Professional wrestling legend and TNA Impact Wrestling star Kurt Angle has announced his intentions to retire from wrestling after TNA’s Maximum Impact tour of the United Kingdom in January, per Wrestling News.
On the latest episode of IMPACT Wrestling, a video of Angle talking to the media in the U.K. showed the 1996 Olympic gold medal winner plugging the tour and saying that he is officially retiring after its conclusion. Smiling throughout his media tour, Angle appeared to be in good spirits as he discussed finishing his surefire Hall of Fame career.
“I’ve had a great career. I’ve enjoyed every second of it from WWE to TNA. I’m just glad I’m going to be able to do it in the UK.”
Originally, Angle told Mark Madden of the 105.9X radio station that he would be taking a year off from wrestling after his deal with TNA expired in January. The soon-to-be 47-year-old Angle said in the same interview that he would not be signing with WWE or any other promotion during his time away from wrestling. But all indications were that he would return at some point in the future.
Wrestling News mentions that the retirement announcement may just be a way for TNA to boost ticket sales for their tour. Before these comments, Angle never made any sort of reference to retirement, so when Angle says he’s retiring, it could be just from TNA.
— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) November 19, 2015
But if Angle did have a change of heart and is indeed hanging up the boots, the 13-time World Heavyweight champion does seem to have a potential new career lined up.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Angle has signed with Bellator MMA to be an announcer for the company’s live show on February 19. The event will be headlined by Royce Gracie versus Ken Shamrock. There are also rumors that Angle may do an MMA fight with Shamrock for Bellator in the near future, but those rumors have yet to be confirmed. Angle has expressed a desire to do an MMA fight on several occasions, but always chose to re-sign with TNA instead.
Making his debut with WWE in 1999, Angle quickly ascended the WWE food chain, becoming one of the top performers in the company. Spending parts of seven years with WWE, Angle won five World championships and also held every major championship the WWE has to offer. Outside of winning a Royal Rumble and holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, Angle has attained every major accolade in the company.
Also, Angle engaged in feuds with some of the biggest names in WWE history; including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Brock Lesnar. Shortly after Wrestlemania 22, Angle left the WWE due to the grueling schedule.
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) November 17, 2015
That same year, Angle signed with TNA, beginning his near decade-long stint with the company. During his time with the company, Angle has been viewed as one of its biggest stars and considered the most vital acquisition in TNA history. Angle has held every major title in TNA, en route to being the second Triple Crown winner in TNA history.
In TNA, Angle has been in feuds with names such as Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Sting, Bobby Roode, and many more. In fact, Angle said on many occasions that he believes his TNA career is far superior to his WWE days.
“It’s a hard question, but I had a better career in TNA than I did in WWE,” Angle said to wrestling journalist Tom Feaheny. “In WWE I wrestled Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, The Rock, Triple H, Edge there were so many great wrestlers. In TNA, I’ve had a lot of fun and I had experience and maturity in TNA that’s why I was able to enjoy it more.”
If this is the end of the road for Angle, he will retire as one of the most popular and decorated performer’s in wrestling history.
[Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]