Although considered a legend, Kurt Angle believes he missed out on being the greatest of all time.
Less than seven years after making his WWE debut, Kurt Angle had done it all for the sports entertainment giant. He’d won multiple World Championships, wrestled the biggest names in the industry, and played his role in a number of classic matches. However, that was only part of the story.
Angle had suffered a string of neck injuries as well as other physical ailments and had developed an addiction to painkillers. Things got so bad that — Angle who had previously refused neck surgery to keep working — asked for his release as a last-ditch attempt to save his career and potentially even his life.
The star’s request was eventually granted and he left WWE in August 2006, before signing with TNA two months later. Despite getting away from WWE, Angle’s problems continued, racking up a number of arrests for driving under the influence, getting divorced, and he’s admitted he wasn’t clean and sober until 2013.
Despite this, Angle believes that if hadn’t left WWE, things could have been much worse. During a recent episode of his Kurt Angle Show podcast, the WWE Hall of Famer spoke favourably of his time in TNA, commenting that he was “going to end up doing something bad” if he stayed with WWE.
That being said, Angle claims that if he had stayed with WWE for his entire career, he’d now be known as the greatest of all time.
“I don’t regret going to TNA. I absolutely love TNA, I love my eleven years there. I probably would have stayed if the money didn’t run out. I knew it was my time to go back to WWE and I wanted to finish my career where I started. If I go back, the one thing I would love to change is that I wish I didn’t get injured so much.
That’s what caused my painkiller problem and my painkiller problem caused me to leave WWE. I felt like if I wasn’t going to leave, I was going to end up doing something bad, which was overdose on painkillers. I thought it was right for me to leave.
If I wouldn’t have left the WWE, and I would have wrestled there 20 straight years, I really believe, to this day, I’d be the greatest of all time. That’s not me blowing smoke, that’s me being honest. I think I would be considered the greatest of all time if I would have stuck with WWE for 20 years.”
When Did Kurt Angle Retire?
Kurt Angle returned to WWE in early 2017 and he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame ahead of WrestleMania 33. Later in the year, the star returned to the ring and continued to compete until WrestleMania 35 when he hung up his boots following defeat to Baron Corbin.
Despite not being happy with his final match, Kurt Angle has reiterated he has no heat with Corbin.
H/t to Fightful