WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle had one of the greatest wrestling careers of all time, but he didn’t spend his entire career in WWE.
In 2006, Angle left the WWE after being moved to ECW, getting suspended for failing a drug test and dealing with several injuries. The former Olympic Gold Medalist detailed what happened the day he left the WWE in 2006 on an episode of The Kurt Angle Podcast. He also highlighted how he would send Vince McMahon nasty messages during that time.
“Dr. Black, that’s who called me. He was a WWE Doctor,” Angle said. “He called me and he said, ‘Listen, you failed a drug test.’ I was taking painkillers but I had a prescription for those at the time. Dr. Black told me I got hit for this drug. I told him I had a prescription, and he said it was overdue so you’re suspended, and I told him to go f*** himself and hung up on him. Then Vince McMahon calls me and says, ‘Listen, you can’t tell Dr. Black to f-himself. Call him back and apologize, and you’re suspended for 30 days.’ I called Dr. Black and I apologized to him and I ended up being suspended for 30 days. It was something that I had a prescription for but I just allowed it to go past due.
“Vince told me I was suspended. ‘Take the month off, go home, and rest. You need it anyway. Just bide your time and sit at home and take it easy,’ and that’s what I did. When you do get suspended, they do have you wrestle a couple times before [you get sent home]. The reason is, they want to make people. I wrestled Randy at [Vengeance] and then Rob Van Dam at the ECW taping, and I did jobs for both of them before I exited. That’s one of the things you have to do when you’re suspended. You have to lose graciously and bow out.”
The Former Gold Medalist highlighted on a previous podcast how he pulled his pants down in front of Vince McMahon during this time, which ultimately led to a meeting that resulted in his release from WWE. Angle mentioned how, in his head, he thought he would return to WWE following his suspension, which ultimately never happened. The WWE Hall of Famer spoke about how his behavior was very off at the time, and revealed what he thinks would’ve happened if nothing changed.
“I knew I would return. I had something to prove. I wanted to get back there cause I felt very bitter about the suspension and knew I wanted to come back,” Angle mentioned. “The problem with me was I was never happy. When I was home resting, I wanted to be on the road. When I was on the road working, I wanted to be home. Like I said before, my behavior became so erratic. It was out of line with everybody. It was the toughest time of my life. It’s hard for me to say this, but I was really close to death. I really was. I knew I was unravelling and I knew something needed to happen soon.”
Angle spoke about whether or not being moved to ECW was one of the factors in being released. The Olympic Gold Medalist mentioned how he would always say yes to Vince, even when he was asked whether or not he’d like to become the face of ECW.
“It had some factor,” Angle said. “I went from SmackDown to RAW, to SmackDown, to ECW. I felt like they didn’t know what they wanted to do with me or they didn’t care about me, but I was wrong. I think that Vince was just trying to fix the band aids that were occurring in the company. When Batista went down, he needed a top talent, and he knew he could count on me and I would never say no to Vince. ECW, when he started the company, a lot of other talent probably told him I’m not going to ECW. I’m not leaving RAW or SmackDown for ECW. I said yes. Vince always knew that I would say yes. I think that’s the reason why he picked me quite a bit.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.