Kurt Angle's final run in WWE from 2017-19 was comprised of a WWE Hall of Fame induction, a run as Monday Night Raw's general manager and 19 televised matches, culminating in a retirement match against Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. But, as he revealed in a new interview with Instinct Culture's Denise Salcedo, Angle's idea for his last ride with the company was vastly different when he initially re-signed. The Olympic gold medalist revealed he wanted one last reign with one of WWE's world championships, something he did six times during his initial WWE tenure.
"It didn't go the way I wanted it to," Angle said. "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. I actually took a year off after I left TNA and I wrestled around the world. I did events in the U.K, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Arizona; I did a pay-per-view down there with Rey Mysterio. I wanted to have another title run and retire. And Vince McMahon wanted me inducted into the Hall of Fame and I told him, 'Well, I am not done wrestling' and he said, 'That's okay' And I said, 'Well, you know eventually I would like to wrestle,' and he said 'We'll get there.'
"So, after the Hall of Fame, that night, after I had my speech, Vince McMahon came up to me and said, 'You're going to be the GM of Raw starting tomorrow.' And I was like 'Well, I still wanna wrestle,' he said, 'We'll get you there.' So, I think he did everything he could to kind of push that off. And when it was time for me to wrestle, I was doing the GM job for a year and a half; I was inactive, not bumping, not wrestling," he continued. "My body started getting arthritic, my neck tightened up, my back, my knees. Before I knew it, I got in the ring and I looked like an old man wrestling. And I knew that. Even though the company wanted me to continue to wrestle, I didn't feel right about it for a couple reasons. One, I wanted to come back and have the title run, that wasn't going to happen."
Angle was released from his backstage producer role back in April, though he has popped up a few times on WWE television since then.