On a recent episode of his podcast The Kurt Angle Show, the Olympic gold medalist spoke about his rookie year in WWE spanning from 1999 to 2000. Angle spoke about the amount of money he was guaranteed on his first contract, saying he massively surpassed that in his first year.
“My guarantee was $75,000,” Angle said. “I went well over that. What I was surprised about and I promised JR this when I signed that first contract, he said ‘You’re going to get $75,000 a year for 5 years.’ I signed the contract and said ‘Don’t worry about it because I’m going to make a million in my first year.’
“I did, I did make a million which I’m really proud of. I wasn’t expecting to make a million dollars my first year in the business, especially not having any merchandise, I got paid to wrestle and got paid very well to do it. Making a million dollars a year without any kind of merchandise, I made maybe $30,000/$40,000 with merchandise but I made a lot of money wrestling. I did exceed the goal that I told JR I would do.”
Angle spoke about SummerSlam 2000 being the biggest payday he received that year and in his career outside of WrestleMania. On that night, Angle faced Triple H and The Rock in the main event for the WWE Championship in a match that saw him get knocked out due to a faulty announce table breaking on a pedigree from Triple H.
“That was my biggest payday,” Angle said. “I believe I got $75,000 for that, which I don’t really talk about my numbers much. That was a big payday for me, especially a non WrestleMania payday, very seldom does someone get $75,000 for a pay per view outside of WrestleMania. As far as numbers, you don’t see $75,000 with other pay per views [outside of WrestleMania.]”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.