Kurt Angle eventually arrived in WWE, but he didn’t take the company’s first deal. Vince McMahon wanted to lock the Olympic Hero into a decade-log deal, but it didn’t come to pass.
During The Kurt Angle Show, the WWE Hall of Famer talked about what it took for him to transition from Olympic wrestling to pro wrestling. He also went into detail about the short meeting he had with Vince McMahon where WWE offered him a huge contract in 1996.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into. Going up there and then giving me the whole Limo treatment, first class airfare and treating me like an important person, it was pretty cool. Going to Vince’s office and talking to him was a bit overwhelming, I knew of him, I knew who he was. He straight up just gave me a deal, a 10 year deal, take it or leave it. I asked him if I could talk to my agent first, Vince said that was fine. The meeting wasn’t long, I told him I was interested but I didn’t know if I was going to sign it or not.”
Angle said that other people in his life, including his agent, didn’t want him to go into pro wrestling. This caused Angle’s representation to tear up that guaranteed $5 million contract from WWE.
“I was brainwashed, I was told it’s not something you’d be interested in. The people that were telling me not to do it didn’t even understand it. They thought it was a bunch of stunts these guys were doing, fake fighting. They felt like they were taking a backseat to pro wrestling, amateur wrestling was the small league and pro wrestling was the big league.”
“It was a very hard situation for me to be in, I was an ambassador for amateur wrestling being an Olympic gold medalist, and here I am selling out to the WWE if I go. My agent is the one that decided for me. He was an amateur wrestler and also played pro football, he decided you’re not going to do this garage, this isn’t the real deal.”
Kurt Angle did eventually circle back around to WWE, but the contract they offered him the second time was not nearly as lucrative. Angle spent years making his name in pro wrestling with WWE during that first run, but then he eventually departed for a decade to wrestle for TNA. Of course, Angle returned to WWE again, but he did so as a WWE Hall of Famer.
Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote