Jeff Jarrett Recalls TNA Signing Kurt Angle
Angle would remain with TNA until 2016
Kurt Angle shocked the professional wrestling world in October 2006 as The Wrestling Machine made his TNA debut.
Angle had spent the prior seven years with WWE but by 2006, the Olympic Gold Medallist was dealing with a painkiller addiction and several injuries and he became abusive in his final days with the company, sending Vince McMahon threatening voicemail and text messages.
This led to a face-off with McMahon in a meeting at WWE headquarters and after Angle broke down, Vince agreed to release him.
Angle has noted that he originally planned to take some time off before returning to WWE, but he ended up signing with TNA and he remained with the promotion until 2016.
Founder of TNA Jeff Jarrett recalled the promotion signing Angle on the latest episode of My World and Double J admitted he was shocked that Angle was available.
"I was shocked, I really didn't believe it. I just said there's got to be a lot more to this story. From 2000-2005, he was in so many ways a big part of the transition to PG. Oh, by the way, he's got incredible timing and he just checked every box. Me knowing Vince and the machine of the WWE, I just said there's more to this, I don't buy it," Jarrett began.
Angle signed a five-year deal with TNA in 2006 and Jarrett recalled speaking to Bob Carter, Dixie Carter's father, about ensuring they offered The Wrestling Machine a long-term contract.
On if Angle was the highest-paid TNA talent, Jarrett said: "Positive. We were only running 26 tapings every other week. Sting didn't have a boatload of dates. Kurt's in-ring ability, he just knew what to do and all of the above. I'll never forget the restaurant [by my house] by the lake. I was there, a bunch of families were there, and Bob [Carter] wanted to talk to me about this situation, and I missed the entire dinner out in the parking lot on the cellphone with Bob Carter.
"Bob had such an interest in asking me question after question, basically the same type of question but Bob had on his investor cap and let's think this thing through. I said 'Bob, my biggest concern out of all of this is that we do a two-year deal and he goes back [to WWE]. We may be worse off than where we are today.' That resonated with Bob, he was like, I hear you and I understand that. That's why the original deal was for five years. We were really starting to hit on all cylinders in a lot of ways. I'm excited just even talking about it today because it would be a really nice step in the direction we needed to be in," Jarrett continued.
Jarrett also noted that TNA were aware of the issues Angle had prior to his WWE departure.
"Every card was on the table in so many different ways. I had experience working 20 days a month or whatever it may be. Our schedule at this time was a fixed location in Orlando, much easier. We addressed all of those concerns to the best of our abilities long before the contract was signed," Jarrett added.
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