Kurt Angle hasn’t been a “full-time” professional wrestler since 2019, when he worked 11 matches for WWE from January through April before being beaten by Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35. Since then, Angle has remained busy, appearing on WWE programming a few times for one reason or another, working the convention circuit, and even starting a podcast as seemingly every former professional wrestler does when their in-ring career comes to an end, but one thing “The Olympic Hero” hasn’t done, as least not yet, is step in the ring for an indie promotion and do his typical schtick for a crowd eager to see the 54-year-old do his thing once more.
But why? Well, part of that has to do with the state of Angle’s physical well-being, which hasn’t been so good since he hung up his boots. Since 2019, Angle has undergone surgery on his knees, and surgery on his back, which just happened earlier this year, as he detailed on his podcast.
“I hope my doctor is not listening to this,” Angle joked. “The day I got out of the hospital after my surgery, I when and worked out. I was supposed to take six weeks off, but I never stopped working out. I worked out the day of my surgery, the day after that, and the day after that. What I did is, I did a lot of stuff sitting so I wouldn’t affect my back, because they told me I couldn’t carry more than five pounds. Now, I was lifting more than five pounds, and I think that I probably didn’t listen to them in that aspect, but I wasn’t literally carrying it while I was walking. I was sitting while I was lifting. So I did leg presses sitting down. I did my bench press sitting down. I did my military press sitting down. Everything I did was sitting down, so I took care of my back, but I didn’t want to miss my workouts.”
Was the surgery successful? Yes, but only to a degree, as Angle still has pain in his back but all things considered, he’s happy with the results.
“I’m good, not too bad. I still have pain in my lower back, but I don’t have pain running down my legs anymore,” Angle wrote. “They kicked that, but the pain in my back is still there. It’s unfortunate, but I can deal with this. I couldn’t deal with the pain going down my legs. So, I’m happy with the surgery.”
After spending two decades in the ring and even longer as a Greco-Roman wrestler before that, few bodies have been put through as much wear and tear as Angle’s. Though his workload slowed down in the final few years of his career, working just 22 matches for WWE from 2017-19 versus 514 during his time in TNA from 2006-2016, Angle still worked a ton of matches after turning 40 and is likely now feeling the effects of such a heavy workload as a result. Fortunately, it sounds like Angle has the means and opportunity to make it better and may even go under the knife once more in 2024 to further ease the issues that have plagued his body ever since.
Kurt Angle plans to address his neck next.
Later in his podcast, Angle turned his attention to the future and discussed what surgeries could still be over the horizon, with a neck fusion likely on the docket for 2024.
“The crazy thing is I haven’t been able to really play with them the way I want to because I had my knees replaced and my back surgery,” Angle noted. “Before that, it was all bothering me. I was really messed up. My neck is messed up. Next is my neck surgery. I’m probably going to have fusion next year. Hopefully, that’ll help my body, and eventually, I’ll be able to play with my kids. My knees — I’ve been able to come out of that pretty good. So once my back heals, I’ll start being able to play with my kids, throw them around the pool, carry them on my back, doing that kind of stuff. I want to be like a real father to my kids.”
Will fans see Angle back in the ring at some point down the line? I mean, probably not, but hey, if “Mr. You Suck” can play with his kids and still produce fun segments for WWE, like his milk truckle angle with Gable Steveson, Chad Gable, and Otis, that might be good enough to keep most fans happy long-term.