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Kurt Angle Says He Won’t Return for the WWE Draft

Kurt Angle may be pro wrestling’s most decorated free agent. Recent news stories teased a return to the WWE for the former Olympic gold medalist, but a new interview with Angle may temper any excitement you had for an Angle return.

Kurt Angle is a fascinating case if you really think about it. Angle was one of the best in-ring performers of the recent generation, rising to the top quicker in the WWE than almost anyone. Battles with addiction and abuse led to Angle’s departure and debut with TNA Wrestling. Angle has finally left TNA after a lengthy run and finds himself on the free agency for the first time in ten years.

While a return to the WWE seems like a natural, recent reports indicated that Vince McMahon was not interested in Angle. However, Angle recently revealed on a radio show that he was in talks with the WWE, which got some very excited. So is he coming back or isn’t he? Angle reveals in a brand-new interview with SI.com that he while he may be returning, it won’t be when you think.

I had a talk with WWE,” said Angle. “It’s confidential. I will not be returning for the draft. Possibly in the future, most likely next year, but that is not a guarantee. It was a loose conversation but I will be in touch with Triple H [Paul Levesque] in the future.

That is a bit of a disappointment as some suspected that Angle could have been a big part of the draft. Unfortunately Angle’s well documented history of outside of the ring issues are what is keeping him from returning. It does sound like a WrestleMania return is a possibility which is more than what seemed possible even just a few months back.

Angle addressed his estranged relationship with Vince McMahon and his exit back in 2006.

Vince always cared about me,” said Angle. “He’s a good guy, and he felt like he was my father figure. I admired Vince’s work ethic and drive. He was a machine. He was willing to sacrifice so much to be a success, and he was one of those guys who I feared and looked up to. I feared him the same way I feared my father. I was right – he was a good guy. He would tell me when I screwed up, and he’d tell me how to fix it. He basically said, ‘Listen, you won an Olympic gold medal. Very few people on this planet have ever done that. You’re special, you can kick this thing.’ But I fell back into it.

Angle was also very forthcoming about his struggles with addiction, specifically during his run in TNA which Si described as a “trainwreck.”

I was at a company where everybody was drinking, and you were encouraged to drink with them,” said Angle. “That’s where the alcohol came in. I didn’t go crazy with it, but when you mix it with pills, it can make you do some really crazy things. It can make you careless. When I traveled, I was drinking and driving, and I got nailed a bunch of times. I couldn’t believe TNA kept me after the second and third DUI. I continued to go with that behavior, and I was lucky to either get a reduced charge or have it thrown out.

Angle talks at length about trying to help people with addiction and the impact he is having now as a speaker. I’d recommend reading the entire interview over at

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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