As documented by WrestlingNews.co, Daniel Puder was recently interviewed by Chris Van Vliet, and he discussed a variety of topics pertaining to his WWE career. According to the former superstar, he never received the money for winning the company’s Million Dollar Tough Enough competition in 2004.
Puder revealed that he was offered a “crap” contract by the promotion. When he called his mentors and coaches to tell them about the deal, they informed him that he should take it in order to earn the respect of officials.
However, Puder didn’t think the offer was good enough, especially after hearing different stories from other wrestlers about their contracts. He wanted the money he was promised per the original agreement.
“I made a decision that if a company doesn’t take care of me now, they are not going to take care of me in the future. I was young and took advice. I could have stayed for $50,000 a year. It was guaranteed $250,000 for one year and they let me go after the first year. They offered me another deal and because I didn’t take it, then they let me go. It was a little shady on that.”
The former Tough Enough contestant went on to discuss how he tried to sue the company on contingency. He contacted several lawyers, only to realize later that it wasn’t worth the time and effort. He also stated that he didn’t want to be associated with a promotion that didn’t protect its performers.
While Puder won the Tough Enough competition, he is arguably more remembered for an incident that took place on an episode of SmackDown.
As recalled by Bleacher Report, the former MMA fighter was challenged to a shoot match against Kurt Angle on the blue brand’s show. He got the better of the Olympic gold medalist by locking him in a kimura lock.
The referees counted quickly to ensure that Angle emerged victorious, though it was clear that Puder’s shoulders weren’t pinned to the mat. If the referee didn’t ring the bell when he did, Puder would likely have snapped Angle’s arm.
During the interview with Van Vliet, Puder rebuked the rumors that he almost joined UFC to face the Olympic champion in the octagon. Puder revealed that there were minor discussions, but he was never offered an official fight.
Puder said that he would have taken the fight. He also stated that his foe wouldn’t have passed the drug test if they were to face off, even though the iconic wrestler previously stated that he almost joined the MMA promotion.