This statement is fron Kurt Angle at KurtAngleWWE.com:
To all my respective fans in WWE/ECW,
The letter you are about to read is not from WWE, nor from my agent, but from me- Kurt Angle…to my all fans.
This is my personal ‘Thank You’ straight from my heart, to all my fans for being here with me and providing me with the most honorable privilege to perform and entertain for you. Thank you for tuning into your TVs weekly, for visiting me at hundreds of house show chanting ‘You Suck’ (I love that phrase), to every single good, bad or indifferent e-mail I’ve received over the past 6 years and continue to receive daily.
Thank you for being there and making my life truly blessed. When I came to WWE, many fans had doubts that an Olympic Gold Medalist in Amateur Wrestling could turn and master the art of Sports Entertainment. To my humble surprise, God graciously granted me the gift to make this exciting transition in my life. Coming into the WWE, I had one goal in mind…to be the VERY BEST! Many say I am; some may say I’m not. But I want you to know with over six solid years of non-stop wrestling action under my belt from all the shows to the world tours…I treated every single match as if it were my last!
I’ve never known a time in my life from training, competition or entertainment that I have not tried to give over 100%. I honestly do not know of any other way to wrestle or perform, and I have always wanted to give YOU, the fans, what I would expect to see. From the entertainment standpoint, (good guy or bad guy), it’s been truly exciting, but I know in my heart that I have not reached my peak. Critics have compared me to very honorable wrestlers like Rick (sic) Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker, all of whom I value and truly respect. But there is one BIG difference between us. I am by far the most aggressive and intense athlete of all on the mat. When I step into the ring, I treat it as real, it feels real and then I play it like a real shoot fight.
As an amateur wrestler for 23 years and a pro for 6, unfortunately over the past 4 years I have suffered many injuries. I broke my neck twice and had two major neck surgeries. I’ve fractured my ribs, hip, tailbone, fingers and toes while also tearing almost every major muscle at least one time or another. Injuries have always been a natural part of the business and my life, but where I have failed is not taking the time off to recover. When I’m off the mental stress, sitting back becomes worse than the physical pain. Something tells my inner soul to go back regardless of the condition. The funny thing is, this obsession is what the industry loves, but this obsession can also be my destruction.
Week after week, day after day, 250 days a year on the road can be a living hell for anyone, especially when you’re in daily pain for months on end. It was at home when I began to realize how severe the problems were- when a simple task like taking out the garbage is like a full workout and I needed Motrin in order to get up and do it.
It’s time to rest! After 6 long years, I looked into my wife’s eyes and finally saw that she, too, was severely stressed and worn out due to my livelihood that she had to endure. My 3-year old daughter Kyra basically became my nurse, thinking she had to put ice packs or heating pads on my neck, back and legs because she could see the pain her daddy was in.
At this point, something happened that made me realize that wrestling wasn’t the most important thing in my life. I sat down with my wife Karen, who had tears in her eyes. I could see in her face how concerned she was for me. She said, “I love you. I didn’t marry you because you were a WWE Superstar. I married you before you ever joined them. Kurt, I’m so worried that if you continue going at this pace, something bad is really going to happen and I don’t want Kyra and Kody (our unborn son) to grow up without their father.”
I did take this all to heart, but then, as usual, a couple of days later, I went back on the road, wanting to electrify my new ECW fans.
My last event was at the Westchester Arena in White Plains, New York. The show was sold out. The main event was me against RVD. I had a great match against RVD as the fans were cheering for both of us. The more we wrestled (Rob and I wrestle more of a realistic shoot style), the more I wanted to give them. Ten minutes into the match, I severely pulled my groin. Most wrestlers would have quit right on the spot. But the fans were chanting louder and louder “THIS MATCH RULES!” continuously, so I kept going. Compensating for my groin injury, I pulled my lower abdominal muscle off my pelvic bone. Now, I was in trouble, but I looked up at the fans and they were screaming louder than ever.
So Rob and I started into our finish, false finish after false finish, back and forth. But the one thing the fans noticed is that I was doing half of the match on one leg. That made it feel even more real for the fans. I can only thank God and the fans for keeping me going, as I was in so much pain. And at the end of the match, I had the opportunity to beat RVD. I set him up for the Angle Slam and Rob countered with a flying DDT. My hamstring blew out. The fans cheered and I could not move in the ring. As the agonizing pain grew greater, I could only look around. Every fan was on their feet giving me a standing ovation. And this was at a house show, not a PPV. My only regret was that I could not stand up and thank them all for it.
To the ones who love me, the ones who hated me and even the ones who loved to hate me- You were and are my inspiration. God was and is my strength and so is my familyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âmy Mom, sister and brothers, my father (God rest his soul), my Manager Dave Hawk and most especially, my wife Karen, who went through hell during my career. She has never given up on me.
Fans, thank you all for the memories. It was quite a ride. I would not trade any of it for the world. As I sit here a bit teary eyed, I do want all of you to know, I will be fine. I will finally get to spend some real quality time with my family… time that is much, much overdue. My plan and goal is to become stronger mentally, physically and spiritually. I, Kurt Angle, will be back! That’s a promise. And that’s DAMN TRUE!
Vince, if you happen to read this, I want to again say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a great man!
When we get together, the next cup of coffee is on me. ; )