Kurt Angle talks about his retirement match, almost joining UFC
Kurt Angle retired as a professional wrestler at WrestleMania 36, and since then, he has been working as a backstage producer on Monday Night Raw. Angle recently did an interview with Chris Van Vliet in which they discussed The Wrestling Machine’s new role, his battles with painkiller addiction, and almost fighting Vince McMahon.
The Olympic Gold Medallist was also asked if he would return for one more match. Angle admitted “I’m done” as an active wrestler, but did mention that he wanted his final match to be against John Cena. However, Vince McMahon was unwilling to end Angle’s storyline with Baron Corbin before WrestleMania 35 and actually wanted him to wrestle for another year and retire at WrestleMania 36. The former WWE Champion did not want to sully his legacy, however, and knew he had to retire, meaning there was no way around Angle’s final match being against The Lone Wolf.
Angle said: “No, I’m done. I knew I was done when I went to Vince and I told him I wanted to retire, and I just had my last match this past WrestleMania. I believe he wanted me to go another year but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I know what I’m capable of now and it’s not enough for me to be comfortable going out there and performing. If I can’t do it like the old Kurt Angle, I don’t want to do it anymore.”
He later added: “I wanted John (Cena) last Mania but we already had a storyline going on with Baron Corbin and myself, and Vince said ‘If you’re going to retire you’re going to finish with Baron Corbin if you don’t mind because you guys have a great storyline and we’re not just going to stop.’ And Vince was right.'”
Later in the interview, Angle revealed he almost joined UFC, and that Dana White approached him on a couple of occasions to fight inside the octagon. The former TNA star explained he turned him down as he would not have been able to keep up with the demands of MMA because of his neck injuries. After suffering a broken neck in 2003, Angle had circulation problems which caused him to lose strength in his upper body, and would often not be able to feel his arms.
He elaborated: “So for me, to go in the octagon after all that trauma, I don’t think I could have done it. Before the broken neck, I would have said ‘hell yeah.’ That would have been a great run. I probably would’ve won the World title, you never know… But I knew in the back of my mind I couldn’t do it.
“Dana White gave me a great offer, he’s been really good to me. I’ve reached out to him a couple of different times and he was willing to talk to me. He gave me two separate deals two separate times and I backed out. I just knew that I couldn’t do it, I knew that if I did do it I probably would’ve embarrassed myself. I decided just to wrestle. Dana wanted me to quit pro wrestling but I said that ‘I’ve just signed with TNA,’ and he said ‘Well you’ll have to quit that too.’ I said that I can’t quit because I’ve just signed with them.”
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