Kurt Angle opens up about the end of his in-ring career Submitted by Aaron T-Bar Rift on 10/11/2020 at 09:27 AM
During an interview with PWInsider.com, Kurt Angle talked about his recent run with WWE:
"When I got back to WWE, I took a year off from TNA and I wrestled about 10 times that year, I wrestled Del Rio, Rey Mysterio on the independent circuit, Cody Rhodes a couple times, Joe Coffey, Zack Sabre Jr., all these great wrestlers, it was a lot of fun. I did it to stay in shape so that when I returned to WWE the following year I'd be in wrestling shape and ready to go. I was having great matches too. Was I the same Kurt Angle? No, but I was pretty close. I was good...I was good enough that I knew, you know, if Vince wanted to give me a title run, I was ready for it, but when I got to the WWE, they had no plans of me wrestling, at least not at first, and I understand. I mean, Vince looked at me as a liability, I have painkiller issues, I have neck issues, I think he was a little nervous to stick me out there cause if something happened to me I think that, either one - you know, liability reason or two - he would feel bad that he put me in that position. So I understood why he did what he did, but you know, I'm an adult and I had different plans, I wanted to make a return, have a title run, wrestle...have my Wrestlemania retirement match with somebody that was a legend or a Hall of Famer, or you know, someone that would be a future Hall of Famer like John Cena, so it didn't go out as planned but I understood why, you know Vince just...he looked at me as a liability and I wasn't. The problem was when I started as General Manager, I became inactive, so I was inducted into the Hall of Fame...I wish it was the opposite - wrestle first, General Manager second, Hall of Fame third, and I told Vince that, he said 'We're going to induct you into the Hall of Fame first,' and that night he said, 'Tomorrow on RAW you're going to be the General Manager,' and I was like, 'Vince, I still want to wrestle.' He goes, 'We'll get to it,' so I became the General Manager and I became inactive - I wasn't wrestling, I wasn't taking bumps, after, you know, I think I maybe wrestled once or twice that year, I think I did a TLC match for The Shield, and I think Survivor Series and the problem was I had a leg injury, so that didn't help me out. I pulled a muscle in my thigh doing sprints, so I didn't perform very well, so I think Vince looked at that and said 'Uh, he might not have it anymore.' Problem was, when I got inactive, my body became arthritic - my knees, my back, my neck, I gained weight, my shoulders...I couldn't put my hands over my head, it got really bad, so I...I was aging so quickly because I was inactive, I wasn't bumping anymore...it's crazy, the more you bump, you wrestle day in, day out, the looser you feel, believe it or not, I mean you get sore at times, but staying active, especially in pro wrestling, you need that, if you don't, first of all you're going to lose your wind, you're going to get tired fast, second of all your body is in no position to continue to take a bunch of bumps if you haven't been training it to do so. So I got really arthritic, I looked like an old man, and that's when I told Vince I want to retire, and he said 'I thought you wanted to go another year?' I said, 'No, no..Vince, whenever you do have me wrestle I'm doing a job for somebody, I know you don't have plans for me, so I just want to retire at this Wrestlemania. I'd love to wrestle John Cena.' He said, 'Well you have a program with Baron, you're going to wrestle Baron regardless. If you want Cena, I might be able to do that next year,' and I said, 'No, I'll just wrestle Baron.' So I ended my career, Vince didn't end it, I did because I knew it was the right thing to do. I just wasn't performing at the level I wanted to."
By Dave Scherer & Mike Johnson on 2020-10-09 19:59:00 Mike Johnson: Well let's talk about that last run, cause obviously you worked as the General Manager for a while, but they brought you in initially doing the WWE Hall of Fame.