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Kurt Angle On Emotional Meeting With Vince McMahon That Led To 2006 WWE Release, His Struggles With Painkiller Addiction

September 14, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Kurt Angle WrestleMania 35, Drew McIntyre Image Credit: WWE

On a recent edition of The Kurt Angle Show, Kurt Angle discussed meeting with Vince McMahon prior to his WWE release in 2006, telling Vince he thought he’d accidentally kill himself if he wasn’t released, and much more. You can read his comments below. 

Kurt Angle on the details of his meeting with Vince McMahon prior to his WWE release in 2006: “When I went to TV the next day, I went to a production meeting and Vince is up front with some of the writers. The producers were all leaving. I walk in and look at Vince, and I pull my pants down to my knees. I said ‘this is what happened last night and my whole crotch is black – my hamstring, front of my leg, abdominal, everything was black. He’s like I guess you’re not gonna wrestle in the triple threat ladder match tonight. I said, ‘No, Vince, we need to talk.’ He said ‘let’s go talk right now and I said ‘no, I need to come up to headquarters this week.’ He set it up, not a problem. So, later on that week, I flew up to Stamford, and I’ve never told this story publicly – this is the first time ever. I went to Vince’s office, and I was with my manager. In the office were Shane McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and Vince. They were sitting at a table.

“I walk in and Vince tells us to sit down. I look in front of me, and there were seven pages of typed text messages and voicemails that I left Vince and people in the office. I was like, ‘What the hell are these?’ I’m reading them, and they say ‘Vince, I’m gonna kick your ass when I see you,’ ‘Vince, if you don’t call me back, I’m gonna beat the shit out of you,’ all these threats. I’m like, I don’t remember doing this. Then I remembered the painkillers. I never wrestled high, not once, and I always took what I was supposed to. One painkiller every four to six hours. But when the show was over, that’s when the addict Kurt Angle came in and I’d throw down 20 to 25 pills at a time. I wouldn’t even know what I was doing. I was letting out my frustrations when I was texting Vince because Vince was distancing himself from me at this particular time. My behavior was erratic, I was getting injured, I was pushing him to get the title, and I was pushing to get on pay-per-views to get paid. There were a lot of things going on.”

On Vince asking if he wanted to fight him and telling Vince he thought he’d accidentally kill himself if he wasn’t released: “I’m reading the text messages, and as I’m doing it, Vince says, ‘You want to beat my ass?’ He stands up and takes his jacket off and says ‘let’s fight right now.’ I’m like, holy shit, my boss, the man I look up to as a father figure, wants to beat my ass. I look around the room and Shane is halfway out of his seat because if I get up, Shane is gonna jump me. Vince is a badass and didn’t need Shane to get involved. I’m like this isn’t gonna turn out very well, and I didn’t want to fight Vince. I was just angry at myself and angry at the company. I leave the room and go outside and start crying. I don’t know what to do. The company wouldn’t release me up to this point. They wanted to keep me and wanted me to go to rehab and take a break and come back. I come back in and said to Vince, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I was crying.

“I’m getting emotional right now…..I said, if you don’t release me, I think I’m gonna kill myself. I didn’t mean I was gonna commit suicide, I meant I was accidentally gonna kill myself – OD on painkillers, wrestle myself to death, I didn’t know. I had to get out. Vince looks at me and says, ‘You’re released. Take a break, go to rehab, come back, and we’ll have a contract waiting for you. Just take your time.’ I appreciated that and was very grateful. The thing is, I didn’t talk to him for 11 years. When I came back in 2017, the first thing he said to me was, ‘Kurt, you were a real pain in the ass.’ I really was. I was so hard to deal with and I couldn’t do anything but apologize to him 100 times. I knew I was wrong. We made amends and the rest was history. I have a great relationship with him now. But this is the first time I’ve told that story, and it was really difficult to tell because I’ve never told anybody that before.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.