In an interview with Chris Van Vliet's podcast, Kurt Angle discussed his return to WWE and why he was used for shorter matches before he retired from the ring.
“I knew I would go back, I just didn’t know when. I probably waited a couple of years too long. I did stay in great shape when I got back to WWE in 2016. I was ready to wrestle. I took a year off and I wrestled who I wanted I wrestled Rey Mysterio. I wrestle [Alberto] Del Rio. I wrestled Cody Rhodes a couple times, three times actually. So, I was just trying to keep my body fresh and obviously keep enough activity to keep my body in shape that if I did come back to WWE I’d be ready.”
“When I did, Triple H and Vince McMahon pulled me aside and said ‘We’re gonna induct you in the Hall Of Fame first. Is that okay?’ I said, ‘Yeah, but I’d rather wrestle first.'”
“I didn’t have any options and I think I understand why. I don’t think it was to criticize me because I did leave WWE high and dry in 2006. It was my choice to leave and I know Vince McMahon and I didn’t part on good terms and I went straight to the other company [TNA].”
“Coming back Vince never forgot that I had a severe painkiller problem and I had a severe neck problem and I think when Vince brought me back he looked at me as a liability.”
“I think that’s why he had me do the shorter matches. He had me put talent over. He never really ran with me with a title run or anything like that. So, I was expecting that. Goldberg came back [and had a title run] Sting came in and I think he at least had a title match, but it wasn’t in the plans. I don’t blame Vince for that. Me being a liability with my five broken neck and my painkiller problem from a long time. I don’t think he wanted to see me fall back into that.”