Kurt Angle has revealed that Vince McMahon personally told him he wanted to make the Olympic Gold Medallist the face of the WWE version of ECW in 2006, including tripling his pay for pay-per-view events.
Angle was surprisingly drafted to the newly developed third WWE brand, ECW, in May 2006, facing the likes of Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam. Angle would leave WWE three months later after he was released from his contract due to health concerns.
Speaking on his podcast, The Kurt Angle Show, the 52-year-old revealed that McMahon told him he wanted to make the Hall Of Famer the man he builds the reformed ECW around, and to make up for the smaller pay packages that came with smaller weekly shows, he would earn three times as much as he normally did for pay-per-view events.
Angle said: "ECW was a very popular brand. What they were able to do with what they had was nothing short of incredible. Vince McMahon buying it and ended up putting it on air, I do understand that. I get it because it's just another popular brand that he owns and that he's part of.
"A quick story, when he decided to start ECW he came to me and he said: 'Hey, I want you to be the face of this new company that I'm starting.' I said: 'well, what is it?' He said ECW. I said that's ECW? He said: 'Yes, we're gonna ramp it up and I want you to be the face. But I'm going to tell you this, you're gonna work in smaller arenas and make less money.'
"I said: 'Why would I want to do that?' He said: 'Don't worry, I'll take care of you.' So what he did is I would do the house shows and the TV, and then the PPVs Vince would triple my pay so that I would get the same money as I would if I was on Raw or SmackDown. So he would triple my PPV buy pay to make up for the TV and house shows and the money I made there. So he did promise that and he did go through with it."