Most notably, though, when Angle was asked about today's WWE product compared to his Attitude Era, he had a surprising answer:
"When I started, I was taught to begin each match with lots of action. Very few of our matches began with a traditional wrestling hold. The 'Attitude Era' was all about the action. It was big move after big move and lots of punches. Today, the wrestlers in the ring tell a better story. The boys and girls in the locker room can really wrestle and there is a great focus on storytelling and ring psychology. It's sort of back to basics, but I think it's a better style. The crowds today aren't as bloodthirsty as they were back then."
When talking about the Attitude Era, we typically think about all of the outlandish, sexually infused characters and storylines. To hear Angle open up about work-rate and in-ring psychology is fascinating. Even further, we rarely hear anyone say that today's wrestling is better than the hallowed Attitude Era. For most fans, the late 90's WWE represents a pinnacle of wrestling that will never be matched or even compared. Clearly, Kurt Angle thinks differently.
Times have changed, though. Matches today hinge upon pacing and technical execution. Perhaps more than ever, WWE has been more about wrestling than actual entertainment. Some fans would argue that this is the reason why ratings have slipped as bad as they have, but it may not be that simple.
Wrestlers certainly are not as colorful as they were in 1999, but WWE is an entirely different company today. Back then, WWE was fighting for its life as they were quite literally in a war against their southern foe, WCW. Today, WWE is a publically traded company that must defer to a set of priorities that most fans just can't understand.
With that said, WWE is improving in areas that were neglected in the name of catch phrases and genital thrusting. It does seem that WWE has overcorrected in its attempt to clean up its product. While we have the most physically gifted roster to date, many of their personalities are lacking. But let's be optimistic and say that eventually, WWE will work back to their entertainment-first roots, and when they do, they'll be armed with their most gifted performers yet.
It's a great time to be a wrestling fan.