Angle speaks candidly about his bouts with depression.
It has been three years since Kurt Angle had his last sanctioned match at WrestleMania 35. Angle has sporadically appeared on WWE programming in the years since and most recently closed out the December 9th episode of SmackDown to celebrate his birthday.
Angle guest appeared on the ‘M&F Reps’ podcast and dove into his transition out of amateur and pro wrestling. He shared that after he retired from pro wrestling, he took it hard and was dealing with depression.
Present day, Angle is ‘really happy’ with his life, but there was a time when he felt like he did not have a place in life anymore. Angle added that he loves his wife and children dearly and that depression he was facing had to do with his career.
Yeah, I’m really happy with my life right now. I was depressed for a while. Retiring from amateur wrestling, Olympics and then retiring from the WWE, I felt like I didn’t have a place in life anymore and I fell out of place and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love spending time with my family, with my wife and kids. But from a career standpoint, I thought, what could I do next? I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to and I don’t regret anything that I’ve done up until now but where do I go from here? And I had to learn that now, I’m a non-athlete. I do go to the gym, I go for a run every once in a while but I don’t do athletic stuff anymore. Now I pretty much work behind the desk and do the podcast and my supplement company and I take acting classes every week. I’m pretty much here. This is where I do my work now which is crazy because I really didn’t have a job my entire life. All I did was train for a living. That was my job and that’s what I did for the Olympics and for WWE and now, I realize there’s a lot more to life than just working out.
He would go on to state that the COVID-19 pandemic beginning sent him into a depression as well. Angle retired from active in-ring competition in 2019 and the following year, the state of the world set him back. The WWE Hall of Famer said he’s just getting out of that funk.
Well I will tell you, the pandemic really messed me up. Unfortunately, the pandemic occurred right after I retired. You talk about depression, I’m retired, I was depressed from that then the pandemic hit and the whole world stood still for a long period of time and you know, I’m just kind of coming out of it right now. I had a lot of depression and it set me back for a little bit. But, I realize now that there’s other things in life that I can enjoy. I can enjoy my family. I can go to the park with them and play with my kids and just do things I normally never did before because my whole entire life, it was always about Kurt Angle, what’s best for Kurt Angle? What does Kurt Angle want? What does Kurt Angle need? It was always about me. I never thought about anybody else; not my wife or my kids and now, I realize, it was about my wife and kids this whole time. That’s the whole reason I was doing everything and it’s just really sad you get to that point and you realize, man, you’re a selfish son of a gun. But, rightfully so, you have to be if you’re training for the Olympics and you have to be when you’re traveling 300 days for the WWE. But, it was very difficult to make that adjustment.
To close out the conversation, Angle was asked if he has any regrets. He mentioned getting on painkillers and possibly wrestling longer than he should have.
Kurt listed off the surgeries he’s had and said he’ll eventually have back and shoulder surgery.
Yeah, I have a lot of regrets. But at the time same, I look back and I say if I didn’t go through those, I wouldn’t be who I am now. I have regrets about being introduced to painkillers, I have regrets on possibly wrestling too long. My body is really banged up at my age… I had knee replacements, I had three neck surgeries, I’m eventually gonna have back surgery and shoulder surgery. So, I feel like I might have been in the sport a few years too long. If I would have backed out, I think I’d be in much better health today. But, for the most part, those are my only regrets. Other than that, I don’t regret anything I’ve done in my life. Like I said, it made me who I am now.
The 54-year-old Angle hosts his ‘Kurt Angle Show’ podcast and POST Wrestling published news from that podcast which can be read here.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit M&F Reps with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.