Kurt Angle has revealed he kept a broken neck 'under wraps' from Vince McMahon and WWE management so as to get a run with the World Heavyweight Championship in 2006.
Angle suffered through a plethora of injuries during the final couple of years of his first run in WWE, so much so that, at the time, it was reported by Dave Meltzer that McMahon did not trust the Olympic Gold Medallist had the durability to be a top level champion in the company.
Angle admits he was struggling with knee and neck problems, having once again broken his neck in a match on Raw with Shawn Michaels just after winning the vacant World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown in January 2006, but says he kept the issue on the downlow so as to show the company he could be trusted to carry the title.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, when asked about the stories that McMahon did not have faith in his health, he said: "I believe so because I didn't have a title run for, I think, two or three years, you know. I had a lot of health issues with my knee and my neck. I wasn't holding up the way Vince expected me to. The last thing I wanted was another injury, and I got it but thank god, I was able to, I don't want to say hide it, but you know, keep it under wraps.
"It was our rubber match (with HBK), and it was on RAW, I think, right? I did an Angle Slam from the top rope and landed on my head. I broke four vertebrae and my neck again. The thing is, I went back to the doctor, and the good thing is no disks moved. They are still in place. The vertebrae were broken; they were cracked.
"I knew I was eventually going to get the world title because I stayed healthy for so long, and this setback would have set me back even further. And I probably wouldn't have won another world title in WWE for the duration that I stayed there. So it was important for me to stay in the game and get another world title. So I asked him if I could keep wrestling. He said, as long as I be careful, you'll be fine. I did wrestle; I won the world title with my neck broken against Mark Henry. I actually wrestled Undertaker at No Way Out with my neck broken."
H/T SK Wrestling