Kurt Angle says it wasn’t easy stepping away from pro wrestling when it was time to call it a career.
During an incredible career in professional wrestling that saw him land in the WWE & TNA Hall of Fame as one of the greatest performers in both companies, Kurt Angle was highly regarded for his ability to do it all.
Whether it was putting on a great match in the ring, delivering a serious promo to build up a match, or being goofy in a backstage segment, Angle was a man who knew how to entertain the fans as well as anybody in wrestling history.
Kurt Angle retired at WrestleMania 35 after losing a match to Baron Corbin. The match took place nearly 20 years after Angle had his first televised match in WWE. Angle was 50 years old at the time and looked like he was ready to retire.
In the years since his retirement, Angle has made it clear that he wanted to wrestle John Cena in his final match since Cena’s first televised match in WWE was against Angle in June 2002. However, Angle was in a storyline with Baron Corbin, so Vince McMahon insisted that Corbin face Angle at WrestleMania instead.
Kurt Angle’s Wrestling Retirement Was “Really Difficult” For Him
There are some wrestlers who have had memorable retirement matches where they were celebrated and got to say a proper goodbye while many of them unfortunately never get that chance. In Kurt Angle’s case, he did get to say goodbye at WrestleMania, but it wasn’t easy for him.
In an interview with the True Geordie podcast, Angle admitted he had a bit of a mid-life crisis at the time of his retirement.
“Oh, I had it. I had it, say, for about a year after I retired. I didn’t go out the way I wanted to. I was not in the best of shape when I went out. I was slowing down.”
“The reason why I retired is because I noticed that I wasn’t half the wrestler I was, and I didn’t want fans to remember me as this broken-down, aging wrestler. So that’s why I retired.”
“I didn’t get to go out the way I wanted to, so that was really difficult on me. So I did go through a little bit of a crisis for about a year, and I finally got through it, and it took me some time. I thought, ‘You know what, you accomplish a lot. You should be proud of yourself.'”