It’s been nearly a decade since Kurt Angle left WWE for TNA, and with his career with the latter coming to an end this month, there has been some talk of a potential WWE return, possibly at this Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view in Orlando, Florida, which has been the home of TNA for the majority of Angle’s run with them.
Angle has done some of the best work of his career in TNA, and he is still one of the very best wrestlers in the world. But, WWE still isn’t interested in bringing him back to the company, even though he would be a tremendous asset to their thin talent roster.
Over the last decade, Angle has had some substance abuse issues, including getting four DUI’s between 2008 and 2013, and he points to his reckless behavior as the reason why WWE hasn’t been interested in having him return to the company.
“There is a reason they passed on me last time. You’ve got to remember WWE is a publicly traded company and they have people to answer to, and you have a person who was pretty reckless from 2008 to 2013. I got hit with four DUI’s. That’s pretty irresponsible. You have to look at a company that is publicly traded, like WWE, and the reputation they have to uphold, so you really have to be careful who you hire.”
While Angle understands why WWE is reluctant to re-hire him, he does admit that it would be nice to return to the company that made him famous. He also expects to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at some point in the future, which is something that he certainly deserves.
When asked about Angle possibly returning to WWE on a recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that it’s Vince McMahon’s call, and at this moment, Vince isn’t interested in hiring Angle because of his long history of substance abuse issues, and he’s afraid that, if he re-hires Angle, something catastrophic may happen while he’s under WWE contract.
Brian James, better known to wrestling fans as Road Dogg, was recently on the WWE Network series Legends with JBL, and he talked about how he was brought back to WWE as a producer. James told JBL that Triple H told Vince McMahon that they should re-hire him, and that McMahon’s response was always, “he’s a known drug addict. Why would I hire a known drug addict?” Of course, James had been clean for quite some time at that point, but McMahon just didn’t want to take a chance on a guy who had a history of drug issues.
Eventually, Triple H was allegedly able to persuade McMahon to bring James back to the company, and everything has been great ever since.
McMahon is probably saying the same thing that he did about James when he’s asked about Kurt Angle returning to the company, and unfortunately, there’s no one there to really push it on the WWE chairman, as Triple H doesn’t seem interested in a Kurt Angle WWE return either.
Several months ago, Kurt angle appeared on Jim Ross’s podcast, The Ross Report, and talked about potentially working for WWE again. During the conversation, Ross suggested that WWE should drug test Angle frequently to ensure that he stays clean, and that if he fails one drug test, he would be gone.
Ross’s suggestion makes a lot of sense; however, it looks like Vince McMahon just doesn’t want to take that chance with Angle, at least for now.
Historically, pretty much everyone has returned to WWE after leaving. So based on what history has told us, there’s a good chance that Kurt Angle will end up back in WWE at some point, even if it’s ten or fifteen years down the road.
[Image via WWE]