Kurt Angle knew that he wasn’t going to end his career in TNA.
The two-time Hall of Famer shocked the world in 2006 when he made the switch to TNA, remaining at the company for a decade, which would be longer than his initial run in WWE.
Helping to elevate Total Nonstop Action and being presented as one of the top stars, Angle knew that it wouldn’t last forever. Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Angle revealed that there were financial issues in TNA and that he knew they would not be able to afford his salary upon his contract expiration:
“Yeah, I thought about it all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I really love TNA. The thing is, when I started thinking about going back to WWE, was when the money started running out, and people are getting let go, or people were getting laid off. And, you know, I signed my last contract with them. I think it was for five more years. And I figured you know what, after this contract is up, they probably won’t have the money to pay me because they were paying me seven figures, and it was a part-time deal. So I knew that they probably wouldn’t give me that money that I was making.
So I figured you know what it’s time to think about going back to WWE. And I also want to go back because I wanted to go back for the fans and to thank them, the WWE Universe, because I had six and a half Incredible Years in WWE. And I wanted to go back and thank the fans personally and perform for them before I retired.”
Multiple stars would make the jump to TNA in the 2000s and 2010s, but some were happy in WWE and remained for 20 years plus, such as The Undertaker, Edge and John Cena. Angle believes that John Cena in TNA could have changed the wrestling landscape altogether.
Kurt Angle The Wrestling Machine
Known as one of the greatest in-ring technicians of all time, Angle would put on show-stealing matches against the likes of Brock Lesnar and Shawn Michaels in the early 2000s. However, there were points when Angle wanted to showcase his in-ring skills and intensity but was not given an opponent of matching calibre. The Olympic Gold Medalist expressed his disappointment on having to face Euguene at SummerSlam 2005 during an episode of his podcast.
If you use any quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet and leave a h/t to TJR Wrestling.