Despite solely crossing paths within the early 2000s, John Cena and Kurt Angle have been linked to one another for almost all of each of their careers. Much of that is because of Angle ushering Cena into the WWE, as the longer term 16-time world champion answered the Olympic Gold Medalist’s open problem on a June 2002 episode of SmackDown. The two would correctly feud a few years later, when Cena traded in his trunks and wrestling boots for jean shorts and Jordans. Even as they spent the following decade in several promotions, all roads at all times led again to Cena and Angle.
If the previous TNA World Champion had his manner, his highway would’ve ended along with his previous rival.
“When I presented to Vince McMahon that I was going to retire after WrestleMania that year, I told him I knew that I was losing a step. I knew I wasn’t the same as before,” Angle advised Rene Dupree (h/t Fightful). “I didn’t like my performances and I said to Vince [McMahon], ‘I wanna retire after this WrestleMania, but I’d like to ask you for a favor. I’d like you to put me with John Cena, because I started his career so I’d like him to end my career.'”
Unfortunately for Angle, his prior dedication to a long-running feud made a bout with Cena at WWE WrestleMania 35 illogical; nevertheless, former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon did provide him an ultimatum.
“He said, ‘Kurt, you have a program with Baron Corbin, it’s been going on for six months. You have to finish it,'” Angle recalled McMahon telling him. “‘If you wanna wait till next year, I’ll give you John Cena next year.’ I told [him I couldn’t wait another year]. I totally understood. Vince was right, I was doing a program with Baron. It was going five or six months and I had to see it through.”
Angle revealed that he does have some regrets about not making an attempt a match with Cena at the next 12 months’s WrestleMania.
“He did give me the option of going another year and wrestling Cena, and I probably should’ve done that looking back,” Angle stated. “I probably could have just laid back and not wrestled for a good six or seven or eight months and started to get myself ready. I gained a lot of weight in this particular time, I could have got away from the product and got in better shape and then came back for WrestleMania and wrestled John Cena.”
It is value noting that if Angle agreed to wrestle Cena at WWE WrestleMania 36, not solely would it not have been the second retirement match on the present, however it might have been in entrance of no followers. Mania 36 was held in an empty WWE Performance Center, and featured quite a few cinematic matches to make up for the shortage of crowd. Cena would wrestle Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Funhouse Match, which in the end performed out like a profession retrospective.
Since his bout with Corbin, Angle has remained retired regardless of receiving quite a few comeback presents from AEW and Impact Wrestling.