Over the last couple of years, 2K Sports, which is the company that produces WWE's annual 2K video game, has built and rebuilt relationships between WWE and legends who, at the time, weren't a part of the company.
In 2013, it was revealed that The Ultimate Warrior would be WWE 2K14's pre-order bonus, which of course led to his return to the company via a Hall of Fame induction. Then, the very next year, 2K made Sting the game's pre-order bonus, and that led to "The Icon" making his long awaited WWE debut in the fall of 2014. This year's game is built around Bill Goldberg, who, as of this writing, hasn't returned to WWE, but it does look like he'll be making his return to the company at some point in the near future.
This year's game hasn't even been released yet, but, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 2K already has someone in mind for next year's pre-order bonus, and that someone happens to be Kurt Angle.
During the Q&A segment on Thursday's Wrestling Observer Radio, Meltzer was asked if 2K was considering making Kurt Angle the special attraction for next year's game. After a long pause, Meltzer laughed and simply said "the answer to that question is yes."
WWE granted Kurt Angle's request for a release in the summer of 2006. At the time, Angle was having some personal and health issues, and he asked WWE chairman Vince McMahon if he could be a part-time performer. Of course, Vince said no to Angle's part-time proposal, which caused the Olympic gold medalist to ask for his release.
Just a couple of months after his WWE release, Angle signed with the company's chief competitor, TNA. At the time, there were actually some people who compared Angle's move to TNA to Hulk Hogan's move to WCW in the mid-1990s. Obviously, Angle's move didn't turn out to be anywhere near as big as Hogan's move, but his feud with Samoa Joe did turn out to be the most successful feud in TNA history.
After being in TNA for nearly a decade, Angle decided to leave the company at the beginning of this year. Since his TNA departure, Angle has been asked several times about a return to WWE and while he is interested in returning to the company that made him a professional wrestling superstar, he's suggested that he won't be returning to the company until next year at the earliest.
Angle has made several attempts at a WWE return in previous years, but every time he's tried, he's been shot down. But, in a recent interview on the Ric Flair Show, Angle said that he's buried the hatchet with the WWE brass and that he expects to return to the company at some point.
"If I went back to WWE, most likely it would be next year or the year after. I did talk to Triple H a few months ago, a very loose conversation. They have interest. I have interest. They don't know what to do with me yet. It was more of a loose conversation."[embed]https://twitter.com/RealKurtAngle/status/769884461257416704[/embed]
After leaving TNA, Angle said that he was planning to take all of 2016 off. But, he has wrestled a couple times for independent promotions, most recently against former WWE star Cody Rhodes. So he has been staying somewhat active in the wrestling world and he's obviously still in decent shape.
Angle is pretty beat up, so there's a chance that if does return to WWE, it'll just be for a Hall of Fame induction. But, the former WWE Champion does have a list of guys that he would like to get in the ring with upon his WWE return. He has already mentioned guys like Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, and the recently retired Daniel Bryan as his dream opponents.
[Image via WWE]