Kurt Angle Turned Down Huge Offer From WWE Before Joining
When speaking on his The Kurt Angle Show Podcast, he revealed how the offer was too much to handle at a young age: “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 ten-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.”
So why did Kurt turn it down? Well, it was partly due to his team. He added: “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.”
So does he regret that decision? Well, yes, as could be expected: “Winning the Olympic gold medal was the highlight of my life. If I would’ve died the next day, it wouldn’t have mattered. I would’ve been the happiest man in the world. But I didn’t plan for anything after that.
“I didn’t start my brand after that; I didn’t do anything to promote myself. I thought people were going to come to me, and after a year after the Olympics, people stopped coming. WWE is the one that knocked on my door, and I turned them down. Was it a mistake? Yes.”
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