Just over a year ago now, Kurt Angle retired from in-ring competition following a match with Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. After returning to WWE in 2017, Angle competed in 19 matches for the promotion.
The WWE Hall of Famer and multi-time World Champion didn’t have a great run in terms of his in-ring work after returning to the company over WrestleMania 33 weekend, and it seems like Angle wanted more.
While speaking to Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture, Angle spoke about not being on the same page as Vince McMahon with regards to his WWE return. He also spoke about wanting a final title run before leaving:
“It didn’t go the way I wanted it to. Vince McMahon had an idea for me, I think he was looking at me as a liability, someone that was addicted to painkillers, someone that broke his neck 5 times. So, I think Vince didn’t have the same idea I did. I wanted to get a title run when I came back. I actually took a year off after I left TNA and I wrestled around the world. I did events in the U.K, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Arizona; I did a pay-per-view down there with Rey Mysterio. I wanted to have another title run and retire. And Vince McMahon wanted me inducted into the Hall of Fame and I told him, ‘Well, I am not done wrestling’ and he said, ‘That’s okay’ And I said, ‘Well, you know eventually I would like to wrestle,’ and he said ‘We’ll get there.’ So, after the Hall of Fame, that night, after I had my speech, Vince McMahon came up to me and said, ‘You’re going to be the GM of Raw starting tomorrow.’ And I was like ‘Well, I still wanna wrestle,’ he said, ‘We’ll get you there.’ So, I think he did everything he could to kind of push that off. And when it was time for me to wrestle, I was doing the GM job for a year and a half; I was inactive, not bumping, not wrestling. My body started getting arthritic, my neck tightened up, my back, my knees. Before I knew it, I got in the ring and I looked like an old man wrestling. And I knew that. Even though the company wanted me to continue to wrestle, I didn’t feel right about it for a couple reasons. One, I wanted to come back and have the title run, that wasn’t going to happen…”
Angle was one of the names released by WWE in April as part of a cost-cutting measure brought on by the Coronavirus.
Make sure you check out Denise’s full interview with the former Olympic athlete where they speak about Kurt’s time with WWE, some funny moments, his final match, and much more.