Speaking to Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle revealed he wanted one last run with the company's top belt before he called time on his career.
The former WWE Champion hadn't been seen on WWE television for over a decade before he returned to the promotion in 2017. However, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon clearly wanted to use Angle as a General Manager or other on-air personality upon his triumphant return, whereas the Olympic gold medalist still thought he could offer something in the ring. He also felt as though he was ready for one last title run.
'It didn’t go the way I wanted it to. Vince McMahon had an idea for me. I think he was looking at me as a liability, someone that was addicted to painkillers, someone that broke his neck 5 times. So, I think Vince didn’t have the same idea I did. I wanted to get a title run when I came back.'
Angle also wanted to retire against a top star at WrestleMania 35 and even mentioned John Cena specifically as a name he'd like to take on in his last ever bout. Yet, McMahon had other ideas and was adamant the Olympian battle Baron Corbin at that event, instead giving him the option to battle Cena the following year.
'Vince McMahon told me that I had a program with Baron Corbin, and I told him that I wanted to retire at WrestleMania. And he said ‘Well, you’re going to wrestle Baron Corbin because you had a program with him for the last seven months. I said, ‘Vince, I want to retire. Baron is a great talent but he’s an upcoming talent, how about John Cena?’ He said, ‘If you want John Cena, next year you got him. But this year, you get Baron’ I said, ‘Vince, I am not going next year. I am done. This is it.’ He said, ‘Well, you’re stuck with this.'
After losing to Corbin, Angle would transition into a backstage producer role before being released in April due to WWE cutting costs thanks to the current global situation.