Kurt Angle Recalls Negotiating For The Same Pay As The Rock And Steve Austin After First Year In WWE

Kurt Angle reflects on making main-event level money after only his first year in WWE.

Kurt Angle was the first, and only, WWE Superstar to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship, European Championship, King of the Ring, and World Heavyweight Championship within 12 months. He would finish off his rookie year by defeating The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Triple H, and Rikishi in the only Armageddon Hell in a Cell match in history.

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All of that success led to a very profitable first year for Kurt Angle in WWE, but his contract did not reflect what he was actually earning. Kurt Angle, on the latest episode of his podcast, the Kurt Angle Show, revealed that he was only on a contract that was guaranteeing him $75,000 per year and he was ready for a greater guarantee.

"Well, I still had three years left on my former contract, but it was a shitty deal," Kurt said, explaining the reason for re-negotiation. "I was getting $75,000 per year, guaranteed. Now don't get me wrong. My rookie year, I made a lot more than that, because I main-evented just about every show once I got my groove. A few months in, I was main-eventing, so I made an amazing amount of money my rookie year, I was really impressed and very happy with that money."

Kurt Angle explained that he expressed his desires to Jim Ross, who initially was hesitant because Kurt Angle was asking for the same amount of money as The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were making. However, Jim Ross eventually talked to Vince McMahon who was more than happy to give Kurt Angle the same guarantee as other top-tier Superstars.

"I went to Jim Ross and I said, 'I need to get a new deal. Because this other deal was really bad.' He said, 'Okay, what do you want?' I said, 'Well, I made this much last year. I want it guaranteed this year, because I'm going to make it again. Maybe more.' He said, 'I can't give you that. That's what Rock and Austin get.' I said, I want what Rock and Austin are getting. Please talk to Vince.' He said, 'I'll go talk to Vince,' and he talked to Vince, Vince said yes right away, and then they gave me the deal. So I got the same guarantee as The Rock, Austin, and Undertaker," Kurt revealed.

That contract was guaranteed for 5 years in early 2002, Kurt Angle would only be in WWE until September of 2006 when he crossed the line and joined TNA Wrestling, where he would spend the majority of his remaining career. Kurt eventually returned to WWE in 2017, where he would proudly join their Hall of Fame.

Kurt Angle is currently not under contract for any wrestling promotion and stated recently that he turned down offers from WWE and All Elite Wrestling. Learn more about that here.

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