byte This!" You fans can just watch a test pattern or something. Whaddaya think, Fink?"
Another plug for the charity softball game at Shea Stadium. Fink will be on the field for the first time since 1969, according to Kelly, who says that Fink "was a member of the pennant-winning Mets team of Wayne Garrett, Tom Seaver, you all went from there to - "
"I was never a member of the New York Mets team itself, Kevin," says Fink. "I was a huge Mets fan, and still am..."
"I thought you were a member of the Mets?" says Kelly a little hurt at having his dream shattered like this. "Tommy Agee! Ron Swoboda!"
"You wanna go Don Clendenon, Tom Seav-" says Fink, "I can go on and on..."
"Who was the catcher on that team?" asks Kelly, switching to "Major League Baseball Trivia"- mode in a heartbeat.
"Jerry Gro- look, I just wanted to say that if you are in the New York area on the 11th, Shea Stadium is the place to be. A bunch of the WWF Superstars, Tazz, Kurt Angle, Albert, even Tajiri will be there in this celebrity softball game right before the Mets-Cardinals game."
Fink also hopes that Shinjo on the Mets team takes notice of Tajiri.
"Shinjo should spray the Green Mist at the pitchers because he's not even hitting his own weight!" says Kelly hotly, "he just sucks! He's part of the problem why the Mets are in the toilet this year. And yes, I am a huge Mets fan. Shinjo! Why couldn't we get the guy with the Mariners? Ishiro? Why couldn't we get him?"
"Look, are you going to be there?" says Fink, who's a little miffed at Kelly's rant about the Mets.
"I haven't been invited!" hollers Kelly.
"Is the WWFdotcom crew going to be there?" asks Fink.
"Unfortunately," says Kelly, "they probably will."
"Anytime they have a chance to get at a buffet, "says Fink, "they take it!"
"There will be a lot of stars and celebrities at Shea on the 11th," says Kelly.
"Mike Piazza?" asks Fink.
"Humph, yeah, whatever!" says Kelly.
"Are you in a rotisserie league or something, Kev?" asks Fink, puzzled at how hot Kelly is getting on the subject.
"YES!" says Kelly, "and they are KILLING ME!" He rants on about the horrible trades the Mets have made, seemingly to no purpose. Fink just sits back and lets Kelly run out of steam on the subject.
Kudos all around for a well-produced show from Kelly and Fink.
"Next week, bikini fittings with the Fink," laughs Kelly, "and MORE!"
Fink cracks up big-time.
The show ends.
See you next week.
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