WrestleMania 21 hosted a memorable clash between two wrestling legends - Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. The iconic showdown was a highlight of the event, and it was recently revealed that WWE chairman Vince McMahon did not decide the outcome of this match.
Instead, Kurt Angle disclosed that the two seasoned combatants chose the victor, a rare gesture illustrating their shared respect. On "The Kurt Angle Show," the Olympic Gold medallist divulged this little-known fact, "Vince didn't have a winner for WrestleMania.
He left it up to us to work it out between ourselves." Angle's revelation brought a fresh perspective on the backstage dynamics of the WWE during the planning of WrestleMania 21.
Michaels' Generous Decision at WrestleMania
Shawn Michaels, affectionately known as "The Heartbreak Kid," was not only receptive to this arrangement but actively contributed to the final decision.
He was magnanimous, recognizing Angle's imminent program with John Cena. "Listen, I'll put you over because I know you're going to end up doing a program with Cena afterward, and what you need is a good win right now," Michaels stated, according to Angle.
Perhaps the most surprising element was that the submission finish of the match, a moment that saw Michaels tap out to Angle's signature move - the Ankle Lock, was proposed by Michaels himself. Angle appreciated Michaels' change and willingness to make decisions best for the business, devoid of any "backstage politics," a term historically linked to Michaels.
In admiration, Angle expressed, "He wasn't political; he didn't fight for the win. He said, 'Hey, I'll do the job and even tap out to you.' His willingness was commendable." Angle intended to reciprocate the favor in a rematch to show his gratitude, though the continuity of their rivalry after WrestleMania 21 still needed to be maintained.
Following their legendary clash, Angle moved to feud with Booker T, while Michaels assisted Hulk Hogan against Muhammad Hassan. Nevertheless, Michaels did overcome Angle at Vengeance 2005, allowing Angle to ultimately "return the favor." They also fought to a draw in a 30-minute Iron Man match in the same year, with their final meeting on the January 16, 2006 episode of "WWE Raw," before Angle's move to TNA.