Kurt Angle Reveals He Could Have Competed Against John Cena At WWE WrestleMania

Despite barely meeting in the early 2000s, John Cena and Kurt Angle have been intertwined for the majority of their careers. Much of this can be attributed to Angle introducing Cena to the WWE, as the future 16-time world champion accepted the Olympic Gold Medalist's open challenge on a June 2002 episode of SmackDown. When Cena traded in his trunks and wrestling boots for jean shorts and Jordans a few years later, the two officially feuded. Even though they spent the following decade in various promotions, all roads led back to Cena and Angle.

If the former TNA World Champion had his way, his path would have led back to his old adversary.

"When I told Vince McMahon I was going to retire after WrestleMania that year, I told him I knew I was falling behind. I realised I wasn't the same person I used to be "Angle revealed this to Rene Dupree (via Fightful). "I wasn't happy with my performances, so I told Vince [McMahon], 'I'd want to retire after this WrestleMania, but I'd like to ask you for a favour.' I'd like to be paired with John Cena because I launched his career and I'd like him to finish mine.'"

Unfortunately for Angle, his earlier commitment to a long-running feud rendered a match with Cena at WWE WrestleMania 35 illogical; nonetheless, former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon did issue an ultimatum to him.

"'Kurt, you have a programme with Baron Corbin that has been running for six months,' he added. You must complete it.'" Angle remembered McMahon telling him that. "'If you want to wait until next year, I'll give you John Cena.' I informed him that I couldn't wait another year. I completely understood. Vince was correct; I was working on a project with Baron. It had been going on for five or six months, and I had to see it through."

Angle admitted that he regrets not attempting a match with Cena at the next year's WrestleMania.

"He did give me the choice of continuing another year and wrestling Cena, and looking back, I probably should've done that," Angle stated. "I could have sat back and not wrestled for six, seven, or eight months and began to prepare myself. I gained a lot of weight during this period, and I could have gotten away from the product and gotten in better shape before returning for WrestleMania and wrestling John Cena."

It is worth mentioning that if Angle had agreed to wrestle Cena at WWE WrestleMania 36, it would not only have been the show's second retirement match, but it would have taken place in front of no fans. To compensate for the lack of a crowd, Mania 36 was held in an empty WWE Performance Center and featured multiple cinematic matches. Cena would wrestle Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Funhouse Match that ended up looking like a career retrospective.

Angle has remained retired since his match with Corbin, despite many comeback offers from AEW and Impact Wrestling.

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