Former WWE Champion Kurt Angle became a household name in the late 90s and early 2000s via WWE television, and while he’s most remembered for his time in professional wrestling’s number one organization, he has spent the majority of his career in TNA.
Over the last couple of years, there have been several questions surrounding Kurt Angle and his future, with the two most notable being, when will Angle retire, and will he return to WWE before he hangs up his singlet for good?
Kurt Angle’s TNA contract has expired several times since he joined the organization in 2006, and each time WWE hasn’t shown any interest in bringing him back, and now that Angle has made it clear that he’s not planning on re-signing with TNA after his contract expires at the end of the year, questions about Angle’s future have arose again, with the number one question being, will WWE take him back?
In the past, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has said that WWE is not at all interested in bringing back Kurt Angle, which isn’t surprising to hear because if WWE wanted him there, he’d be there. But, things do change, and WWE’s problem with Angle — whatever that is — could subside when he’s ready, willing, and able to make his return.
If WWE remains uninterested in bringing back Angle, it’s unclear if he’ll ever wrestle again. On this past Wednesday’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer pondered the future of the Olympic gold medalist, saying that his in-ring future looks very bleak, as there are really not any promotions out there other than WWE who can afford his pricetag.
“Kurt [Angle] isn’t re-signing with TNA. I don’t know what Kurt’s going to do. If TNA offers Kurt… Well, I don’t think they can afford him. Although, who knows, if they get the right TV contract, maybe they can. But right now, TNA hasn’t re-signed anybody.”
Some have suggested that Kurt Angle will end up wrestling a few dates in Japan if TNA fails to get another television deal, and if WWE doesn’t bring him back.
Angle has wrestled in Japan in the past, most notably he wrestled Brock Lesnar for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship back in 2007, which wasn’t one of either men’s best matches. So, Angle does have a relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, and he could work few shows for them if he was interested in doing so.
Outside of New Japan, there really aren’t any options for Angle, unless he’s willing to take a significant pay cut.
Angle has said that he would like to be a coach at WWE’s Performance Center once his in-ring career is over, which he would likely be great at. But, again, that all depends on whether or not Angle and WWE can patch things up.
Last fall, after Angle’s TNA contract expired, he tried to set up a meeting with WWE, and they ended up blowing him off. After the attempted meeting fell through, Angle spoke with Sports Illustrated, and said that WWE pretty much treated him like a complete nobody.
It was also revealed that Angle called Triple H, who is in charge of hiring talent at WWE, and Triple H told Angle that, at this time, WWE wasn’t interested in his services, which forced Angle to re-sign with TNA.
Now, with the future of TNA in doubt, Angle can’t re-sign with the company, even if he would want to. So, with Angle being 46-years-old, with a long history of neck issues, there’s a possibility that he won’t wrestle beyond this year. Furthermore, Angle himself has said that he doesn’t expect to wrestle beyond 2016, so it’s now or never for Angle to make a deal with WWE.
[Images via Impact Wrestling, NJPW]