RAW Superstars react to Angle's release

WWE is still in a state of shock following Kurt Angle’s release on Friday, and many of the Superstars WWE.com spoke to backstage at RAW on Monday still couldn’t believe that it happened.

“I’m surprised; Kurt has been a great wrestler his whole career…well, more than great, fantastic,” said Intercontinental Champion Johnny Nitro. “I’m going to miss him because I’m such a fan of his; I loved watching him.”

Carlito added that Angle “is one of the greatest Superstars ever, and it’s a big loss that he’s gone. I wish him the best and hope that we see him back again.”

Despite his heated rivalry with Angle in recent months, Randy Orton goes back a long way with the Wrestling Machine and was sad to see him go.

“When I first came to WWE in 2002, I rode with Kurt for about four months. Ever since then, I’ve always looked to him as mentor of sorts, someone I could always get advice from,” Orton revealed. “I hold him very close to my heart as far as what he’s done for the business and the drive he has; whatever personal situations have arisen that call for this drastic of a measure…I think Kurt is one of the most valuable players WWE had, and I hope he comes back sooner than later. Whatever he needs to get in order, I hope he takes the time to do it.”

Another Superstar who had a recent rivalry with Angle, John Cena, echoed Orton's statement.

"Kurt and I have been teammates and adversaries; we've beaten the hell out of each other and we've basked in each other's glory. Since I've been here, he's been a good friend to me," Cena said. "He's always been someone I could talk seriously too. But sometimes it has to be what it has to be; he's a good friend of mine and I just wish him the best."

For Jeff Hardy, Angle’s release hit a little closer to home as well. 

“When I got my first contract, I was in the same training camp as Kurt,” Hardy revealed. “For me, it was an honor to be training with an Olympic Gold Medalist. He was such a big part of WWE; when I heard that he was gone, it was mind-blowing. I was kind of speechless when I found out.”

Hardy spent three years out of WWE battling his own demons, so he can relate somewhat to what Angle is going through today. In fact, Hardy hopes Angle gets everything together and returns to WWE in the near future.

“Hopefully, he can just take the time at home and breathe, and not have to worry about where he’s going to be next week or beyond,” Hardy said. “I know he knows his talent in this world is to be a wrestler, and he’s got a God-given talent for that; hopefully it will find his way into his heart again and he’ll be back.”

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