This month’s TNA teleconference is with Karen Angle, who says TNA’s future is nothing but bright.
Ross Forman opened the conference with a reminder that TNA’s PPV Against All Odds, from the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC, will air this Sunday, February 10. Then he introduces Karen Angle, mentioning that her favorite treat is cookie dough.
Karen says that the jump to TNA from WWE made a huge difference to her, her husband Kurt, and their children, because it meant that Kurt went from being on the road over 300 days a year to being able to spend time with his family and enjoy them. She calls Dixie Carter her “personal angel” for hiring Kurt, and later Karen, and turning their lives around. Karen declares that Kurt is the healthiest he’s been in a long time, and their marriage is much stronger now. She’s much happier as well, because she can be at home with her children and still have her own job. As a plus, Kurt can do other things besides wrestling. She applauds Jeff Jarrett because he walked out and “didn’t go crying back.” Instead, Jarrett built something for himself and others.
Mrs. Angle believes her role in TNA is to support her husband and get him motivated, get his adrenaline flowing. She adds that on Sunday at Against All Odds, she will have to keep her eye on the Enforcer Samoa Joe. AJ Styles and Tomko are still on her “bad list” as well. She will be taking care of business, as usual. Kurt has been training hard, and he should do well against Christian, since he already knows all of Christian’s moves and tricks.
Karen revealed that she approved of Kurt losing his hair in the hair vs. hair match he had with Edge, because “bald men are very sexy.”
Angle admitted she is always nervous before going out to face the crowd at shows, but being nervous is normal. She just wants to do her best.
Karen stated that for the last three years Kurt was with WWE, she begged him to quit. It was just not a healthy place for him to be. Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett gave him a chance, and Kurt is the healthiest now that he’s been in 10 or 11 years. TNA has been a real blessing to them.
It was never an option for her to work for WWE, Karen said, because she could never have worked that schedule. Being on the road over 300 days a year was not the life she wanted for herself or her children.
She has been a pro wrestling fan longer than Kurt, Karen revealed. As a child, she grew up watching WWE with her grandfather.
If she had to get into the ring she would, Karen said, but she is not at the level of the women wrestlers in TNA, so it would not be right for her to hold the Knockout title. The girls in TNA work so hard, and have paid their dues to get where they are. She has paid her dues too, as Kurt’s wife, holding his home together while he was on the road, but it’s different. She is best at what she’s doing now.
Her foot is healing well. She always hops down from the ring, but her heel caught in the mat, and then she found she couldn’t walk, so Kurt had to carry her to the back. She found out it was broken when they went to to doctor.
The transition from private to public persona really hasn’t existed for her, since Kurt has been in the public eye since he was in the Olympics, and she’s had to deal with being in the public eye because of his fame. The only difference is that now people will ask for her autograph too. Karen added that the people in the Pittsburgh area where they live have always been very respectful of their privacy, and they appreciate how well they’ve been treated.
Their married life was very difficult when Kurt was in WWE; sometimes she only saw him four days in a month. Now they are like newlyweds.
She would be willing to do a mixed tag match with her and Kurt against Booker T and Sharmell, for example, but she does not believe it’s her place to go in the ring against women who have worked and trained so hard to be wrestlers, or against the TNA Champion. She has a great deal of respect for those women.
Karen said that Kurt’s neck is in good condition now and he’s healthy. She can see him wrestling for another 10 or 15 years, but she doesn’t think he’d be anywhere near this healthy if he had not come to TNA. She would support him if he decided to compete in MMA. She definitely does not want him to ever go back to WWE.
Kurt is very intense, she admitted, and he’s always thinking about business and ways he can improve. It’s her job to make him turn off the phone and help him relax. While he is very intense about work, Kurt is also a very loving husband and father.
Karen said, “There are no words to describe” all Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett did for her and her family. She is very grateful to them. Her role in TNA was supposed to be “just a short little thing,” but it turned out to be much more. They were welcomed warmly by everyone in TNA. At first, she was given respect because of Kurt, but now she gets respect on her own. Everyone at TNA is very nice and supportive – it’s not cutthroat the way you read on the internet about some places.
Kurt doesn’t mind her doing the Knockout photo shoots, because it’s really no different from wearing a bathing suit out by a pool with other people around. Kurt would like it if she’d dress like that more for him, instead of in sweats and jeans at home.
She had done some modeling in the past, but she had to stop it because before they had their own children, they had custody of Kurt’s great niece. Karen also worked two jobs, in sales and in a nail salon, to help support them after Kurt left his job as a sports news anchor and signed with WWE.
She said that AJ Styles and Jeremy Borash are very funny and great to work with. She credits Vince Russo with helping her develop her seductive character, and thanked him for letting her develop it herself and add her own touches.
Karen can’t do house shows because of their children. Even with TNA doing more house shows, Kurt’s not even working half as much as he did with WWE.
Karen had the idea for TNA to use their daughter to show Kurt in a mean role. Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo had the idea for Karen to also be on camera.
She enjoys her role in TNA, but Karen said that there are lines that she knows she will not cross to play a seductress. She doesn’t believe they’ve gotten near that point in anything they’ve done so far. Kurt has been 100% supportive of her, and he enjoys having his family on the road with him now.
Kurt and she have a great relationship with Vince Russo, and she thinks he’s been doing very well writing for them. She says that what’s coming up in the future will be ever better.
Karen admits she was star struck when Kurt first signed with WWE. It’s a great money making company, but if you really love someone, you don’t want to see them so exhausted from living that schedule all the time.
She says Kurt is always amazing, even when he was doing the goofy character in WWE. She thinks some of the best stuff he has done was when he was working with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Karen states without hesitation that she would never do Playboy.
Angle believes that International iMPACT! in Japan was just the start of new growth for TNA.
She wasn’t aware of the rumors about a TNA Knockout show in Saturday nights, or that iMPACT! would air live every other week, but she thinks those are also signs of growth. The women deserve their own show.
If her children wanted to go into wrestling, Karen said she would be 100% behind them, as long as they went to work for TNA.
Her son is 16 months old, so he doesn’t watch TNA or understand anything about what Mom and Dad do for a living. Their daughter is 5, and they let her watch some things in TNA but not others, because there are some things she would not understand. She does comprehend that Karen and Kurt are playing roles. She watched Karen and Sharmell when they had a confrontation on the show, and she told them both that they did a great job.
As far as her role models in the business, Karen says that every little girl who grew up watching wrestling wanted to be an Elizabeth. She also respected Sherri Martel, who she thought had the best actions and expressions.
She has words for Bobby Knight (TNA is talking to him about coming to work for them): “Bobby Knight, watch out for Kurt Angle!”
She doesn’t know about plans for TNA to go to Canada, but she thinks it would be great for TNA.
Karen says that a typical day for a wrestler in WWE would be traveling for 3 or 4 hours, getting to the arena at 11 am, and not leaving till midnight or later. She believes TNA is much smarter about the booking, and their wrestlers are healthier and happier as a result of not having to function every day on just 3 hours sleep.
She would rather not comment on any possible prescription drug issues in WWE, or their possible relationship to the schedule the wrestlers have.
Angle says the girls in TNA tower above the talent of the girls in WWE. The TNA Knockouts are amazing, amazing women who are very focused and work very hard.
Karen says she doesn’t know Scott Hall or anything about his situation, so she can’t comment on him.
Regarding Chris Benoit, she says it was a very sad thing that happened.
Karen won’t be at the TNA house show in NYC, but Kurt will.
She did once have aspirations to become an actress, but she had to step back and take care of Kurt and his niece. Now she has the perfect opportunity to have her family and also take care of herself.
Her favorite moment in TNA was her first night, when they walked back from the ring, and everyone was so proud and happy that she had been able to do it.
In the future, she would like to work with ODB, who is very entertaining, AJ Styles, Traci Brooks, and Sharmell.
Karen says she did shoot a pilot for a reality show called Green House, but she would have had to leave her family to do it, so she turned it down.
— Karen Belcher