Kurt Angle has revealed that Ric Flair pushed him to sign with WWE despite the 16-time World Champion being signed to WCW at the time.
In 1996 Kurt Angle was a newly minted Olympic gold medallist with the world at his feet. Interest in him was high from both the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling.
On an episode of The Kurt Angle Show [available via AdFreeShows.com], Angle revealed a conversation he had with Flair that put him on course to join the WWF. Despite Ric Flair still being an integral part of WCW, he told Angle not to join the Atlanta-based organisation for fear they wouldn’t use him correctly.
As Angle recalled, Flair still brings this fact up to this day:
”Oh God, Ric brings it up all the time. He actually rubs it in my face: ‘Hey, I saved your career by going to WWF instead of WCW.’ But Ric was right. I think if I went to WCW, they probably wouldn’t have utilized me like WWE did. I’m very grateful for Ric’s advice. He directed me in the right direction.”
After a false start in pro wrestling that involved an ill-fated appearance in ECW, Kurt Angle made his WWF debut in 1999. During his time in the company, he became a four-time WWE Champion and held the World Heavyweight Championship.
He left WWE in 2006 going on to have a decade-long run in TNA where he held the TNA World Title six times. At a TNA house show in 2010, Angle and Flair had only their third and final one-on-one match against each other with Angle winning all three of those encounters. Kurt Angle was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2017 before bringing the curtain down on his in-ring career at WrestleMania 35.