Kurt Angle recently fielded some questions over at Pro Wrestling Junkies. One topic brought up was his disappointing retirement match at WrestleMania 35 against Baron Corbin. Angle explains that he wanted John Cena to be the man to retire him, and Corbin just wasn’t at the right level for that match:
Here is his explanation, per Wrestling Inc’s transcript:
“I told Vince I wanted to wrestle John Cena because I started his career and I wanted him to end mine - it just made sense to me. He told me no and that I was getting Baron Corbin. He said that if wanted Cena, I’d have to wait until next year, but I didn’t want to go another year. Baron is a great athlete and a great worker, but where he was at the time might not be at the level where Hall Of Famers would feel totally comfortable with. He was great to work with; I didn’t have a problem with that. I had a little bit of a problem retiring with him. I don’t want to put him down because he’s good, but I wanted to go with John Cena because it just made sense. I don’t want to say I had the worst retirement match, but wrestling Baron wasn’t exactly my dream match. Back then, he just wasn’t there.”
Kurt tries to be somewhat nice to Corbin here, but it’s clear that Angle believes Vince McMahon chose the wrong man to retire your Olympic Hero. I certainly can’t blame Kurt for feeling that way. Look at the retirement matches that fellow greats like Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels received in WWE, and then compare it to Kurt’s underwhelming and forgettable six minute match with Baron. Of course Kurt is going to be left feeling like a special moment was missed. It’s really too bad that Kurt has to even acknowledge that his bout with Corbin is in the conversation for worst retirement matches.
Moving on, Angle also offered his take on why so many fans rejected Roman Reigns as the top babyface in WWE. He said that Reigns was pushed to the top way too fast:
“You start low and work your way to the mid-card, you win some matches, and then you lose some, then you win some and get to the main event level, and then you’re going to lose some matches again. It’s not like a meteoric rise to the top. You go up a little bit, then down a bit, then back up a little, then down. It’s so the fans can get used to you and get used to seeing you in that situation. The example today, whether you like him or not, he’s a ring general, and the guy is incredible - Roman Reigns. The problem with him is Vince just took him from zero to hero and the fans were confused, wondering, ‘Who this guy is?’ The thought was just like, ‘Who’s this guy and what’s he doing here? He must be Vince’s guy, and if that’s the case, I don’t like him.’ This heel turn has been a long time coming.”
Wrestling fans are more tuned in than ever before to the pro wrestling rumor mill and what’s apparently going on behind the scenes in WWE. That means Vince McMahon’s stubborn proclivities as a booker have been challenged by WWE fans at an increasing rate as time moves on. However, I don’t agree with Kurt that an instant rise to the top of the card means fans will automatically reject a wrestler. The main issue is Vince McMahon needs to make better adjustments towards understanding his audience. I’m not saying that’s an easy thing to do, but McMahon certainly struggles with it far too often nowadays, and particularly in the case of babyface Roman Reigns.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about Kurt’s responses on Corbin and Reigns.