– Kurt Angle discussed his final in-ring run leading up to his retirement match against Baron Corbin at WrestleMania in a new interview with Wrestling Inc. Speaking with the site, Angle explained why facing Corbin made the most sense, as he had a year-long storyline with Corbin that had to be paid off. He added that the fact that he decided two months before WrestleMania to retire didn’t give WWE many options, as most of the matches were already set and his feud with Corbin needed a payoff.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On not being at his best for his final run: “You understand what [Vince McMahon] did? He brought me back and had me settled in without doing anything physical. He continued to drug test me to make sure I was staying clean. Eventually he had me wrestle, but by then my body was arthritic. If you’re just sitting around for 9-12 months and they call you to wrestle, it’s not gonna be the same Kurt Angle that everybody knows. When I finally started wrestling, it was too late for me. I don’t blame Vince for that because I know what he was trying to do and making sure I was okay … But for me, it was like ‘Damn!’ I could have had a championship run and wrestled Rollins, A.J. Styles and Roman Reigns.”
On his decision to retire: “I actually called [McMahon] two months before ‘Mania and I told him, ‘I can’t do this anymore. We gotta figure out a way to have me retire at ‘Mania.’ He said, ‘Not a problem.'”
On facing Baron Corbin in his retirement match: “I don’t think a lot of fans understand why, but Vince made the right move. Now it’s my fault, if I wanted to retire and wrestle someone like John Cena, A.J. Styles or Seth Rollins, then I should have waited a year. But we had to speed it up.”
On saying earlier that he was not retired: “What I meant by ‘not retired’ is that I’m gonna keep working. Not wrestling, but working. I will never retire but I’ve retired from wrestling.”
On improvising in his new film Chasing Molly: “Yeah, it’s really crazy to me how it blended together because we were all saying our own things and doing it our own way. It was more of a free set and we were told we had to get certain points across. We did that and the movie told a good story. The huge difference is with movies you get more than one take. I’m so accustomed with having to do it my first time. When I was on the set, I did a lot of takes my first time. They might have wanted to do it over again, but I pretty much nailed most of them on the first take and that’s attributed to the wrestling business. It’s sink or swim [in wrestling] and if you can’t swim, you’re gonna sink and drown. So you have one shot to do it and you better be good.”