Kurt Angle. Goldberg. Jeff Hardy. Rey Mysterio. These are by far the most high-profile names being bandied about as potential superstars destined to return to the WWE. The company is in hot pursuit of any former star who can still go and will draw additional eyes to the product when it initiates its brand extension next month. Unfortunately, Angle, Goldberg, Hardy and Mysterio have the longest odds among all those being rumored to re-join the sports entertainment giant in July.
Jeff Hardy (and his brother Matt for that matter) and Rey Mysterio are under contract with other promotions, so any talk of “imminent” returns is largely premature. Goldberg may have laid some preliminary groundwork by signing with 2K Sports to appear in the next WWE video game, but agreeing to an actual deal with WWE could still be far off. And then there’s Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle.
The most definitive news as it pertains to a big star heading back to the WWE surfaced Thursday afternoon when WWE officials confirmed to F4WOnline that Kurt Angle is not returning to the company. This likely comes as a bit of shocker to those who were figuring just the opposite after Angle appeared on Mark Madden’s radio show on Monday of this week. Angle made it pretty clear, even so far as insinuating that it was a foregone conclusion when asked if he would be going back to the company he debuted for back in 1999.
“Will I return? Yes. I don’t know when.”
Angle revealed that he spoke with Triple H over a month ago, before it was announced that the company would be splitting up the rosters between RAW and Smackdown. Even reaching out to Angle was a complete reversal of faith on Triple H, Vince McMahon and WWE’s behalf. It’s been noted on several occasions that Vince has rejected any notion of bringing back Kurt Angle for fear of him suffering another injury on their watch, in their ring. His troubles with domestic and alcohol abuse have further hurt his chances. But over the last several years, working in TNA was best for his physical well-being as the schedule wasn’t nearly as demanding as WWE’s.
Whether this news today means that WWE won’t be re-signing Angle for now, or forever, remains to be seen. But Kurt also revealed that his conversation with Triple H revolved around the idea of returning for one last feud with a fitting send-off/retirement match, and not re-embarking on the rigorous road schedule that was largely to blame for his flame-out the first time around.
Countless recent speculation aligned a returning Kurt Angle with the up-and-coming tag team, American Alpha. Jordan and Gable are expected to be called up to the main roster when the WWE Draft comes our way on July 19. Angle admitted that he’s impressed with the tag team and if he were to re-sign, the idea of managing them was quite appealing once his boots were hung up for good. Had the brand extension never materialized, Angle’s name may never have even been considered. But WWE is clearly in need of more bodies, preferably bodies that will help draw to whichever show they deem necessary.
Angle’s latest project has him hawking “Make Wrestling Great Again” t-shirts in a play off Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. At 47-years old, he doesn’t have a whole lot of wrestling left in him, though he’s proven the tank isn’t quite on empty in recent independent matches with Rey Mysterio and Zack Sabre, Jr. Unfortunately for fans who had a glimmer of hope earlier this week, Angle won’t be “making wrestling great again” in WWE anytime soon.
[Image via Paul Smith/Featureflash]