After making the shocking move to sign with TNA in 2006, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle decided to pursue a career in the UFC as well.
Angle detailed on an episode of The Kurt Angle Show Podcast why he chose to leave WWE in 2006, citing issues with injuries while dealing with a painkiller addiction. The WWE Hall of Famer even revealed a conversation he had with Vince McMahon prior to walking away from WWE in 2006 where he told the WWE boss that if he stayed with the company, he would’ve died.
On the latest episode of the My World Podcast, the Founder of TNA, Jeff Jarrett, spoke about Angle signing with the company and why he was excited about the idea of him doing UFC. Jarrett said that Angle going to the UFC would’ve been a positive for everyone involved, including Olympic wrestlers.
“Kurt doing MMA, I was very attracted to that concept and idea,” Jarrett said. “A cross over, I thought it would’ve been a win-win-win. I thought it would’ve been a win for Kurt even if he got beat, I think it would’ve been a win for Olympic Gold Medalists. I think Dana would’ve with their promotional machine made a lot of money. I think it would’ve given our top talent even more notoriety.”
The former WWE Champion spoke on his podcast recently about how he had plans to go to the UFC, and how Dana White wanted him to face Daniel Puder in his first fight. Puder and Angle had a moment on SmackDown where Puder put Angle in a submission hold and seemingly out-wrestled him. Jarrett said Puder contacted TNA after he heard about them signing Angle in 2006 to have a match with the Olympic Gold Medalist.
“I like him a lot and he was persistent,” Jarrett said. “He wanted to do something in TNA with Kurt.
“I wouldn’t say a big piece. To this day, I don’t know the kind of commitment Daniel wanted to make to his in-ring game. I don’t, so, to me, that’s the longevity of any talent. Kurt, obviously, World Champion, Gold Medalist, but he went to Memphis, let’s make no bones about it. He committed, he committed to camps, and that’s sort of where the rubber meets the road when I analyze talent. Are they willing to go to the UK and work 30 days straight on those kinds of tours? Are they willing to go to Japan for three weeks? I never knew how many reps Daniel got.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit My World with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.