Since 1998, Kurt Angle has been an incredible source of entertainment and inspiration to wrestling fans all over the world, spreading the message of his three I’s: Intensity, Integrity, and Intelligence, while giving us some of the most iconic matches of all time.
Last night on Raw, everyone’s favorite Olympian (who won the gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck) announced that he will be retiring after a final match at WrestleMania 35 in New York. He gave no hints as to who his opponent will be, but no matter who it is, we can’t wait to see him march to the ring in that star-spangled singlet, tearing up while thousands of people chant “you suck” at him one more time.
After his speech, Angle had one last match in his hometown of Pittsburgh against Apollo Crews, who was nearly speechless in his post-match interview as he explained that it was a lifelong dream of his to face Kurt Angle in the ring.
At this time it remains unclear as to whether Angle will continue to compete on Raw until Mania or if Apollo Crews will be his only opponent before his retirement match. Angle stated that the match in Pittsburgh was perhaps his last televised contest, but WWE has used the phrase “retirement tour” several times, suggesting that he will continue to have matches leading up to the show of shows.
Either way, it’s been an absolute joy to watch Kurt Angle’s career unfold since his debut over 20 years ago. For many of us, Kurt Angle is synonymous with childhood fandom, the eye-catching superstar that made us fans in the first place, and the spark that led to the careers of many of today’s favorites.
Angle has spoken about how much his return to WWE meant to him and how he always wanted to hang his boots where it all began. Watching others’ dreams come true is one of the many amazing parts of being a WWE fan, and knowing Kurt Angle has done that for so many people, especially in this final run, we couldn’t be happier to see the Olympian get his wish.
Watch Kurt Angle’s emotional retirement speech below:
How do you feel about Kurt Angle’s retirement? Who would you like to see him face at WrestleMania? Let us know on Twitter, @TheRumbleRamble.