WWE News: Kurt Angle Now Planning To Return To WWE Next Year?

“Will I return? Yes. I don’t know when.” Those words, shared by Kurt Angle on a Pittsburgh radio station last week, sparked a whirlwind of speculation around the Olympic gold medalist returning to the WWE. Many fans had assumed that because reports were surfacing about the company reaching out to a litany of former stars, and in lieu of the brand extension that would certainly force the WWE into expanding its talent pool, Kurt Angle was a no-brainer.

former wwe superstar kurt angle
[Image via WWE]

Not so fast. Last Thursday, the Inquisitr reported that the WWE would not be re-signing Angle, the most definitive update thus far surrounding the entire ordeal. That did not necessarily mean the door was completely shut on a potential return, but it was as clear as an indication could get that Angle wouldn’t be part of the brand split next month.

Angle was interviewed by Sports Illustrated before that report came out last week, confirming just that.

“I had a talk with WWE. It’s confidential. I will not be returning for the draft. Possibly in the future, most likely next year, but that is not a guarantee. It was a loose conversation but I will be in touch with Triple H [Paul Levesque] in the future.”

That short list of high-profile former WWE superstars that the company may or may not have been pursuing continues to shrink. The likes of Goldberg, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and now Kurt Angle are long-shots at best at returning in time for the WWE Draft on July 19. The names that keep popping up (Carlito, John Morrison, Stevie Richards, etc.) certainly have WWE experience but are somewhat lacking in the star-power department.

former wwe superstar kurt angle
[Image via WWE]

Still, it’s encouraging to Kurt Angle’s followers that Triple H, Vince McMahon, or any WWE official would even consider having that conversation with Angle. Vince has held a firm stance for nearly a decade, not wanting Angle to come back whatsoever. Vince did not want the WWE to be responsible in the event Angle got injured again (he broke his neck four times in less than three years while an employee of WWE) or succumbed to his addictions. That stance has clearly lightened, but not quite to the point that McMahon would sign Kurt to a contract.

McMahon was a key topic in the interview as well, someone who Angle said always gave it to him straight, especially when it came to his demons.

“Vince always cared about me. He’s a good guy, and he felt like he was my father figure. I admired Vince’s work ethic and drive. He was a machine. He was willing to sacrifice so much to be a success, and he was one of those guys who I feared and looked up to. I feared him the same way I feared my father. I was right – he was a good guy. He would tell me when I screwed up, and he’d tell me how to fix it. He basically said, ‘Listen, you won an Olympic gold medal. Very few people on this planet have ever done that. You’re special, you can kick this thing.’ But I fell back into it.”

It’s only a matter of time before Kurt Angle is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. And with very few headliners on the immediate horizon, his chances of enshrinement become greater. Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker, The Rock, and Kurt Angle are the few worthy of leading a particular class who aren’t competing full-time at present. Angle alluding to “next year, but that is not a guarantee” could be an indication that they’d be considering him for that type of role. Angle has made it clear he still has at least one WWE match left in him, but the ball remains completely in their court.

[Image via WWE]

Share this article: WWE News: Kurt Angle Now Planning To Return To WWE Next Year?
More from Inquisitr