Elimination Chamber may be Angle's last stand
For months, Kurt Angle and WWE Champion John Cena haev been engaged in one of the most bitter rivalries of 2005. Angle has scored several wins over the Champ, but he has yet to capture the WWE Championship from his hated enemy. Angle will join five other Superstars in the Elimination Chamber at New Year's Revolution where John Cena's WWE Championship will be on the line. After having so many shots at the gold, Angle says he thinks it may be his last shot at the Championship. WWE.com recently caught up with Angle to get his thoughts on this most brutal of matches and more.
WWE.com: Are you afraid of suffering any serious or possibly permanent injuries in the Elimination Chamber?
Kurt Angle: Yeah, I fear that in any match like this. I remember a couple of years ago when Rob Van Dam landed on Triple H's throat. When you get a guy like Shawn Michaels or myself who has the balls to go on top of one of those chambers and go flying off, there can be a lot of destruction. So, yeah, that concerns me. I also think John Cena has enough balls to do something like that. Everyone's going to lay it on the line. No one's looking to steal the show in this one because it's already the show stealer. Whoever walks out as the Champion will have stolen the show. This is the biggest match of the year. I'm looking forward to it because it's my first and because it's probably my last shot at John Cena. I don't think whoever the next General Manager is will give me another shot. This is it for me. I'm going to treat it as if I'm in the Olympic Games and it's my only shot at a gold medal.
WWE.com: Do you think Shawn Michaels and Kane have an advantage in this match since they've already participated in the Elimination Chamber?
Kurt Angle: No, I don't think they'll have an advantage. It doesn't matter what you put me in. I've been in numerous cage matches, I've been in Hell in a Cell -- I don't see this as any different. You're trapped in a chamber with a bunch of guys that want to brutalize you. I've been in that situation before. But John Cena hasn't. If anyone has a disadvantage to win out of the favorites, who I think are myself, Shawn Michaels, Cena and possibly Kane, I think John Cena is the least favored to win.
WWE.com: Do you think this is your last shot at John Cena or the WWE Championship?
Kurt Angle: Yeah, I don't think I'll get another shot -- at least not with John Cena. I have to do it now or never. When it comes down to it, John Cena and I have had numerous battles. He beat me last time, and it was the first time. He pulled a quick one on me and DDT'd the referee behind my back. I think John Cena is the biggest cheater in the world. But he outsmarted me in that one, so you can't underestimate Cena. He's young, but he's smart. As much as I hate to admit it, he's carried the title with dignity, but not with as much dignity as I would.
WWE.com: Will your past with Shawn Michaels distract you from your goal of winning the WWE Championship?
Kurt Angle: Shawn is a big concern of mine. Shawn will always be a big concern of mine. I consider Shawn Michaels, besides myself, as the best in the business. I think he has the ability to beat anyone at any time -- that's what's scary about Shawn. So, going in there, the one guy I'm going to keep my eye on is Shawn Michaels. You can't really fool the old man, which I consider Shawn Michaels in this bunch. He's so good at what he does, if I don't walk away as champion, I wouldn't be surprised if he does.
WWE.com: How are you going to prepare for this kind of match?
Kurt Angle: For me right now, I'm in such great condition. I'm in the best shape out of anyone in WWE. The only thing I can do is relax and not worry about it. I'm not going to go in with a game plan because you don't know if you'll be first or last into the chamber. All I can do is go by instinct, and that's where I have an advantage. These guys have been in sports-entertainment all their lives. I came from amateur wrestling, and we always went by instinct. If anyone has the upper hand here it's me. I've always gone by reflex and reaction. I don't try to force anything. I do things at the right time, when I feel it. I've been in numerous matches where you can't have a particular game plan and have to rely on instinct.
WWE.com: Carlito and Chris Masters are coming into such a huge match relatively early on in their career. Do you think that will be a big disadvantage to them?
Kurt Angle: I fear Chris. I fear everyone. If you don't fear them, then you won't win. That's just the way it is. If Chris gets the Master Lock in, he can literally break my neck. I know that, and so do the other guys. He's proven himself to be a main eventer. Every guy in that match will have to keep an eye on him. He may not be the flashiest guy, but that Master Lock is powerful. I don't think anyone can break that lock if he gets it in. I'm actually going to look to him to beat on some of the other guys. I'll try to sit in the back a little bit and let Chris do all the work. He's a young guy and inexperienced. He may just go in there and blow his gasket right away. I'll wait until he gets worn day, beats some guys up along the way, then I can kick it into high gear while everyone else is dead-tired.
With Carlito, he beat John Cena in his first ever match. Anybody that can do that in their first match makes an impact right away. He's probably the least favored to win right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he could sneak his way to victory. Although I want to be the sneaky guy in this situation, I think Carlito is much better at it. With all of these guys, aside from Triple H and Big Show, you're looking at the top guys in the business -- veterans and young guys. When it's over, I think everyone will have a hard time getting out of bed the next morning.