Kurt Angle has revealed Shawn Michaels offered to lose their WrestleMania 21 match by tap-out in a bid to make him look him strong for future feuds.
Angle and Michaels put on a Match-Of-The-Year candidate during their contest at the 2005 WrestleMania, which ended with the Olympic Gold Medallist making The Heartbreak Kid submit clean in the middle of the ring.
The match is considered one of the finest in both Angle's and Michaels' respective careers, but the WWE Hall Of Famer has revealed the decision on who should go over in the match was left up to the two superstars by Vince McMahon.
Angle explained, at the time, he was supposed to be going into a feud with Batista after WrestleMania 21, who would win his first World Heavyweight Championship at the event, and Michaels was determined to make his opponent look strong heading into that potential program with The Animal.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show about the match, he said: "Vince left it up to us. Yeah, I was surprised. I didn't know that he did. What happened was when I met with Shawn four days before WrestleMania, we went to the place where they structure the matches. You know, the ring at the hotel. They had like a party room where they had the ring set up.
"Shawn came to me and said: 'Listen, we don't have a finish for WrestleMania, but I think you should go over by tap out, and this is why. I think you are going to do a program with Batista, and we need to make you look really strong.'
"So I was like, 'Wow!' You know, Shawn Michaels says basically he is going to job for me. You know, tap out. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't know if he was serious, but you know, it was; it showed me that he respected me and that, you know, we would have an incredible match, and it wouldn't matter whether he won or lost.
"So, I do understand the program with Batista never happened, but I'm sure it was supposed to. But Shawn just decided to let me win, and without the guarantee that we were going to get to wrestle again because there weren't any plans for us to wrestle after that."
H/T SK Wrestling for the transcription