WrestleMania 22 will always be remembered as the night that Rey Mysterio finally climbed to the top of the WWE mountain, defeating Kurt Angle and Randy Orton to become World Heavyweight Champion.
At the 2006 Royal Rumble, Mysterio entered at number two, before lasting over an hour to earn a world championship opportunity at WrestleMania. The master of the 619, dedicated his victory to Eddie Guerrero, who had passed away in the November of the previous year.
The lead up to WrestleMania included the infamous ‘Eddie’s in hell’ promo but all of that was forgotten when Mysterio pinned Randy Orton to become to the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The third man in the match that night was the man who entered the contest holding the gold, Kurt Angle.
During a recent episode of his podcast, The Kurt Angle Show available via Ad Free Shows, Angle lifted the lid on his own memories of the event. Mainly, how the match ended up being cut to do the length of everybody’s entrances. The hall of famer recalled how after all of the pre-match festivities, the three men were left with only nine minutes in the ring.
“We had like 21 minutes for our match, including entrances, and the entrance was pretty long as it was. So my entrance was 2 minutes, Randy’s was 2 minutes. Rey’s had to be 8 minutes. So you add that together, that’s 12 minutes. We only had 9 minutes to wrestle in one of the co-main events of WrestleMania. We had to cut a lot of stuff. It was a really difficult match to do, especially a triple threat match. It’s really hard to cut stuff out because you have to have all three people in unison with each other knowing what’s going on next.”
Angle went on to explain how he always made sure that his matches always ended on time, because that was what he was told to do.
“Well, I just never made it an option. I always tried to end my matches on time because that’s what I was told. The only match I ever went over on was my match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21. So I think that to some degree those guys [Shawn Michaels and Triple H] are on a different level and they have a better understanding with Vince [McMahon] if they’re going to go long. They might have the reputation of doing that, but I didn’t want that reputation. I wanted to be a team player and make sure that I ended up on time.”
During a previous episode of his podcast, Angle reflected on that match with Shawn Michaels, revealing that it was his biggest pay day in WWE.
Kurt Angle would go on to leave WWE, just a handful of months after WrestleMania 22. He would return to the company in 2017 for one final run before retiring at WrestleMania 35 following defeat to Baron Corbin. Angle would later describe his final match as “filler.”
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.