In a recent article, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle talked about his TNA contract coming to end September last year and the plans he had set to join WWE for the remainder of his career. I figured that was a smart idea and Kurt Angle is still a household name for WWE to have in their back pocket. However, the McMahons didn’t seem to agree according to Kurt.
In the interview with SportsIllustrated, Kurt talked about his negotiations with Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque aka Triple H. Kurt said:
“Paul is in charge. I found that out when I contacted Vince. I’ve always had a good relationship with Paul, so I didn’t consider that a problem. But he decided they had enough talent. For the Vince McMahon who I knew, enough was never enough. He always wanted more. I don’t know what was going on over there, but they even canceled our meeting. I never went to see them. They didn’t even sit me down and talk to me.
It blew my mind. It was as if I was a nobody, that I wasn’t Kurt Angle. From a wrestling standpoint, they just weren’t interested. But TNA not only stepped up, they gave me everything I wanted – the dates, the money, and it’s no secret that I’ve went to rehab in the past, and they gave me time off. You talk about a company that’s loyal to you, and you want to be loyal back. So I didn’t pursue the WWE any further. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to stick with the people who want to take care of you. And Dixie Carter took care of me.”
That article as a whole is a very interesting one with Kurt and here’s the link to see what else he said about WWE, TNA and wrestling Brock Lesnar.
This article was very interesting to me because the fact that WWE would turn Angle for whatever deal he was offering confuses me. It’s very to understand where WWE is nowadays with regards to finance, their roster etc. The last MAJOR roster cut they did was a year ago when they fired the likes of Drew McIntyre, JTG etc. And with the NXT talent coming up, you’d think they wouldn’t be short on talent. However, I remember CM Punk saying in his Colt Cabana podcast that he was told by Vince that the talent pool was very short and they needed him. Maybe that was in reference to main event talent, but even so… wouldn’t Kurt Angle be considered a main event talent?
If WWE were struggling with main event talent (which I think they would have been as Brock Lesnar wasn’t there after Night of Champions) then why on earth would they turn down Kurt? Now it’s important to point out that times do change, so while Punk points out in 2013 that they might have been low on main-eventers, that might not still be the case a year later. So there’s a slight chance WWE thought they had enough regarding main event talent to count out. But like Kurt said, enough was never enough. Why pass up the opportunity on using Kurt if you had the chance?
He’s proven during his TNA run that he can still go every week at a high standard. Now the working environments for WWE and TNA are VERY different of course. But he’s up against some of the best talent in the world every week. The bar has been raised regarding talent due to NXT in the company, but I’m sure Kurt could meet it.
Now, whether Kurt would actually wrestle full-time for WWE just because he could is a subject for debate. I personally believe that if WWE had signed Kurt, it would likely be a similar deal to Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho. He could do months at a time and also stay at the top of his game. Surely WWE would be all about doing that, calling upon Kurt whenever they needed him. Kurt can avoid burning out being on the road and keep fresh for the new talent. So… why would they close the door on an Angle return to WWE?
Remember why Kurt Angle was released from the company in 2006. There were concerns about Kurt’s health which caused WWE to not take any chances with him and release him from his contract. He did go on to shove it down WWE’s throats with an excellent TNA debut against Samoa Joe and an incredible first year with the company. However, Kurt’s had his troubles since then and Kurt might not want to risk it with Kurt. WWE wouldn’t want to risk anything to happen to him while he was on their books. That’s why they’re hasty to have Sting in the ring that much, even though he was mostly full-time with TNA.
There are other theories of potential heat between Kurt Angle and Triple H Kurt’s stated in this article that he’s never really had a problem with Triple H but rumors in wrestling have it that the two have had problems ever since Triple H refused to put him over back in Unforgiven 2000. However, WWE are continuing to make strides to make amends with past talents that have fell out with the company. With the likes of the Ultimate Warrior, Madusa and Bruno Sammartino making up with the company, surely Triple H should be willing to put personal differences with Kurt aside to have him be a part of the WWE Universe. Surely refusing to do business with somebody just because you don’t get along with them is a bad way to do business?
Now there’s always two sides to every story. Triple H and Vince might have their own reasons for Kurt Angle not being considered to be apart of WWE. However, it’s a shame that Angle and WWE weren’t on the same page with this potentially buzz-filled return. Angle returning to WWE would have been a great coup from WWE. However it seems with his recent TNA World title victory, Kurt’s chosen remain at TNA for the foreseeable future. If Kurt feels TNA do treat him well, why not stay with them? That being said, it would have been VERY very interesting to see how WWE would have booked his return. Now I wonder if there’s a blog around that’s got it’s very own “How I Would Book” series?