With WWE RAW and SmackDown set to split and establish their own identities, the company is interested in several veterans to fill out the rosters, according to Anthony DiMoro of Forbes.
It’s expected that the WWE’s developmental program, NXT, will play a huge role in establishing unique rosters. However, most of the NXT superstars will enter the main roster without huge fanbases in the WWE Universe. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter tweeted about WWE’s interest in established workers.
DiMoro lists Bill Goldberg, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, and Rey Mysterio as some of the names WWE has spoken to. All four men have been connected to WWE in varying degrees in recent months and all are viable returnees. Goldberg, at this point, appears to be the likeliest to return to the squared circle.
The former WCW Heavyweight champion was recently announced as a pre-order exclusive character in the upcoming WWE 2K17 video game. Since the announcement, Goldberg has gone on a media tour promoting the game and answering several WWE-related questions.
The most frequently asked question on the media tour — and dating back to Goldberg’s WWE departure in 2004 — has been when he will wrestle again.
— Bill Goldberg (@Goldberg) June 1, 2016
The 49-year-old master of the Jackhammer has said that his contact with WWE in recent years — outside of a brief conversation with Triple H — has been largely nonexistent. Recently speaking to 2K Sports about his WWE 2K17 inclusion, Goldberg is thankful for the position he’s in.
“I know this is a very big step for me in that I’ve been away [from WWE] for a long period of time and I never really ever saw myself being involved with them again, but along came my wonderful son and [it] opened up the possibility of doing something with the WWE again and I’m grateful to be in this situation.”
Goldberg has previously told The Inquisitr that he “can’t stand” Triple H and if he ever returned to wrestling, it’d be independent of a big organization such as WWE. However, as time has passed, Goldberg’s views have changed.
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) June 17, 2016
Angle, 47, left TNA Impact Wrestling earlier this year and has wrestled sparingly for several independent companies. On several occasions, Angle has said he would be willing to return to WWE and finish his career with the company he wrestled for from 1999-2006. DiMoro says WWE has discussed pairing Angle with NXT Tag Team American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan).
In a recent interview with The World According to Wrestling, Angle discussed potentially returning to the WWE and re-forming a modern-day Team Angle with American Alpha.
“I’m 47 years-old. And that’s why those guys would be perfect as my team, like a Team Angle, because they could do the wrestling for me until the big one comes. So it would be kind of cool to have that. I’m not going to say those guys are going to be my guys, but they’re almost ready to come up – if not they are ready. I’ve watched them wrestle and they’re really good. It would be really cool to have a new Team Angle.”
Hardy (TNA) and Mysterio (Lucha Underground) and currently under contract with other promotions. Much like Goldberg and Angle, Hardy and Mysterio have been open to a WWE return. Hardy recently told Sports Illustrated that he wants to finish his career at Wrestlemania. As for Mysterio, he left WWE last year but has kept the door open for a potential return.
[Featured Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]