Kurt Angle Talks Working For Vince McMahon, Why He Left WWE

Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle appeared on 105.7 The Point in Missouri Friday afternoon to promote a Bellator event at the Scottrade Center and he talked about what it was like working for Vince McMahon.

“It’s tough. If you’re going to be his guy, and I was for four, five years, he expects a lot out of you. That’s the reason I left (WWE in 2006),” Angle said. “We’re talking over 300 days a year. He wanted me to continue to go full time and I couldn’t. I literally broke my neck four times in a two-and-a-half year span, and I just kept rushing back for him.”

On August 25, 2006, Angle and came to a mutual agreement on an early release from his contract.

“It’s unfortunate that Kurt was released, and it’s really unfortunate for the WWE fans who, for a while at least, won’t see Angle in action,” McMahon told WWE.com a few days after his departure. “(Angle) is a consummate professional; obviously he’s a great athlete, and he’s the only Olympic Gold Medalist in WWE history. Not to have Kurt with us is really unfortunate all the way around . . . but circumstances were such that Kurt should have been, and was, granted his release.”

McMahon also said that Angle’s success has come at a price, and that price is part of what led to his situation.

“Kurt has a history of being one of the greatest athletes that America has ever seen. It’s no secret that even when Kurt won the Olympic Gold Medal, he did so with a broken neck,” he said. “Kurt has been dealing with that pain, and the advancement of that pain, as well as other injuries. He had been dealing with that injury since he won the gold medal; he had been masking it in many ways just so he could go out and compete. Kurt only knows 100-percent; he is not one of those guys who can go out and compete at an 85-percent level. He just cannot do that; he’s a thoroughbred. He has to go as fast, and as great, and as strong as he possibly can; that’s the only way Kurt Angle knows.”

McMahon said then that the door is always open for Angle to return to WWE if and when he is able.

“WWE would certainly welcome Kurt back with open arms,” he affirmed. “I think Kurt has some issues he has to face, as we all do from time to time. We all have our demons, and as human beings, it is important for us to overcome them and become better human beings, athletes and business people.”

Back to the interview, the hosts brought up Seth Rollins’ recent knee injury, and asked him if WWE will pressure the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion to return early from injury.

“No, they will not. The WWE went public about 14 years ago, and started really implementing the Wellness Policy around 2006-2007, around the time that I left. They won’t even let Seth Rollins step into a ring until he’s 100 percent healthy. They won’t even let him in there to drop the belt. I had a broken neck and I had to drop it to Brock Lesnar in a match at WrestleMania (in 2003). That was okay back then. Today they wouldn’t do it,” Angle said.

Angle got a little confused during the interview, saying that he faced Lesnar in an Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XIX, which wasn’t the case. He did say, however, that McMahon didn’t want Angle wrestling at that show.

“Vince didn’t want me to wrestle at WrestleMania,” Angle explained. “We knew I was going to have surgery, and were going to cancel the WrestleMania match and have a 30 second match on TV the week prior to drop the title to Brock Lesnar. I was over at my neighbor’s house, and his child with down syndrome showed me the DirecTV magazine cover and was all excited to see me wrestle. I literally looked at him and started crying. I called Vince and said I’d do it. Back then it was fine. It won’t happen anymore. I respect Vince for that.”

You can listen to the interview here