There are times when wrestlers leave WWE in a way that would seem as if the fences cannot be mended. One example of this is WWE’s relationship with the Ultimate Warrior. Although many within the professional wrestling business would agree that Warrior was the one who burned the bridges, and he would have most likely agreed as well, the association between the two was far from cordial. In fact, it would have been a surprise if it was ever mended. Not only did Warrior leave on bad terms when he held up Vince McMahon for higher pay before his match at SummerSlam in 1992, but his perception of himself did not match what others in the business thought of him. As a result, Vince McMahon and WWE hand delivered a letter to Warrior that was very expressive to why he would be suspended from the company (h/t USA Today).
“Frankly, you have become impossible to work with, and have completely forgotten your obligations to Titan and WWF fans, both ethically, professionally, and contractually,” the letter reads in part. “Your principal complaint apparently is that you are not being compensated at the same rate as Hulk Hogan, although “Hulk” is a living legend, is still better known to the public, has wrestled longer, is the WWF champion, is in much greater demand for personal appearances, is a bigger star and draw at WWF events, is more dependable and is far more revered and respected by WWF fans and by the public at large.”
Other factors included McMahon thinking Warrior was “a legend in his own mind,” frustration of Warrior breaching his contract, and all of the time and money invested in the Warrior character that was very green when he entered the World Wrestling Federation in 1987. This situation would be mended, and Warrior would return to the WWE in 1996 to squash Triple H at WrestleMania XII. Warrior’s relationship with WWE continued to be sour, as he left soon after his return due to breaching his contract once again.
For former WWE Champion Kurt Angle, his relationship with WWE was also rocky. Ending in 2006, Angle has admitted that his personal demons were the primary contributor to why he departed from the company. As many other wrestlers can also attest to, the physical damage on one’s body as a result of competing can lead to a higher temptation to heavily engage in drugs and alcohol. For Angle, his perception of feeling that his problems were insurmountable, and hiding them from WWE, resulted in a relationship that was not on good terms.
In a recent interview with FOX Sports, Angle expressed how his departure had a toll on his terms with WWE.
“When the parting occurred in 2006… I mean it wasn’t extremely ugly, but it wasn’t pretty either. And it was just I go my way and WWE goes theirs. We never really made amends until the past couple months, so it was extremely overwhelming.”
Since the relationship with WWE has mended, Kurt Angle, 48, has gone full throttle into endeavors with the company. Along with multiple appearances on behalf of WWE, as well as an autograph session at the WrestleMania Axxess event, Angle is committed to making up for the 11 years away from the company. Although he used his fame built in the WWE to bring more notoriety to the Impact Wrestling brand, even Angle has admitted that being with WWE is an experience that cannot match anything else.
Recent reports have revealed that Angle could be the next General Manager for the Raw brand. As his in-ring career is winding down, this role may be the best fit for him to actively remain in the business for the years to come.
[Featured Image by WWE]