Kurt Angle has offered an insight into why he decided to call time on his in-ring career, admitting that he was no longer the same wrestler he’d been previously.
On April 7th 2019 at WrestleMania 35, Kurt Angle brought down the curtain on a wrestling career which had brought him 14 World Championships across two decades and a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Angle later described his final match against Baron Corbin as “filler” before suggesting that he would have liked to have gone out against John Cena after a run with the World Championship.
However, speaking during an appearance on Talk Is Jericho, Angle has admitted that he had “lost a step” by the time that he returned to WWE in 2017. He explained that not being able to perform as he once had led to him deciding it was time to retire.
“When I came back to WWE in 2017, I wasn’t the same wrestler. I lost a step, couldn’t stay with the boys the way I used to. That’s what made me retire, because I wasn’t able to do that. I wasn’t able to step up in my late 40s. These guys that are able to do it like Chris [Jericho] and Shawn, it just amazes me. To be that good for so long, no matter how young or old you are, it’s incredible.”
During the conversation, Angle also revealed that he believes that Shawn Michaels is the greatest of all time due to his incredible longevity inside the squared circle.
“Shawn Michaels is [the greatest]. He proved that for so many years. And this guy [Jericho], he won’t retire so he’s gonna take over. But you know, to go that long, Shawn’s been in the business since what, the mid-’80s? But to go that long, and be that good for so long — that’s a really difficult thing to do.”
Despite retiring, Angle has previously told of how he has been offered a “couple of contracts” by AEW to step back inside the ropes. Although he turned down Tony Khan’s advances due to what he described as “personal reasons.”
H/t to 411Mania for the transcription.