During a stream on his YouTube channel, Rusev revealed that he pitched a Kurt Angle return during his first year with the company only for the WWE to shoot it down as a result of concerns about Angle’s health. Here’s what he had to say:
I wanted to wrestle him. The first year I was with WWE, I pitched for Kurt Angle to come back. That was before the John Cena situation. I think it was before, but anyways, I wanted to bring back Kurt. The Swagger thing happened at SummerSlam and I started thinking about what I could build towards for ‘Mania. Nobody told me that I was going to work John for ‘Mania. I wanted to wrestle Kurt.
I talked to two people. I’m not going to say who they are, but I talked to two people and they are really high up there. I said, ‘How about we bring back Kurt? It’s going to be great. One, he’s the greatest professional wrestler ever. Two, it’s USA coming back and I’m doing the Russian thing.’ Kurt would have been the perfect person, but they told me no. This is verbatim from the person that told me. He said, ‘We don’t want to feel responsible if he comes back and dies.’ That’s from the person that told me. There were two people there. If one says I’m lying, hopefully the other will stand up and say it’s true. In the end, he got that match with Corbin, but I always wanted to wrestle Kurt.
Credit: YouTube. H/T WrestlingInc.