Kurt Angle’s personal trainer and manager, refutes Internet rumours that Angle will retire from pro wrestling after his championship match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX.

“In my estimation a champion never dies and a champion never quits. Kurt Angle is a champion and doesn’t plan on quitting because he is too young for that,” David Hawk, a former Mr. USA and Mr. World told SLAM! Wrestling. “I believe wholeheartedly he will come back bigger and stronger than ever to continue his drive in the WWE.”

Angle has two herniated disks which are in turn putting pressure on his spinal cord. The result is continuous pain and nerve problems in his left shoulder and arm. A month after WrestleMania XIX, Angle plans on having the two vertebrae surgically fused and then if the healing goes well, to begin training again with Hawk in two months. The doctors have told Angle it will take a year to recover. Angle is insisting he will only need eight months.

“He has been dealing with this pain for quite awhile. It has gotten slightly worse but I think that if he gets enough rest, he can deal with it,” said Hawk of Angle’s plans to still appear at WrestleMania on March 30. “We all understand the risks but he wrestled at the World Championships with a fractured neck.”

Hawk says the WWE and Angle are taking special precautions so that his work in the ring will not make the injuries he has worse than they already are. In an interview with Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette yesterday, Angle detailed the danger he could face if he continues wrestling in his current condition.

“I could get a worse neck injury, possibly paralysis, and they said, yes, maybe even death,” Angle told reporter Shelly Anderson. “It’s a very big risk, so I have to take care of myself and be very careful.”

Hawk believes that despite the danger, Angle won’t miss WrestleMania. It is not a matter of personal pride or financial gain. It is that Kurt loves the business and that WrestleMania is the greatest and biggest stage the pro wrestling business has today.

“That’s the difference between someone who is a true champion, someone who really loves this sport and someone who just does it for the income. The money is great but Kurt absolutely loves what he does. He loves the fans and appreciates how they respond to his work,” Hawk said.