WWE legend Kurt Angle has explained what led him to the decision to retire this year.
The veteran star made the announcement on Raw this past Monday, in front of a hometown crowd in Pittsburgh, revealing that he will have a farewell bout at WrestleMania next month, after which he will call it quits.
Following a victory over Apollo, WWE cameras caught up with Angle backstage, where he was pressed for an explanation.
"It was really tough for me to come to that decision," he said.
"It actually has been nipping at me for the past year. I’m 50 years old. I know I’m not the same as I used to be. I’m slower in the ring, I can still get the job done, but if I can’t perform at the Kurt Angle of 2006, I don’t want to perform at all. You finally know when you’re time’s come and you got to make a decision and I’ve decided I that want to keep my legacy intact and I think that retiring is the best decision for me."
The 50-year-old would also admit that the days leading up to WrestleMania will probably be some of the hardest of his life as he intends to deliver a top performance at the event.
"If I want to be the Kurt Angle I expect to be, the old one, I have a lot work cut out for me so the next 27 days will be some of the hardest days of my life," he claimed. "A lot of training, a lot of mental and physical preparation. I’m not going to go lightly on myself.
"I want to give a WrestleMania performance and in order to do that I gotta be in tip-top shape so I’m gonna prepare like I did anytime else, the Olympics, the WWE Championship, this is my moment. We all have WrestleMania moments, this is going to be one of them so I have to make it last forever."
There's no word on who Kurt will be facing on April 7, when the PPV takes place, but he's narrowed it down to some names.
"There are a lot names thrown in there'" he revealed. "I mean from Cena, to AJ Styles, to Samoa Joe, to Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, so you never know who it’s going to be. I just hope that I do win and have a great WrestleMania moment."
What This Means
Angle is fully deserving of a grand sendoff after his contribution to the WWE. A decorated Olympic star and sports entertainment figure, he is partly responsible for the successful ushering of the promotion into the 2000s.
Given that WrestleMania 35 will see him involved in his last match as an active wrestler, you can believe he'll put on a good show.