Kurt Angle: Why I Signed With TNA In 2006
Angle initially planned to return to WWE
Back in October 2006, Kurt Angle shocked the professional wrestling world when he made his TNA debut.
Prior to that point, Angle had been with WWE since 1998 and enjoyed considerable success in the company. By 2006, though, The Wrestling Machine was dealing with a painkiller addiction from several injuries and he became abusive in his final days with the organisation, sending Vince McMahon threatening voicemails and text messages.
This all led to a face-off with McMahon in a meeting at WWE headquarters, during which Angle broke down and was granted his release from the company.
Angle noted on The Kurt Angle Show that he originally planned to take some time off before returning to WWE, but he ultimately ended up making his TNA debut in October 2006.
Speaking about his TNA signing, Angle explained why he decided to join the company.
"The reason I signed with TNA, and there's nothing wrong with this, but when you're in WWE, it's a huge company. It's bigger than you. There's nothing you can do. You can have the greatest career of all time, you're not going to make a bigger impression on the company itself. TNA, it's a smaller company and you're the bigger name in the company. You're carrying the company on your back and making it into a WWE. You have a purpose that way. When you're in WWE, you're never bigger than the product. When you're in TNA, you are bigger than the product and what's carrying that product to another level. There's a bigger purpose in it," Angle said.
"It was about me proving myself that I could be a formidable player and make a company grow bigger than it was. I think I did a good job of that, it wasn't just me. There were a lot of other wrestlers in that company but I wanted to show that I had a purpose in my life and that purpose was TNA. And I could make this company grow that never became as big as WWE, but there were times where the ratings started getting fairly close. We were doing two million viewers a week, 2.1 million viewers a week, which was a big deal for TNA at the time. It made me feel very good as a representative of the company that I was one of the main reasons for it," he added.
Angle was one of TNA's top stars until he departed the company in 2016 and he is a six-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
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