Kurt Angle’s final run in WWE had its highs and lows. The low point unfortunately occurred right at the end, as he was booked in a retirement match against mid-carder Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. It was a forgettable below average six minute match that Angle lost, ending his in-ring career with a whimper.
Angle has previously discussed how he strongly preferred to fight John Cena in his final match, but Vince McMahon was not on board with that idea. In a recent interview with The Paradox of Sports, Angle acknowledged some of the other shortcomings of his final run in WWE. It started right from the beginning, where WWE didn’t choose a logical sequence for his in-ring return:
“I was really surprised the way they brought me back. They brought me back and they inducted me into the Hall of Fame first, which I wasn’t retired yet. And then they wanted me to be the GM of Raw second, and then they wanted me to wrestle. And I thought the order should have been switched around. I should have wrestled first, then GM second, and then Hall of Fame last. But unfortunately, the WWE had other plans, and that’s the way it goes. Nothing I could do about it.”
Angle thinks some of the questionable booking during his final run with WWE was their way of sticking it to him after his tense departure from the company in 2006:
“I’m sure it had a lot to do with me leaving the company in 2006. There were some bitter words that were exchanged. So when I came back, I knew it wouldn’t be the same. But I wanted to do it for the fans, for the WWE Universe that supported me all those seven years that I was in WWE, and also supported me in TNA for 11 years. So I wanted to go back there and have my final matches and retire.
And I knew ahead of time I wasn’t gonna get a title or run or anything like that. I actually knew that they were probably gonna stick it to me. And that was okay, I totally understood. And don’t forget, I had a painkiller problem. I had injured necks. I broke my neck four times in WWE. So, they also looked at me as somewhat of a liability, and they didn’t want to take a chance with me. So I completely understood.”
Finally, Kurt was asked about how his health is holding up. He’s in a lot of pain but tries to remain positive about it:
“I’m hanging in there. You know, my knees, my back, and my neck are hurting pretty badly, but I have good days and bad days. But you know, at 52 years of age, wrestling for over 40 years, I’d say I’m doing pretty good for what I’ve done.”
Looking back on it, where do you think WWE went wrong with Kurt Angle’s final run for the promotion from 2017 through 2019? Or did it go about as well as could have been reasonably expected given the wear and tear on his body?