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Match with Michaels a thrill for Angle
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun

Kurt Angle celebrates his win over Eddie Guerrero at Summerslam at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday, August 15, 2004.
-- Stan Behal, Toronto Sun

The music blasts over the loudspeaker, but is somehow drowned out by the fans bellowing: "You suck. You suck. You suck. You suck." Just another night in the life of Kurt Angle.

But all the "You suck" chants in the world can't dampen Angle's enthusiasm these days: He's going to Wrestlemania in a match he's wanted for two years -- facing Shawn Michaels.

"I'm looking at it as a dream match," Angle said over the phone the other day. "I've been asking for this match for two years. Shawn and I have very different styles, but I believe we're the two best wrestlers in WWE.

"Pat Patterson used to say, 'You guys are the best two ever. We're robbing the fans if we don't have this match.' "

And after the Michaels match, what's next?

"I've wrestled everybody," said Angle. "Rock. Undertaker. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hulk Hogan. I've made them all tap out. Somebody like Batista, maybe. That'd be an excellent match. I'd like to teach him a lesson.

"Another dream? Bret Hart? But he's not going to come back."

Angle wants to win back the confidence of Vince McMahon, confidence that may have been lost.

"This didn't come from Vince's mouth. But I believe he lost a lot of faith in me. I had three neck injuries in a year and a half so I don't blame him for being that way. But I need to prove to him that I'm durable. I'm 100% now. I can carry the title. I can have a championship run."

The fact that the 36-year-old Olympic gold medallist from 1996 is even competing is amazing, given the severity of the neck injuries.

"I've been wrestling for five years and I'd like to have a 10-year career," said Angle. "I want to be able to walk and hold my daughter (Kyra). But make sure you tell people ... I'm not going anywhere."

And does he really suck? Not literally, but ...

"(Away from wrestling) I'm pretty much the same person you see on TV, just pumped up a few notches," said Angle. "I take pride in being the most hated guy in sports. Saying that I suck is just a response to my song. It doesn't bother me."

RELATED LINKS

  • More on Kurt Angle

    - Another fantastic RAW last week, but I was left puzzled by a couple of things: It sure looked like Muhammad Hassan missed his cue to lift the ring bell up and hit Chris Benoit who was diving off the top rope. And why have Shawn Michaels pin Edge in the action-packed street fight closing match? Edge hit Michaels with a spear, his finishing move, and Michaels kicked out. Then a bloodied Michaels, with either the goriest or fakest crimson mask we've ever seen, hit his superkick and pinned Edge. Does that mean that Michaels' finishing move is superior? Then we get Angle hitting the ring and knocking out Michaels. Why couldn't Angle interfere earlier and cause a DQ? That way Edge doesn't lose. Are they trying to push Edge over the edge?

    - On paper, Wrestlemania is shaping up to be the best ever. Just announced: Hogan into the Hall of Fame and Austin in Piper's Pit. Also, Chris Jericho announced he'll be in a ladder match with five other superstars ... and Randy Orton has his sights on The Undertaker. My boss, Shalom Two Feathers Mitch "The Axe" Axelrad, says he thinks Orton will turn heel with help from his papa Cowboy Bob Orton and beat 'Taker.

    - Orlando Jordan won the U.S. title from John Cena on Smackdown!

    - Batista will take on Ric Flair in Raleigh, N.C., tomorrow night on RAW. Raleigh is practically home for Flair, who will get lots of support from the fans, even with Triple H in his corner. Could this be the night, Triple H "accidentally" costs Flair the match? And could Flair align himself with Batista? Only WWE's scriptwriters know for sure.

    - CPW's all-day Battle Mania 2005 will be held on May 14 at the Robert Guertin Centre in Gatineau. World's strongest man Hugo Girard will be the guest ref in the main event of Wild Dangerous Dan vs. Pierre Carl Ouellet. Girard will also be at CPW's next event, Last Man Standing, on March 19.


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