Kurt Angle did not want to hold the WWE Championship past WrestleMania XIX.
Speaking with Wrestling Perspective, the WWE Hall of Famer shared what he said to Brock Lesnar after The Beast Incarnate's scary-looking shooting star press during their main event match. Also, he revealed that Vince wanted him to drop the title on SmackDown a week before the event. Here is what he had to say:
"Well, the first thing I thought when he landed on his head, I said, "s**t, I'm going to have to hold the title for another month." The reason why I lost to him, I was supposed to have a good title run for a while and I broke my neck again and I had to have surgery. You know, Vince McMahon, he wanted me to drop the title to Brock the week before on SmackDown, and just get crushed. Just an F5, one-two-three, pin. I called Vince and I said, "Listen, let me wrestle WrestleMania, and he said, "well, we got to, you know, have a doctor clear you," and I was like, "that might be a problem."
So I basically had to get a pass to wrestle, and my doctor, he's was a really cool doctor, his name is Dr. Jho. He's a Korean doctor, and he got me to the point where I could wrestle. The next day [after WrestleMania] I flew home and had surgery right away, but it was pretty scary. You know, with Brock I thought, God, he's not going to be able to get up. I covered him for a pin and I'm like, "please kick out, you have to kick out, please don't get pinned right now. I didn't want to keep the title."
I said, "Brock you okay?" He said, "I don't know." I said, "you gotta kick out," and he kicked out. I said, "can you get up," and he said, "I don't know." I said, "well try to get up." So I actually pulled him up. I got him up. I said, "can you F5 me right now? He said, "yes," and he got me up, F5'd me, and that was it. So I squeaked through that one."
Kurt Angle was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017. After that, he would wrestle sporadically, also serving as the RAW General Manager, before having his final match at WrestleMania 35 in 2019 where he lost to Baron Corbin.
On January 16, WWE announced that WrestleMania 37 will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, 2021. Additionally, Dallas' AT&T Stadium will host WrestleMania 38 on Sunday, April 3, 2022, while SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles will be the home of WrestleMania 39 on Sunday, April 2, 2023. Fightful Select had exclusively reported this week that this year's WrestleMania had been moved back from March to April.
Should you use any of the quotes above, please credit Wrestling Perspective with a h/t to Fightful for the transcription.